New Zealanders are passionate about camping.
As a land of the outdoors and with unpredictable weather, it’s not surprising that exploring by caravan is a preferred accommodation option
Surely, New Zealand has more beautiful, scenic, secluded camping spots than any other nation. There are limitless places to pitch a tent and enjoy the great outdoors, in or out of a campground. But, the weather in New Zealand can make tents less than ideal accommodation, and the ‘freedom camping’ New Zealand is famous for is often not allowed for those without private ‘amenities’. A self contained and certified freedom caravan is the perfect solution: a combination of freedom and luxury that no other holiday mode can match.
There are not many outdoor pleasures better in this world than sitting outside your caravan under a clear sky, the silence broken only by the sounds of swooshing waves or gurgling rivers. Imagine parking in a breath-taking location, making dinner or drinks in your own kitchen, while admiring the view out your window, and then sitting and enjoying your surroundings without a care in the world. Later, you can lie back and wonder at the stars or go for a midnight swim, and then retire to the comfort of your luxurious bed before waking up to the sunrise right outside your door, all within a few feet of your accommodation. It really doesn’t get much better than that…until you drive on a bit, and find an even more wonderful spot!
We recommend joining the New Zealand Motorhome and Caravan Association NZMCA for significantly reduced overnight camp fees (often free) and access to a large number of member only campsites. See this link to their travel directory and map. Learn More
NZMCA membership may also grant members free use of areas. See: www.nzmca.org.nz
This simply means setting up a tent, van, motorhome, or caravan in a convenient place and spending the night. This has become quite popular in recent years, but because of some who have taken advantage and angered local residents with thoughtless littering, it is now banned in some places. Many fields, paddocks and farms are privately owned and do not allow freedom camping. Check first. When you find a likely spot, often by a beach or at a lay by on a road, look for signs: some will tell you that freedom camping is banned and some will say that caravans and motorhomes with a self-containment certificate are welcome. Violators will be fined. See the government website for a great breakdown: https://www.govt.nz/browse/recreation-and-the-environment/freedom-camping/
Free to very affordable camp grounds:
Many camp grounds, Department of Conservation reserves, National Parks and Great Walks are free to camp in, or charge a very minimal fee, often collected by the volunteer system. See: http://www.doc.govt.nz/campsites
Camp Grounds/Holiday Parks
There are camp grounds and holiday parks in every corner, bay, and city of New Zealand. These offer a range of amenities, from the very basic, such as long drop toilets, cold showers, and running water, to tennis courts, pools, media rooms, kitchens, cabins and more. Prices range from very reasonable to reasonable. Be sure to call ahead in peak season.
(And, these campgrounds often have ‘dump stations’ for caravan users. The NZMCA site will have a list of such places.)