A First-Timer's Guide To Freedom Camping With NZ Camper Van Rentals

A First-Timer's Guide To Freedom Camping With NZ Camper Van Rentals

Taking a break from the daily chaos by spending time in nature is a wonderful way to unwind and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. An excellent way to spend time in nature is by freedom camping.

Freedom camping is the idea that you’re allowed to camp anywhere in nature. And because New Zealand is a vast expanse of land covered by trees and natural parks, there are a lot of spots that can serve as a campsite. It's a great way to do a lot of site-seeing. Freedom camping is in a tent or camper van with little or no access to amenities like a toilet and water supply.

With the increase in tourism and the inflow of foreigners into the country, more rules have been implemented to protect people who want to engage in free camping. Certain areas are designated for freedom camping NZ. Here are some things to consider before going camping:

1. You Need A Custom Vehicle

Your camper van must be up to code, and there are specific requirements for a camper to qualify for certification. This camper would be referred to as a self-contained unit. A self-contained vehicle is one you can live in for at least three days without access to water, a toilet, or a way to discharge your waste. This is a type of vehicle that you can live in and facilitate your needs without destroying the environment. The camper van needs to have a water storage unit and toilet facilities. It must also have a bed, sink, and garbage disposal.

Your vehicle must be up to standard, as you’ll be fined or face prison if caught with code violations. Experts would be required to inspect the car to determine if it has met all the requirements. A certified vehicle would have a sticker on it.

If you’d not go through the process of getting a certified vehicle, you can rent one from camper van rentals. These businesses help you procure an accredited vehicle for a fee and help reduce the cost and stress of getting certified. It's safe to assume that their car would be up to code, preventing you from getting into any issues with the law.

2. Camping In Designated Areas

Depending on the city or county, specific areas allow free camping. You can confirm what locations are marked out for camping on the government website or at the county sites. These areas are designed to protect the city's occupants and the campers. Responding to a possible distress call is easier if emergency services know where exactly to find you.

It’s essential to confirm your location before camping, as environmental laws cover some lands and you can be charged with trespassing if caught in such places. It’s also important to note that each campsite has its own rules and regulations, so it's vital to check out the rules for each site to avoid being banned from returning.

There are also hefty fines that come with breaking any law. Moreover, many parks, lakes, and public lands to camp on aren't close to residential areas. Having a list of activities to engage in also adds to the experience and excitement. These activities give you various things to do during the camping period.

3. What To Bring Along

Most camping sites have no amenities. It's vital to pick the right vehicle, as this will serve as your source. It's essential to have a heat source like a solar heater. Also, you should know what you can and can’t do on a campsite, including dumping garbage or doing anything damaging the environment like starting a fire.

It's important to have drinking water as the water on the campsites may not be suitable for consumption. Pack snacks and easy-to-make food. You can download apps from verified camping sites in New Zealand to find toilets and waste disposal sites.

A First-Timer's Guide To Freedom Camping With NZ Camper Van Rentals


Camping is a fun way to spend time in nature. Freedom camping lets you decide what pace you want to drive and what areas you’d explore. It's a great way to unwind and detach from the hustle of life. It's a fun way to go on a vacation within a budget.

It's important to note that you’re expected to be responsible when camping and not do any damage that’d affect the environment. It's essential to have a standard, self-contained vehicle, as this would greatly influence the overall experience you would have when camping. Freedom camping is a good idea to include on a family holiday or a bucket list.


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