Exploring Camping Options in New Zealand: A Comprehensive Guide

There are various options for your camping trip in New Zealand. Along with Australia, New Zealand is a paradise for camper travelers. The country offers a wide range of choices, from free camping and parking areas to higher-priced campgrounds. You can choose based on your needs, as each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. The three main options are Freedom Camping, DOC Campsites (Department of Conservation), and Holiday Parks.

Camping Options in New Zealand

Here, we present the three options along with their pros and cons:

1. Freedom Camping:

Freedom Camping is a free way to camp in New Zealand, with numerous sites available on both the North and South Islands. The main advantage is the cost-free overnight stay. However, there are some rules to follow, such as a stay limit, which is usually between 1-4 days per month. Additionally, your vehicle must be self-contained certified. Without this certification, you can be fined between $200 and $400.

Another advantage is that these sites are well-located, often near attractions, close to cities, or even within city limits. When you rent a camper from Euro Campers for your trip, you’re in good hands, as all our campervans are self-contained certified. This allows you to travel across the entire island without paying additional campsite fees. Public toilets are usually available, and some sites even offer showers.

2. DOC Campsites (Department of Conservation):

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is New Zealand’s public service department that provides travelers with several camping options. These campsites are very affordable and are typically located in beautiful areas throughout the country, such as by lakes or near hiking trails. With DOC campsites, you can travel across the entire country and visit serene spots with the most stunning views.

DOC sites usually cost between $10 and $15 per person, making them a very budget-friendly way to explore New Zealand. You do not need a self-contained vehicle to stay at these sites, and most locations have toilets. However, many of these toilets are composting toilets due to the remote locations of DOC sites, and there are often no trash bins available. Therefore, it’s important to take all your rubbish with you to protect the environment.

There is also an affordable pass for DOC sites that costs only $200. This pass allows you to stay at any DOC campsite for an entire year.

3. Holiday Parks:

New Zealand offers a wide range of camping options, from camping chains and large holiday parks to smaller campgrounds. Affordable campsites typically range from $15 to $30 per person, while more extensive holiday parks generally cost between $40 and $65 per night.

Holiday parks often provide a variety of amenities such as hot showers, laundry facilities, kitchens, and Wi-Fi. These parks are ideal for families or travelers seeking more comfort and convenience. They are usually well-maintained and located near popular tourist attractions, making them a great base for exploring the area.

With such a variety of options, you can find a holiday park that fits your budget and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience in New Zealand.

Find Your Perfect Camping Spot with These Apps

You can easily find all three camping options using the following apps. Most of these apps are free, allowing you to plan your trip perfectly, compare different camping spots, and view photos and reviews. DOC sites can also be found on their website, while freedom camping spots are usually listed on Google Maps or the respective city district websites.

  1. CamperMate
  2. Rankers Camping NZ
  3. Park4night
  4. WikiCamps

-> DOC Website


In summary, New Zealand offers a diverse range of camping options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. From the cost-free Freedom Camping and the scenic DOC Campsites to the well-equipped Holiday Parks, there is something for everyone. By using helpful apps and resources, you can easily plan and enjoy your camping adventure.

With Euro Campers, you’re always traveling in your own home on wheels. Our self-contained campervans provide the flexibility and comfort to explore New Zealand at your own pace, ensuring a memorable and comfortable experience in this beautiful country. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or friends, Euro Campers ensures you have the perfect vehicle for an unforgettable journey.

Discover the best camping options in New Zealand with Euro Campers. Travel in comfort and flexibility with our self-contained campervans. Don’t forget to check out our campers for your next trip!

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