It is a widespread misconception that you can ‘free camp’ anywhere you want to in New Zealand.
Much of the great paddocks, fields, reserves and farmland you see are privately owned and cannot, therefore, be camped on without permission from the land owner.
In addition, many of the public spots that appear good for camping have been treated poorly by campers in the past, prompting local councils to make such spaces ‘No Camping’ zones.
However, there are some areas where you can pull over, park your motorhome or set up your tent and camp for the night, free of charge.
Check our "where can I camp" page where you can find regional information on freedom camping spots. Whilst travelling, stop at local information centres or Department of Conservation offices to ask where you are allowed to camp.
When Freedom Camping in New Zealand you must always:
New Zealand is a popular holiday destination for its clean, green landscapes and natural environment. Help keep New Zealand this way by being a responsible and tidy camper.