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Freedom Camping in New Zealand

In New Zealand freedom camping (camping in public places instead of official campgrounds) is allowed only in specific areas. If you decide to freedom camp, ensure you camp near public toilets and take extra care to clear your site of rubbish and other waste before leaving.

JUCY's self-contained campers make freedom camping easier. We're big believers in being socially and environmentally responsible campers so we've made sure our JUCY Condo andChaser vehicles both have the toilet and water facilities to keep you a happy camper. 

We also want to make sure you know how to freedom camp legally and safely. To avoid fines and unfriendly welcomes, follow our guide to freedom camping responsibly in New Zealand. 


You can incur an instant $200 fine if you: 

Remember this freedom camping checklist for when you are searching for a safe and legal place to park up for the night:

self contained freedom camping signYou'll see this sticker on self-contained vehicles and also on signs where freedom camping is permitted in self-contained campervans. 
no freedom camping signThis is the "No freedom camping" sign. If you see this symbol, you are not legally allowed to camp in that area and could incur a fine if you park overnight. 


We teamed up with Rankers to create a comprehensive map that includes free camping grounds all over New Zealand. This map is approved by council representatives, so you know that when you select one of the free campgrounds listed that you are able to park there legally, without the risk of fines.


Chances are you're travelling New Zealand to enjoy the natural beauty of the country. Keep New Zealand beautiful and show respect for our unique flora and fauna. 

Respecting the environment means managing human waste, grey water, and litter responsibly. Make sure you leave your campsite as beautiful as you found it: 

  • If you go freedom camping, you need to have your own toilet, drinking water, and waste system. You will find these facilities onboard our JUCY Condo and Chaser campers.
  • Take all your litter with you or put your rubbish in the bins provided.
  • Hold on to your recycling until you reach a recycling station or town where you can dispose of recyclable items properly.
  • Please don't use the side of the road or the bush as a toilet. If you don't have a toilet onboard your vehicle, use public facilities. You'll find public toilets in most towns in New Zealand, even the small ones! 
  • Empty your portable toilet at legal dump stations (you can typically find these in holiday parks).
  • When washing yourself or your dishes, move away from the water source. Soaps and detergents are harmful to our waterways. It's better to let dirty water drain into the ground where it can be filtered.


We want you to stay safe while travelling around New Zealand. Freedom camping can expose you to the elements, so you need to take the right precautions.

  • Make sure you have all the right equipment with you, including warm clothing and wet weather gear.
  • You never know when it's going to rain in New Zealand! Keep an eye out for weather warnings and seek shelter in a town or holiday park if it gets too wild out there.
  • If you plan on combining camping with hiking, always let someone know where you are going and when you should be back. 

Here are some useful safety resources: 


Some regions have very specific rules about freedom camping, To find out more, it's best to contact the regional council directly. 

• Far North District Council• Hurunui District Council
• Thames Coromandel District Council• Christchurch City Council
• Tauranga City Council• Grey District Council
• Gisborne District Council• Westland District Council
• Rotorua District Council• Mackenzie District Council
• Hastings District Council• Queenstown Lakes District Council
 Tasman District Council• Clutha District Council
• Nelson City Council

• Kaikoura District Council

Finding a place to freedom camp and figuring out the rules can be stressful. By staying in official campgrounds, you can enjoy more facilities and avoid the risk of fines.


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