16 July, 2018
Last updated on 10 February, 2022
Posted by Spaceships Crew
Auckland is the city where most people will start their New Zealand adventure. It's also the city where the show never stops. Enjoy city life, but keep in mind that New Zealand has so much more to offer. Hop in your campervan. It's road trip time.
After picking up your Spaceship at our Auckland depot, your next question might be: where can I camp in Auckland? Are there any campgrounds in Auckland? Keep reading, we have all the info you're looking for.
Camping at Uretiti Beach campsite: DOC campsite outside Auckland
DOC campgrounds in Auckland
There are no Department of Conservation (DOC) campgrounds in Auckland itself but there are several nearby on some of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, like Motuihe Island, Motutapu Island and Motuora Island. And, you'll find them just outside Auckland. More info about camping at DOC campsites.
Motuihe Island has a standard DOC campsite with non-powered/tent sites. Bookings are essential and can be made online via the DOC online booking system. There is a maximum of 48 tent sites. Access is by boat only to the Island or a 3-hour kayak trip (for experienced kayakers only).
The campground is to the left of the road coming off the Motuihe wharf, up the path to the right of the toilet block, only a few minutes walk from Motuihe wharf. On the island there's no transport, so you'll have to carry your gear. More info about this DOC campsite.
Home Bay on Motutapu Island
Home Bay is a standard DOC campsite with non-powered/tent sites. The Home Bay campsite is divided into different areas called pods. There are 9 of these pods on the island. Boat access only. Bookings are essential and are limited to 250 campers max each day. This DOC campsite can be booked online as well. More info.
Motuora Island has a standard DOC campsite with 35 non-powered/tent sites. Access to the island is by boat only. Booking a spot is necessary and can be done online. Getting to the campground: on the west coast of Motuora Island (6 km east of Mahurangi Harbour). More info.
If you don't want to drive that far after picking up your campervan and you don't want to stay in Auckland city, then the following campsites are perfect for you.
Dickey Flat campground (1hr 43min drive from Auckland)
This is a small, basic DOC campground in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. It has 35 spaces for campervans and/or tents. It's a basic, non-powered campsite suitable for all kinds of vehicles. You'll be camping close to the river and will have access to short and longer hikes the next day.
As it's a basic campsite, it's cheap and has basic toilets, but there's no cell phone reception. No need to book as it's first come, first serve. More info about this campsite.
Directions to the campsite: follow State Highway 1 South from Auckland. Then drive onto State Highway 2 towards Paeroa. Leave SH2 at Waikino, via Waitawheta Road southbound over a one-lane bridge, then take Kennedy Road and Dickey Flat Rd. The final approach is an unsealed road.
Camping at DOC campsite Dickeys Flat
Uretiti Beach Campsite (1hr 50min drive from Auckland)
This is the perfect DOC campsite if you plan to travel up North towards Cape Reinga. It's a big DOC campsite with 300 non-powered sites for all kinds of campervans or tents. There are hot & cold showers and you can camp close to the beach. Perfect for an early morning swim or a romantic beach walk to watch the sunset.
Directions to the campsite: Take State Highway 1 North towards Whangarei. Keep driving. When you're in the Waipu area you'll see the sign for the Uretiti Beach DOC campsite. It's that easy.
Freedom camping in Auckland
Update May 2018: "At the moment, the supercity is effectively “protected” by legacy bylaws that tightly restrict freedom camping to a few sites in outer parts of Auckland..." A quote from 'Freedom camping: coming to a park near you' (read the full article).
Update April 2017: "The freedom camping trial finished on Sunday 16 April 2017. All the trial sites are now closed and camping is only permitted at official camping sites."
In February 2017 Auckland Council started a 2-month pilot project by highlighting 29 locations in Auckland as safe havens for tourists in campervans and tents to stay overnight. As the pilot project ended we have removed the map and locations from this page. As soon as there's news about these freedom camping sites in Auckland opening up again, you'll find the info here.
Where to camp in the Auckland area? Check out the Spaceships travel app for more info about campgrounds in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand. Our smartphone app will give you all the info you need for a great camping road trip. It's all about knowing where to camp.
Camping in Auckland made easy
All Spaceships campervans drive like a good car and sleep like a campervan. It's super easy to drive your campervan around in Auckland as they all have automatic gears. Stay at the campgrounds in Auckland mentioned here or stay at a hostel. Parking our Toyota Estima campervans is easy as well. No worries.
Auckland has more to offer than just the CBD. You can even go camping in Auckland.