Freedom Camping in NZ: Here's What You Need to Know
Travel at your own pace...


Booking 4 or More Vehicles
View our Price Match Guarantee!


Freedom Camping in New Zealand

While New Zealand is very tolerant of ‘Freedom Camping’ they do have some guidelines to ensure their communities and environment is not adversely affected by campers. There are also new laws that allow local governments to fine you if you are breaching the freedom camping guidelines.  


The New Zealand Government passed a new law in August 2011 that enables local councils to issue infringement notices (fines) to campers that:

• Camp in prohibited areas
• Camp without containment (on-board shower and toilet) facilities where camping is restricted to those with approved facilities
• Littering, and leaving human waste (toilet waste)


Because New Zealand is such a great place to visit, the increasing number of visitors mean that is it more important that we all look after the areas we are visiting and have respect for the country's pristine natural areas. Council officers will now issue an on-the-spot fines to travellers — therefore Apollo Motorhome Holidays strongly encourages its customers to follow the freedom camping guidelines.

Freedom Camping Guidelines

Freedom Camping

Don’t litter

Freedom Camping

Recycle where possible

Freedom Camping

Only go to the toilet where there is a designated toilet or use toilets in the motorhome

Freedom Camping

Only dump waste at designated dump stations

Freedom Camping

Only shower in designated showers or use the shower in the motorhome

Freedom Camping

If in doubt check with a local!

Freedom Camping

If in doubt, check where you can camp overnight at a local iSITE or DOC (Department of Conservation) visitor centre.

Freedom Camping


Camping Care Code

There is certain camping etiquette that we request all our guests follow to ensure a safe and pleasant camping experience for all.  

Here are some simple guidelines for when you are out on your self-drive adventure.

• Choose your campsite carefully, set up your camp on firm, high or sandy ground.  
• Only camp in designated areas – not where camping isn’t permitted
• Be tidy and always leave campsite clean.  Be sure to take your rubbish with you is bins are not provided – food scraps attract vermin.

• Use a cooker, fireplace or BBQ where possible.  
• Only light fires where permitted using dead wood in the area and keep the fire small. 
• Be sure to soak the fire with water before you leave to avoid it restarting.
• Detergents, soap and toothpaste can harm aquatic and marine life.  Use biodegradable products and wash in a container well away from streams and rivers. 

• Always use toilets provided at campgrounds. There are public toilets at all Department of Conservation campsites. 
• When camping elsewhere follow the environmental care guidance on www.camping 
• When traveling in our campers- please always use dispose of waster at official dump stations, do not dispose of waste in public areas.  If you do not have  toilet in your campers please camp where there are facilities.

• Campgrounds are social places but everyone needs time to relax on their holiday.  Please respect the rights of others for quiet enjoyment of the outdoors.
• Pay your fees or give a donation at free campgrounds where possible to keep campgrounds available for future travellers.
• Always thoroughly clean your equipment before and after trips to minimise he spread of weeds and diseases.
• New Zealand’s unique native plants, forests and wildlife are the reason a lot of people travel to this beautiful country. Please be sure to take care when in these areas as to not disturb the natural surroundings.