November 2018: Responsible Camping

Camping is a popular travel style for both domestic and international visitors during the summer months, and its success depends on campers respecting and minimising the impact on the area they are camping in.

Queenstown, Otago
Responsible camping allows visitors to enjoy New Zealand’s landscape and surrounds in its purest form.  

Responsible camping basics 

Responsible camping is permitted on public conservation land, except in areas where it is expressly prohibited or restricted to self-contained vehicles (for example a campervan/motorhome with on board waste water storage and toilet). Camping in prohibited areas can lead to substantial fines. 

Although there are over 500 responsible camping locations in New Zealand, each region has different rules around where camping is permitted, so visitors should ask a resident or visit the local i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Click here to view a map of all responsible camping sites in New Zealand, including an indication of the facilities available at each site. 

For more information on responsible camping click here

It is important that visitors do not leave behind litter and human waste. Remember ‘Carry in, carry out. Leave no trace’. Illegal dumping of waste can result in hefty fines. 

Staying safe on holiday is important. New Zealand can experience four seasons in a day, so visitors should be prepared by packing a waterproof top and warm clothing. For anything over a short walk, visitors should always let someone know where they are going and when they will be back. 

Holiday Parks 

Holiday Parks offer a wide variety of accommodation options, from powered and non-powered sites through to self-contained motels and cabins. 

Holiday Parks are located in some of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with many located nearby beaches, rivers and lakes. 

Facilities vary between Holiday Parks, but often include ablution blocks, communal kitchen, linen service, swimming pool, and kids play area. 

Pre-booking is recommended during New Zealand’s peak summer season from December to February. 

To search Holiday Parks in New Zealand click here

Camping with Department of Conservation (DOC) 

DOC manages more than 200 campsites throughout New Zealand, offering visitors a good base to relax and explore the country’s great outdoors. NOTE: DOC does not offer commission on campsite bookings. 

DOC has five categories of campsites: 
  • Serviced Campsites: flush toilets, tap water, cooking bench, hot showers, rubbish collection, road access, laundry facilities, BBQ and picnic tables.
  • Scenic Campsites: high-use coastal locations, toilets, tap water, and vehicle or boat access. Wood-fired BBQ, cold showers, picnic tables, cooking shelter and rubbish bins may be available. 
  • Standard Campsites: toilets (compositing or pit), water supply (cold tap, stream or lake), and vehicle or boat access. Wood-fired BBQ, cold showers, picnic table, cooking shelter and rubbish bins may be available. 
  • Basic Campsites: very limited facilities, visitors must be fully self-sufficient. Basic toilets, water supply (tank, stream or lake) and vehicle or boat access. 
  • Backcountry Campsites: toilets and water supply which may be from a stream. Picnic tables, cooking shelters or fireplaces may be provided.  

Visitors travelling to New Zealand by campervan or rental car can save up to 50% on campsite fees with the weekly campsite pass. The pass gives access to more than 100 of DOC’s most popular and scenic campsites. Single, double and family weekly campsite passes are available from participating rental vehicle companies. 

Tiaki Promise 

The Tiaki Promise is a set of guiding principles to show how visitors can care for New Zealand while they are travelling. Learn more about Tiaki Promise here

We offer tailored content for your location