Camping in New Zealand
For many New Zealanders, camping trips with family and friends have always been a holiday tradition – a favourite way to “get away from it all” over the long summer break and extended weekends throughout the year.
With good reason – camping is not just a great way to discover New Zealand, it also allows real independent travel, is safe, affordable and best of all, it’s great fun!
Where are the best places to go camping in New Zealand?
Although New Zealand is a small country, the landscape changes dramatically between each of our regions, each offering unique reasons to go camping. We believe the best campgrounds in New Zealand are those operated by the Department of Conservation – visit www.doc.govt.nz for detailed information.
Can I go freedom camping in New Zealand?
While there are still some places around New Zealand where you can legally choose to freedom camp, we strongly urge all our customers to stay in organised campgrounds and avoid freedom camping completely.
Freedom camping poses risks to our natural environment and costs small communities around the country significant amounts of money each year in clean-up and restoration fees.
Freedom camping can also place your personal safety at risk in remote areas where there are few people to protect you against criminal activity while you are sleeping.
Not only are organised campgrounds generally very safe, like the ones run by the Department of Conservation, they also offer the convenience of toilets, running water and often hot showers and full kitchens at very affordable prices.
Be aware that it is now illegal to freedom camp in many regions around New Zealand.
When is the best time to go camping in New Zealand?
The typical camping season in New Zealand is October to March. February and March are usually excellent months to choose as the weather is generally warm and dry.
What gear will I need?
To make the most of your camping holiday in New Zealand, you’ll need to have the right gear – let us take care of the hard work and book a hire kit through us.
Are there any places to camp in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch city centres?
It is not possible to camp in any of these city centre’s in a tent (for fairly obvious reasons!), but there are campgrounds located relatively close to our locations.
In Auckland, good options include Ambury Farm (very close to Auckland International Airport) or one of the many beautiful regional campgrounds run by our local Council (roughly 45 minutes – 1 hour drive from our store in downtown Auckland).
In Wellington, the best options are located on the Kapiti Coast (about 45 minutes from our unit in downtown Wellington).
In Christchurch, most of our customers chose to stay in one of the many campgrounds in the broader Canterbury region (around 1 hour from our base in downtown Christchurch).
Google to find out more!
How far is it realistic to drive when I arrive in New Zealand after a long-haul flight?
We strongly urge all our customers to stay overnight in one of these centres after a long-haul flight. New Zealand roads can be more challenging that many visitors realise, and it pays to have a good rest before heading off to tour the country.
It is very unwise to collect gear from one of our locations and expect to drive hundreds of kilometres to camp on the first night.
Remember to check daylight hours as well when calculating your travel times to reach your campsite – putting up an unfamiliar tent in the dark can be difficult!