Best Camping Spots in New Zealand

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Posted on 17th March 2019


Many decades back there was a television commercial with the jingle “Don’t leave home until you see the country”. Never a truer word was spoken when exploring beautiful New Zealand.  It’s no wonder blockbuster movies such as Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed in New Zealand with breathtaking beaches in the North and dramatic mountains in the South. 


New Zealand enjoys comfortable camping temperatures from the beginning of Spring (September) through to the end of Autumn or Fall (May).   This country is riddled with paid camping grounds and free or low-cost camping spots.  So, whether you are new to these shores or a local discovering their own land, here are our top tips to ensure a pleasurable stay.


Paid Camping

Top Ten Holiday Parks are camping grounds offering a great family holiday. Typically equipped with pools, playgrounds, barbeque areas, free WIFI, recreation rooms and laundries are scattered throughout New Zealand.  They offer lots of different accommodation options as well.


For a list of all the camping grounds in New Zealand see Holiday Parks New Zealand.  Whether you are a backpacker, a couple or a family on holiday, simply search by region. 


Free Camping

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has over 250 vehicle accessible campsites on public land. Campervans can take advantage of most, but there are a few with narrow or steep roads which campervans should avoid.  We recommend downloading these DOC brochures for more information about the areas you plan to visit.


Free camping spots are there to be enjoyed for generations to come, so being a considerate camper is imperative. Following these simple rules reduces disease, pollution and a safe environment for native trees and animals.

  1. Do take all your rubbish with you or use the bins provided. 
  2. Use the recycling facilities available so we can New Zealand green.
  3. Always use your campervan toilet or a public toilet. 


Coromandel and the Bay of Islands

If you’re looking for idyllic beaches, these two places in the North Island cannot be beat.  Each area is scattered with pretty, small towns on the edge of amazing beaches, so a swim and a supermarket are never far away.  Camping at it’s prettiest and most convenient.


Wine and Mountains

It’s easy to find award-winning wines in Marlborough, the Hawkes Bay region and Martinborough.  Beautiful valleys, warm wine-growing weather and fresh produce on the roadside make for a memorable drive. 


Get the App

How did we ever get around without apps?  The Official New Zealand Camping App provides independent reviews, up-to-date information and offline maps so you’re not dependent on the internet if you’re off the beaten track. 


For more information and competitive quotes for shipping campervans and caravans between countries, Cars2NZ have 25+ years of experience to draw from.

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