As a land of the outdoors, it's not surprising that camping in New Zealand is a popular pastime. There are few greater pleasures than sitting around a campfire on a clear-skied evening gazing at the stars and listening to waves breaking or native birds calling.

Types of camping in New Zealand

Campgrounds and holiday parks

Campgrounds or holiday parks are commercial operations that provide a safe and well-equipped camping experience. You will usually find tent sites as well as powered and unpowered van/motorhome sites, and sometimes cabins or ‘units’. A tent site may be a specific marked patch of grass or a ‘take what you can find’ arrangement where you can pitch your tent anywhere. The cost of your tent or van space will include the use of the campground facilities.

Glamping or 'Glamorous Camping'

Relatively new to the camping scene, Glamping is just like camping but with the comforts of home. With outdoor bathtubs and spectacular views, cosy fires and spacious decks, glamping is becoming more and more popular by the day. With it's safe countryside and stunning landscapes, New Zealand has top glamping spots that make for the perfect escape.

Department of Conservation campsites

The Department of Conservation (DOC) manages over 250 public camping areas on conservation land throughout New Zealand. Located in some of New Zealand’s most beautiful regions, these campsites usually don’t have an on-site manager and are operated on a trust basis. Tents, vans, motorhomes and caravans are all welcome on DOC conservation campsites. Facilities are typically minimal and basic, but fees are very reasonable - sometimes free. 

Freedom camping or 'free' camping

There are certain areas in New Zealand where you can pull over, park your campervan or motorhome or set up your tent and camp for the night, free of charge.

When freedom camping in New Zealand you must always:

  • Use public toilets or the portable toilet in your vehicle
  • Leave no trace
  • Dispose of all rubbish responsibly, or take it with you
  • Keep detergents, soap, toothpaste etc. out of waterways
  • Only use approved dump stations to dispose of motorhome waste

Motorhomes or campervans

Motorhomes or campervans are the ultimate accommodation choice for flexibility on a driving holiday. Go on an unforgettable roadtrip, park and camp - a campervan or motorhome gives you the freedom to explore the beauty of Aotearoa while on the road.

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