In addition to offering an abundance of well-equipped campsites near major cities and points of interest in New Zealand, it is certainly possible to go free camping in the country, and it must be said: the beauty of the natural scenery in the land of the Kiwi makes for an unmissable experience!
Free camping (or any kind of camping, really) must come with a certain prior knowledge, though. We don’t just mean being up to date with the weather report, knowing the area you’re going to choose for your camp or having enough food and water. We trust you are already well-versed in those areas. No, there’s more specific advice to consider when camping in New Zealand, and if you follow it, your experience will be definitely better and devoid of any unpleasant surprises.
Before Going Camping in NZ…
- The Department of Conservation is in charge for administering authorised campsites in New Zealand. If an area doesn’t show on their webpage, it means it’s not possible to free camp there. You’d better comply, as this might end up saving you hundreds of pounds in fines because you went free camping where you shouldn’t have! If in doubt, consult the iSITE’s website or offices: they’re in charge for all tourist information.
- Littering and dumping wastewater/soap in rivers or the sea is a crime and will be prosecuted. There are wastewater stations available where you can dispose of what you produced.
- Never be without sandfly repellents: these insects are native to New Zealand and can really be bothersome. Imagine tiny mosquitoes in the hundreds, all looking to get at your skin!
- The difference between temperatures can be considerable in the same day: pack versatile clothes that can help you in the event you’re too cold or too hot. And remember that New Zealand sees quite the amount of rain!
- Never be barefoot, especially after dark.