Is wild camping allowed in New Zealand?

Yes, wild camping, known in New Zealand as Freedom Camping, and free standing is officially permitted in New Zealand. However, there are some restrictions on the areas where it is allowed.

Last researched: Summer 2020

New Zealand was long considered a paradise for wild campers. However, as many wild campers have not followed the general rules of conduct, the government has defined some restrictions on wild camping and standing free with the motorhome.

Basically, wild camping is allowed in places where it is not prohibited. In some areas, there may be restrictions that only allow self-sufficient vehicles to stand freely. More information can be found in our tips and tricks.

Wildcamping fines range from $200 to $10,000 if wastewater is not properly disposed of and self-sufficient vehicle requirements are met.

Wild camping in New Zealand: The legal situation

We have compiled a short overview of the "Freedom Camping Act", and the "New Zealand Standard 5465:2001" (NZS 5465:2001), which regulates the requirements for self-sufficient vehicles. The detailed rules and restrictions can be viewed here:

Travelling in New Zealand by motorhome
Travelling in New Zealand by motorhome
Camping between green hills
Camping between green hills

Tips and tricks for wild camping in New Zealand

Wild camping is allowed in New Zealand where it is not prohibited. The communities are allowed to decide whether or not to allow wild camping based on the Freedom Camping Act. The most important thing is that you have your vehicle converted so that you can stand independently and that you are certified by the public authorities. Here we have put together a summary of the minimum criteria that you must meet, as well as further tips on wild camping.

New Zealand Standard 5465:2001
The most important requirements for vehicles to be certified are

  • Capacity for freshwater (4 liters p.p. per day)
  • Wastewater tank (4 liters p.p. per day)
  • WC (1-liter p.p. per day)
  • built-in sink
  • Wastewater disposal
  • lockable waste bin (lid is sufficient)

Fire
Campfires are only allowed in designated and advertised locations. Please do not make campfires away from such places, as this can damage the environment and can also lead to forest fires in the drought period.

Weather
The weather in New Zealand can change very quickly, so you should always keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for anything. If you are planning a hike and maybe on the road for several days, you should inform a contact person where you are going.

10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about New Zealand

It's no secret that New Zealand abounds in breathtaking landscapes. Almost everyone has been able to marvel at the country's nature, even though it may have been disguised as Middle Earth in one of the Lord of the Rings movies. But apart from the beautiful nature, the country has so much to offer. Here we have collected some interesting and partly bizarre facts about the land of the Kiwis.

Fact #1 - Kiwis
The word kiwi is not only used to describe the animal and the kiwi fruit. Derived from the small bird, New Zealand's inhabitants are also known as kiwis.

Fact #2 - Sheep
Unlike its neighbor Australia, New Zealand is not known for dangerous animals. But there is a lot of sheep here, nine sheep per person to be exact.

Fact #3 - Special Minister
The shooting of the Lord of the Rings movies brought New Zealand revenues of 200 million dollars. To make as much money as possible from the films, an official minister for Lord of the Rings was appointed.

Fact #4 - Steepest Hill
Baldwin Street in the city of Dunedin is the steepest hill in the world, with a gradient of 38% at its steepest point. This is where starting on a hill needs to be practiced.

Fact #5 - Auckland
Auckland is by far the largest city in New Zealand. More people live here than on the entire South Island combined.

Fact #6 - Radioactive schools
New Zealand schools are allowed to have one pound of uranium or thorium for experiments. If it explodes, the school must pay a $1 million fine.

Fact #7 - Longest place name
With 85 letters, the hill Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is the place with the longest name in the English language.

Fact #8 - Jedis
Even though the number has decreased again, more than 50,000 people in 2001 claimed 'Jedi' as their religion. So there were more Jedis in New Zealand than Buddhists and Hindus.

Fact #9 - Badminton
Referencing the national rugby team 'All Blacks' and the ball shuttlecock, the national badminton team was called 'Black Cocks'. The name was quickly discarded.

Fact #10 - Capital
Neither Auckland, nor Christchurch, but Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. By the way, it is the southernmost capital of the world.

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