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Different ways of Camping​

New Zealand offers a choice to park up your Next Campervan! Holiday Parks, Campsites, Department of Conservation (DOC) or try a taste of ‘Freedom Camping’. Because all Next Campers are certified self contained, all options are possible – you decide. 

New Zealand is home to some of the best campgrounds in the world. Most are in breath-taking locations, have quality amenities, and are great places to meet other travellers. In some regions, you can even camp in the wild as your Camper is Self Contained.

New Zealand is the ultimate camping destination! Each year, thousands of New Zealand families unlock their motorhome or pack up their tent and sleeping bags, grab the barbeque, fishing rods and hiking boots and head off to their favourite camping spot in New Zealand. And it’s not hard to see why. Holidaying in a Campervan is the best way to experience and enjoy New Zealand. Within an hour’s drive of most places where Kiwis live are camping sites nestled in idyllic locations – on the shore of a white sandy beach, the edge of a lake, in a rainforest or close by geothermal hot pools. 

You’re in control where you want to go and how long you want to stay. You can either follow a detailed itinerary or be spontaneous. Camping at a place you never knew about until you got there is one of the best ways to experience our country. For many of us, it’s the memory of those places that will stay with you forever.  

Overview

Holiday Parks and Camp Grounds

Staying at a typical New Zealand holiday park in your Camper is a little bit like “glamping” (glamorous camping). 

Holiday Parks are equipped with toilet and shower facilities and you can mostly choose between a powered or non-powered site. For campervans it is always recommended that you take a powered site, so you can recharge the second battery. Prices for Holiday Parks differs with the season and provided amenities. During high season, Holiday Parks can be fairly pricy if your traveling on a low budget. With our self-contained vehicles, you can save lot’s of money while staying at DOC campgrounds instead. But if you are deciding to spend a few days in a Holiday Parks, you will mostly get a 

  • 240 v main power hook up
  • internet
  • communal kitchen
  • laundry facilities
  • BBQ areas
  • TV lounge
  • Fresh water filling and waste water dump station
  • secure site

Some also offer

  • Heated pools
  • Shops
  • Restaurants 
  • Bike or boat hire

A typical Kiwi holiday park is set in an attractive park-like surrounding with lots of nature right of your doorstep. Many are located near the beach, lakes or rivers. Your camping spot usually includes your own power plug in and picnic table. You can cook in your campervan or use the communal kitchen – which is a great way to meet other travelers or locals!

We know, that most travelers love to spend their time in New Zealand with being spontaneous, but please remember: timing is everything planning your Holiday Park Trip during the summer break from around December 26 through January. Campsites fill up quickly and reservations in advance become necessary. If you want to avoid the crows, we recommend to travel March through May. Temperatures will range around 20 degrees, with lot’s of sunshine and less rain. Want to find out more about New Zealand’s season and climate? Have a look at our weather page.

Stay on private land with “Campable”

Founded in Auckland in early 2017, Campable is expanding and transforming the way people can travel. Through Campable’s website and apps, you can stay on private property. This way, locals can create extra income from their underused land.

Having an authentic local experience at working farms or finding the most isolated and untouched places in nature: Campable connects you with very unique locations. For landowners, Campable is also an easy way to create extra income from existing land, attract travellers, and fund projects and passions.

The Campable app also features commercial campsites and freedom camping areas, as well as LPG stations, dumping stations and I-SITE locations. For those with specific requirements, such as pet-friendly, shower or a powerd site, you can filter all sites to find those which meet your needs. Or simply browse through Campable collections of their best properties across different regions of New Zealand. 

This is a perfect way getting up close to Kiwi Lifestyle! On top, the sites are usually more secure than freedom camping sites because you are camping on private property. 

Camping at DOC Campground

New Zealand has 14 national parks and over 5.000000 hectares of land protected in parks and reserves. Within these parks, the Department of Conservation (DOC), a government agency, manages over 250 vehicle-accessible camping areas on conservation land within these parks. Volunteers across the country help to maintain the campsites all year round so they stay beautiful and clean.

Most DOC campsites have limited amenities, offering a “back to nature” styl of camping. All UniQ Campervans are suitable for camping at DOC campsites. Recently, DOC have added a limited number of services campsites to their offerings in some parts of New Zealand. 

The prices for a night at a DOC Campground ranges from free to 19 NZD. Facilities at DOC campsites can vary considerably depending on the category: 

1.) Serviced campgrounds 7-19 NZD: They have flush toilets, tap water and showers, rubbish collection, picnic tables, mown grass and access for all vehicles types as well as powered sites. Many have BBQ’s or fireplaces, shared kitchen and laundry facilities, a shop and waste disposal sites. There is plenty of space to park your campervan.

2.) Standard Campsites 5-16 NZD: They include toilets, water supply, mown grass and vehicle access. Facilities and services such as BBQ’s or fireplaces, picnic tables and rubbish collection may also be provides but not always. Campervan access is given. 

3.) Backcountry campsites 1,50 – 6 NZD: They have toilets and water supply which may be from a stream. They may have picnic tables, cooking shelter or fire places. 

4.) Basic campsites free of charge: They offer limited facilities so are only suitable for self-contained campervans like those in the UniQ Campers fleet. They have basic toilets and water from a tank, stream or lake. 

Find your next 

 

Wild Camping/ Freedom Camping 

Freedom or Wild Camping is a term used to describe camping that does not take place in an official campground or holiday park. In essence, it means pulling up of the side of the road spending the night just about anywhere. Recent changes to the law have led to a great deal of uncertainty about freedom camping being still legal. To put the record straight, freedim camping is perfectly legal in New Zealand. It can be a wonderful way to explore its unique landscapes. However, if you wish to freedom camp, please read the following. 

Before you choose your camping spot it’s important to be aware of your responsibility to protect our country and to check if wild camping is permitted in your location. 

Kiwis – how New Zealanders call themselves – believe they are living in the most beautiful country in the world and we agree! Everyone coming into the country and also locals should be committed to keep it that way. 

New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people strongly believe in the concept if Kaitiakitanga or guardianship. Behind this word is not just one simple definition but you can break it down to the following:  This precious land and its natural resources are gifts and has been protected by our forebears for the benefit of present and future generations. It is our responsibility to guard the land as many generations have done before – and to encourage visitors to do the same..  

A few reckless campers often traveling in campervans or cars with no toilet or water storage facilities, have tested the patience of many locals over recent years. They have dumped their waste on the roadside or wilderness, used the bush as a toilet and mistreated the beautiful land while wild camping. People who wild camp in an area where camping is not permitted, damage the area, dispose of wast in inappropriate ways, or refuse to move on if asked to by an enforcement officer can be issued with a NZ$200 instant fine. The penalties for wild camping can be even larger if the offense is considered severe. 

All our UniQ Campervans are designed to have a low impact on the environment and are suitable for wild camping. Each one has been tested and given the Self Contained certificate – a requirement for wild camping. “Certified self-contained vehicle meets the ablutionary and sanitary needs of the occupants for a minimum of three days, without requiring any external services or discharging waste”. Fresh water for drinking and cooking is stored in tanks and waste water is collected in the waste water tanks and can be disposed in dumping station facilities connected to a proper sewerage scheme. This is very important as you won’t present any risk to public health. Only certified self-contained campervans are permitted to wild camp.  

Each local authority manages their wild camping for its communities. Most local authorities have bylaws to control wild camping in specific areas. In some places it is required to purchase a wild camping permit or pay a small fee around NZ$6 per night.

Please don’t assume you can wild camp anywhere. Always check for “no overnight camping” signs and double check with the locals. Unfortunately, more and more wild camping restricted areas are popping up. If you help following these rules, wild camping will stay permitted. 

Campsite Pass for rental campervans

Buy the weekly pass when you hire your campervan and save up to 50% on campsite fees at more than 90 of DOC’s most scenic campsites.

How many nights can you stay?

Each pass is valid for seven consecutive nights at designated campsites.

How much does it cost?

  • $25 for a Single pass (one adult)

  • $50 for a Double pass (two adults)

  • $75 for a Family pass (two adults and up to two children/youths)

Age categories:

  • Adult: 18+ years

  • Child/youth: 5-17 years

  • Under 5 years: free

Where can you use it?

Use the pass at more than 90 vehicle-accessible Standard and Scenic campsites. Note: the pass can’t be used to pay for Serviced campsites, campsites that are booked online, or powered sites.

See where you can use the campsite pass for rental campervans

Who can use it?

Anyone travelling in a rental campervan can use the pass.

How does it work?

Display the pass on the campervan dashboard where it’s clearly visible. Present it to the campsite warden on request.

Your details, including the dates the pass is valid and vehicle registration, will be filled in by the rental company or their agent.

Where can you buy it?

Buy the pass through www.rankers.co.nz

Weekly pass terms and conditions

  • Each pass can be used for up to seven consecutive days.

  • The pass is valid for the dates written on the pass.

  • The pass is only valid for the vehicle registration written on the pass.

  • This pass is not transferrable and cannot be exchanged for money.

  • The pass is valid at designated DOC campsites.

  • All campsites are subject to availability and advanced bookings are not accepted with this pass.

  • The pass cannot be used at campsites which are serviced, powered, or on the online booking system.

Camper Mate App​

Download the Campermate App and you will never be alone during your trip! Campgrounds, prices, locations, reviews, tourist attractions, dump stations, petrol stations.... have it all on your phone at anytime!

Camper Responsibilities​

We love to get off the beaten track and encourage you too do as well. Wile we have a right to wild camp, we also have an obligation to protect this beautiful country. Both visitors and locals alike. Isn’t this the main reason you are coming to New Zealand?

Leave only footprints... and not trash.

Use Bins

Please leave no trace of your visit. Put yur rubbish into the provided bins all over New Zealand.

Facilities

Camping responsibility means not to use the bush. Please use your on board toilet or provided facilities at your Campground.​

Recycle

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle! Please be a part of keeping this Planet as beautiful as it is. For us and future generations!

No Camping

When you see this sign, Camping is strictly forbidden. Please respect the rules and don't camp here.

Respect others

On a campground, many different travellers are coming together. Please be respectful and kind - like your mom tought you.

Where can I dump my waste ?​

While you are traveling and camping around New Zealand you do carry responsibility. You need to take away your waste and ensure you leave the site clean and tidy for the next lot of campers. While driving, have a look for the sign above. You will find many dump stations all over New Zealand, all signposted. Find out where you can dump your waste on the Campermate App.

T&C

© Next Campers LTD 2019

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