Two Types of Camping in New Zealand
Thousands of tourists in New Zealand prefer camping than other accommodations because of the thrill and freedom to camp wherever they want. It really feels nice to camp out using your own campervan, tent, car, or motorhome after a long day of sightseeing.
In New Zealand, there are two types of camping: freedom camping and camping at designated campsites and holiday parks.
Freedom camping is an overnight camping at sites not officially designated as campsite or holiday park. In other words, this is when you pull up at the side of the road or a remote place to spend the night. Tourists in New Zealand usually free camp at picnic areas, remote areas, and laybys.
Many tourists opt to free camp because it’s basically very cheap. You don’t have to pay any fees and you have the freedom to camp anywhere you want provided it’s legal. The drawback is, however, you don’t have access to amenities like clean drinking water, functional toilets, and waste disposal services. Your area may also be less secure so you have to be extra careful.
Freedom camping, however, usually has a negative image among local residents. This is because through the years, campers irresponsibly managed their litters and wastes.
As a response to the problems caused by freedom camping like environmental damages, the government passed the Freedom Camping Act 2011 which has rules and regulations for freedom camping. Under the Act, Councils and the Department of Conservation have the power to designate restricted areas. They can also charge a maximum fine of $10,000 NZD for those who release dangerous or offensive substances (e.g. human wastes, toxic chemicals) at campsites. Further, many Councils allow freedom camping using certified self-contained vehicles only.
Camping at Campsites and Holiday Parks
This is the alternative to free camping that the NZ government widely promotes. There are hundreds of affordable campsites and holiday parks where tourists can put up their tents, campervans, and motorhomes. If you are visiting a lake, river, beach, mountain, or forest, you’re sure to find an official campsite nearby.
Some of the perks of camping in campsites and holiday parks are:
- Safer for you, your family, and your belongings
- Access to clean drinking water
- Access to toilet facilities
- Fire pits and barbecue areas
No matter what type of camping you decide to do, the golden rule is respect the environment. If the beautiful spots amazed and delighted you, do your best to contribute to its conservation by simply being responsible with your wastes.