The Department of Conservation (DoC) provides campsites in many conservation areas throughout New Zealand.

Purakaunui campsite, The Catlins, Southland

These are often in some of the best locations around the country – in national parks, alongside the Great Walks and in tranquil and secluded spots. The campsites are usually quite basic, offering 'back to nature' style accommodation and facilities and very reasonably priced. 

Department of Conservation campsites

Find out more about Department of Conservation campsites and guidelines(opens in new window)


There are six categories of DoC campsites:

Serviced campsites – include a wide range of amenities with flush toilets, kitchen/cooking facilities, hot showers and rubbish collection. These campsites can be booked at a DoC visitor centre(opens in new window).

Scenic campsites – Usually in high-use, coastal locations, these campsites have toilets and tap water supply and often barbeques, cold showers and rubbish bins.  Some scenic campsites can be booked in advance.

Standard campsites – Limited range of amenities including a pit or composting toilet, a water supply and some may have cold showers, barbeque and rubbish facilities. These campsites generally cannot be booked.

Basic campsites – You really need to be self-sufficient to stay at these campsites with basic toilet facilities and water from a tank, lake or stream. Basic campsites generally cannot be booked.

Backcountry campsites – Usually have toilets and a water supply from a stream. They may also have basic cooking facilities and picnic tables. These campsites generally cannot be booked.

Great Walk campsites – There are 60 Great Walk campsites situated along all Great Walk tracks (except Milford) and they offer basic facilities including toilets and a water supply. Bookings are usually required and can be completed online(opens in new window)

Contact a DoC Visitor Centre(opens in new window) or visit the DoC website(opens in new window) for more information on fees and bookings, campsite categories and facilities. 

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