Freedom Camping in New Zealand

New Zealand is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers, with its breathtaking landscapes and endless opportunities for exploration. And what better way to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of this country than by parking up the campervan on a beautiful beach or surrounded by lush greenery? With our fully self contained campervans, you can experience off-grid living without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

What does Freedom Camping mean?

Freedom camping mean camping outside of formal campgrounds, often in a remote area. It provides an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in a more spontaneous and flexible way and without the cost associated of staying at a campground. It also means that you don’t have access to facilities such as showers and toilets.

Can I freedom camp in your campervans?

Yes, all of our campervans are fully self contained, which means that the campervan or motorhome is equipped with all the necessary facilities to support its travellers without relying on external amenities or services. This includes both the essentials for daily living and responsible waste management.

Being fully self-contained includes:

  1. Fresh Water Supply: All of our campervans have a built-in freshwater tank. This allows you to have access to clean water for drinking, cooking, washing, and showering.

  2. Greywater Tank: All of our campervans have a separate tank to collect and store used water from sinks and showers. This water can then be disposed of properly in designated waste facilities.

  3. Toilet Facilities: All of our campervans are equipped with a functioning cassette toilet.

  4. Waste Disposal: All of our campervans have a rubbish bin to collect the rubbish and dispose of it at a designated waste facility.

  5. Cooking Facilities: All of our campervans have a cooking area including stove and oven that is operated through a gas bottle as well as a sink and a refrigerator.

  6. Heating and Hot Water: All of our motorhomes have a heating system that is powered through a gas bottle.

  7. Electricity: All of our campervans have solar panels and a leisure battery that stores the energy collected through the solar panels to allow you to have electricity at night. The leisure battery powers the fridge, lights as well as the USB ports. Please note that solar panels do not power the 240v power points.

By having all of these facilities on board, a fully self-contained vehicle allows you to venture into areas where there might be limited or no access to traditional amenities like on a campgrounds or serviced sites. It also means that you can camp responsibly and minimize your impact on the environment by properly managing your waste.

Can I freedom camp anywhere?

In New Zealand, while freedom camping is permitted in many areas, it’s important to note that there are specific regulations in place to ensure it is done in a responsible and sustainable manner. You cannot simply camp anywhere you please.

Designated Freedom Camping Areas: New Zealand has designated freedom camping areas where camping is allowed without charge. These areas are equipped with basic facilities like toilets and waste disposal points.

Local Bylaws and Regulations: Different regions and districts may have their own rules regarding freedom camping. Some areas may allow it unless explicitly prohibited, others allow it only in specified locations, while others may prohibit it entirely (Queenstown & Tekapo for example don’t allow any freedom camping).

How Long Can You Freedom Camp?

With our campervans there is no limit on how many days you can freedom camp. As the campervans charge their battery during the day, you will have power permanently. You will however need to empty the grey water and toilet every couple of days and top up the fresh water as well as the gas.

How often you need to empty and top up absolutely depends on the number of people travelling with you and your habits. With 4 people showering and doing the dishes twice a day, and using the toilet, the water and toilet lasts about 2 days. With 2 people and only mini showers you might be able to stretch the water to 4 days. 

The gas lasts usually for at least a week if you are heating a lot, much longer if you don’t use much heating.

How to find Freedom Camping Spots?

Resources like the CamperMate app and the Department of Conservation (DOC) website offer valuable information on approved camping locations, including facilities available, and any restrictions in place. Additionally, the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) provides a wealth of knowledge for freedom campers and their app has an extensive list of freedom camping spots (please note that the NZMCA membership is only available for NZ residents).

Google Maps also shows a large range of freedom camping spots, just zoom into the area that you are looking to find a freedom camping spot and type in “Freedom Camping” and it will show you locations, reviews and possible restrictions.



Embracing the freedom camping experience in New Zealand is a wonderful adventure, allowing you to connect with nature in a way that few other experiences can offer. With Camper4Hire, you not only have access to top-quality campervans but also the assurance of all the amenities that enable you to stay off-grid without sacrificing comfort. So, pack your bags, hit the open road, and let the beauty of New Zealand unfold before you. Your ultimate freedom camping journey awaits!

Create Memories of a Lifetime in one of our campervans available for hire from Auckland/New Zealand. Book your adventure with Camper4Hire here.

Your Camper4Hire Team

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