Can you sleep anywhere in a campervan in New Zealand?

Parked campervan in New Zealand

One of the biggest appeals for hiring a campervan is the thought to to do free camping across the country. The immediate thought for most travellers that are new to hiring a campervan is that they can park anywhere and they won’t have to pay extra for accommodation.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.

There are options to do free camping, but you still need to be aware of the laws and regulations that travellers must abide by.

What is the law around free camping in New Zealand?

You actually can’t decide to just pull-up anywhere, park your vehicle, and camp in New Zealand. You can camp for free, but you need to know where to park your vehicle so that you won’t get into any trouble.

Should you be convicted, the local authorities can issue fines from $200 to $5000. In some cases, they are entitled to issue fines of $10,000. [1], [2]

Here is a link to the full legal document.

Where can you find free campsites in New Zealand?

You can use the DOC website to find free campsites across New Zealand. Beware that there are approximately 50 free camping grounds and the others are paid camping sites. Expect to pay at least $20-25/night.

Use an app to find free campsites in New Zealand.

Try downloading Campermate

Want to enquire about hiring a campervan or motorhome?

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Want to look for a campervan to hire in New Zealand?

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[1] Freedom camping legislation

[2] Department of Conservation – Freedom camping