New Zealand has some of the most diverse, picturesque landscapes that any traveler would be happy to experience. It is truly a dream destination if you’re curious to see massive fjords, cryst…
New Zealand has some of the most diverse, picturesque landscapes that any traveler would be happy to experience. It is truly a dream destination if you’re curious to see massive fjords, crystal blue waters, or even experience unique food flavors.
One of the most intense trips you could ever commit yourself to is a camping trip. But, doing all this can be expensive. If you’re looking for a way to cut down on expenses, your safest bet is hiring a campervan and visiting freedom camping sites.
The best thing about traveling in a campervan is that you don’t have to pack much, and you can go anywhere your heart desires. Once you hire a campervan in New Zealand, you can be sure that your trip will be magical, unforgettable, and out of this world.
If you’re ready to pound the pavement, we’ll take a short tour to some of the best Freedom camping places that NZ has to offer. Enjoy!
1. Ananzac Bay, Bowentown
If you’re looking for a spot to freedom camp in North Island, NZ, Anzac Bay is the best place to start. It is one of those areas that you stumble upon and wish you never have to leave. The spot is privy to white sandy beaches and rugged trails perfect for an early morning hike.
What’s more, whether you’d like to swim or fish, numerous spots in Anzac Bay will allow you to do this and relax. One unique thing about Anzac bay is that it is ideal for picnicking and BBQs, too, so your whole family can enjoy the experience.
2. Rotokare Scenic Reserve, Taranaki.
The Rotokare Scenic Reserve found in the North Island is home to rare birds and beautiful wildlife. If you’re lucky, you will get to see some kiwis too. This site isn’t well-known, so if you’d rather stay away from the crowd, this is the perfect spot for you.
You can enjoy the different landscapes such as the swamp forest, the wetlands, bush, and a glistening lake. Volunteers run this peaceful reserve, and if you’d like to join them, sign up for a Sunday filled with maintenance and security-related tasks – you will get a free lunch. If you’d like to enjoy the amenities this reserve offers, ensure your campervan is self-contained.
3. Reotahi Marine Reserve, North Island
Reotahi Marine Reserve is secluded at the foot of Mt. Aubrey. You can only park here if you have a self-contained campervan. If you meet the requirements, you’re welcome to park at Reotahi for up to 5 nights and enjoy the numerous activities offered.
Some of the activities you will enjoy here include snorkeling, boating, fishing, and climbing to the top of Mt Manaia.
4. Port Ohope Boat Ramp, Bay of Plenty, North Island
Port Ohope Boat Ramp is a hidden gem in the Bay of Plenty. There are five fantastic free camping spots where you can enjoy fishing and swimming. The campgrounds have two public bathrooms, and you can stay for two nights. If you’d like to visit the neighboring area, there are cafes dotted around the Ohiwa Harbour.
5. The Pines, Mount Cook, South Island
While some of the best freedom camping sites are in the North Island, the South Island is home to some impressive ones. Since many people visit Mount Cook for its spectacular views, The Pines is a popular campsite.
You can access Aoraki Mount Cook National Park from here. Pets are allowed here, and the activities you can enjoy are swimming, the picturesque views of the lake and Mount Cook, mountain biking, or hiking.
6. Ohingaroa Bay Reserve, Marlborough
Also found on South Island, the Ohingoroa Bay Reserve is a popular camping spot that only allows self-contained campervans. Since the site is next to the road, there’s enough access for large vehicles. If your main aim of freedom camping is to relax, you will enjoy the relaxing nature of this camping site.
Here, you will enjoy the sunset view as it hits the calm water and the backdrop provided by mountains. Once the sun goes down, your eyes will feast on the sparkling show in the sky as the stars come out to play.
7. Queenstown-Glenorchy Road
Queenstown is one of the most awe-inspiring freedom camping sites you will visit. Even though the area isn’t so big, we promise you’ll love it! Here, you will enjoy stunning lake views, swim to your heart’s content, or go paddle-boarding if you wish.
If you’re an adrenaline junky, you can head to Kawarau Bungy Bridge and leap off. If you’re travelling with your family, the picnic tables around the site will make this the perfect camping location.
There are many freedom camping sites around New Zealand. All you have to do to visit the best ones is ask for help from the locals, your campervan rental company, or download the Campermate app, and you are good to go.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Travel Guest Writer about New Zealand and it’s Campervan environment.
© 2020 – Simon Andas and Luis Domenech