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Freedom camping

Freedom camping is when you camp on public land that isn’t a recognised camping ground or holiday park. Make sure you plan your journey and respect the area you camp in.

Camping on council land

Every district and council has different bylaws. Some will not let you freedom camp within 1 kilometre of the town, or will only let you stay in a carpark for 1 night.

Council rules are also different from the rules you have to follow on DOC land. Find out what rules you need to follow by contacting the local council.

Council maps and websites

Camping on DOC land

Freedom camping on DOC land is generally allowed, with some exceptions. There are some places on DOC land where you cannot camp because the site has a special value, for example, it’s a Māori burial site (urupā) or a protected plant or animal is there. You cannot camp at DOC reserves unless signs allow it.

Freedom camping — DOC website

DOC visitor centres

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