Camping in New Zealand
Camping in New Zealand is a tradition that dates back to the early years of European settlement. 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 in New Zealand spot. And it’s not hard to see why. Within an hour's drive of most places where Kiwis live are camping in New Zealand sites nestled in idyllic locations - on the shore of a white sandy beach, the edge of a lake or rainforest or close by geothermal hot pools. New Zealand is the ultimate camping destination.
Experience Camping in New Zealand by Motorhome
Holidaying in a motorhome is the best way to experience the great camping in New Zealand phenomenon. You're in control of the wheel so you’ve got choices. You can either follow a detailed itinerary mapped out before leaving home or be spontaneous. For all but the two weeks after Christmas and holiday weekends over summer, campground reservations are not usually required for camping in New Zealand.
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 fellow travellers. In some regions, you can wild camp in places where wild camping is permitted. 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.
You have four main options when it comes to camping in New Zealand: Commercial campgrounds or motorhome parks, Department of Conservation (DOC) and Regional Park campsites, and wild camping. These vary in location, amenities, and density of campers. Once you have read about what each offers you'll have a better idea about your personal preferences. Most Wilderness adventurers opt for a mix of camping styles spending a couple of nights in a remote site (either at a DOC campsite or wild camping) then head back to civilization to top up the batteries and provisions.
All types of camping in New Zealand have their merits and either way you'll be among Kiwis and their friends. Because all Wilderness campervans and motorhomes are certified self-contained (a requirement for wild camping in many regions), all options are possible – you decide. Our vehicles meet the ablutionary and sanitary needs of the occupants for at least three days, are equipped with water storage tanks for drinking and cooking and have waste water holding tanks.
Wherever you choose to camp, you can be sure of two things - your chosen spot will be beautiful and your Wilderness motorhome will have no trouble getting you there.
Finding the Best Spot for Camping in New Zealand
You can view all camping options from online on our Wilderness map. This is the most extensive and up-to-date reference of camping in New Zealand containing commercial, conservation, and free sites plus dump stations. If you have a Apple device, you can also purchase this map by downloading the 'Official NZ Camping' ap. What makes the app special is it integrates a downloadable map and GPS support. You can view all campgrounds even when you don’t have mobile phone coverage which is a big plus as many of NZ's best camping locations are outside mobile coverage. You'll also save on expensive mobile data rates.
Once you’ve purchased the app, we recommend you download the offline maps while at home when you’re on a stable WiFi network. The offline maps are a 750MB file but are worth their weight in gold.
If you have a access to the internet on tour, we recommend the Rankers Camping Map. If you have a smart phone, be sure to download the GPS-based app for iPhones and android phones.
If you prefer the traditional map book, you’ll find a great camping in New Zealand atlas in your Wilderness campervan which has detailed maps covering the whole country. It also contains over 1100 motorhome parks and campsites plus dump stations so it will be an invaluable resource while you’re on the road.