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Posted on 11/11/2022 01:59 AM

Have you ever done Freedom Camping in a motorhome? or been curious to try? Read our useful blog on Freedom Camping in NZ so you can start planning your trip and save lots of $$ on accommodation!

Please note some of these Freedom camping spots may not actually be 100% free. Some may have changed their camping policies and in some places a small camping charge may apply

North Island Freedom Camping Spots

  1. Far North. Raetea North Side Campsite Raetea reserve approx 18km south east of Kaitaia. 65 non powered sites - Great for Campervans!

  2. Whangarei. Town Basin Dent St Whangarei.  Free overnight camping .  Info on freedom camping in Whangarei

  3. Miranda. Rays Rest Reserve in Miranda has 2 night maximum stay for self contained vehicles only. Make sure your motorhome is self contained certified. In in doubt, ask the friendly team at New Zealand Motorhomes!

  4. Coromandel. All Doc Campsites in the Coromandel charge from $10 per night and there are plenty of freedom camping locations for self contained vehicles all over the Coromandel like in Thames, Tairua, Paeora, Waihi and Ngatea

  5. Whakatane. Freedom camping for self contained vehicles campervans only Freedom Camping spots Whakatane

  6. Bay Of Plenty. Most DOC campsites are $6 per night in the B.O.P. Don’t miss Dickie's Flat in the Karangahake gorge. Check out the BOP website for more freedom camping

  7. Waikato. If you’re into hunting you could use the Doc campsite in Piropiro. This is between Te Kuiti and Mangakino . Or you could try the Oparau Roadhouse if you require a bit of power to charge the phone or to stock up on supplies. The South Waikato area allows  2 nights of freedom camping . You could try the Tokoroa Memorial Sportsground or Glenshea Park in Putaruru. You can purchase permits to stay in some spots with toilets and basic facilities. Freedom camping spots in the South Waikato

  8. Rotorua/Taupo Area. There is the very popular Reid’s Farm free camping spot which is right next to the Waikato River. Spend some time here taking in the breathtaking scenery, walking the tracks and seeing the amazing Huka Falls. You might even want to do a spot of trout fishing in the river but you do need a permit to fish so get one BEFORE you start fishing from a local sports store or else you risk losing everything you are travelling with! Recommended for all types of Motorhomes

    You can even free camp right on the lake front in Taupo! For all info on freedom camping in this area click here.
    On your way to the mountains of our National Park? Why not stop at Ruatahi Domain. It allows free camping for just a donation and there is a bbq, toilet and basic facilities

  9. Te Urewera. Getting into Kiwi country so please no dogs at these freedom camping spots.
    In the Whirinaki forest Park there are 2 free Doc Campsites on Okahu Rd or other free spots in the area are Orangihikoia campsite, Te Taita O Makoro campsite, Rosie Bay and Te Pakau

  10. Gisborne and East Cape. There’s lots of travel time on the East cape. Why not stop for a while. The Gisborne District Council issue permits for freedom camping from $10 for 2 nights to $60 for 28 nights – that’s so cheap!  Just make sure the road to the campsites is ok to take a motorhome down. Some roads in Gisborne can be a bit hairy...

  11. Hawkes Bay. Just North of Taupo there is a DOC Camp by the river at Glenfalls and there are Free Hot Springs at Mangatutu Hot Springs Campsite in the Kaweka Forest Park

    Hastings DistrictAll reserves in Hastings allow self contained campervans to stay overnight

  12. Taranaki. Unfortunately there are no DOC campsites at all in the Taranaki area so you will have to settle for some inexpensive camping options at Waitotara Beach from only $5 a night Check out info on South Taranaki

    There is a famous road called the Forgotten World Highway which runs from Stratford to Taumaranui. If you decide to go on this highway you won’t be disappointed but do allow a lot of driving time and so why not stop with your campervan at the Ohura Cosmopolitan Club along the way

  13. Rangitikei/Manawatu. Londons Ford and Bartletts Ford are the best free camping areas in the Manawatu. They have long drop toilets.

  14. Wellington. There is a campsite in the Tararua Forest Park called the Waikawa campstie it has good reviews. And last but not least why not check out the most southern point of the North Island and see the unique fishing village of Ngawi.  Several nights stay is permitted and the Paua here are huge and can be picked off the rocks knee deep!

    Stay tuned for our next newsletter when we visit Freedom camping spots in the South Island!

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