Freedom camping basically means parking and setting up your campervan in areas not designated for campervans. Freedom camping can be a great way to travel cheap and get off the beaten track; however, many areas in New Zealand don’t allow freedom camping, and even in areas which do allow it, the locals are not always supportive. Here is some information about freedom camping for when you rent a, and some of its alternatives.
Is Freedom Camping Illegal?
Most freedom campers park their motorhomes by picnic areas and laybuys, generally local laws prohibit freedom camping in these areas. However, there are some regions in New Zealand where these laws don’t exist, and technically you could park there overnight without any legal consequences.
The Problem With Freedom Camping
Freedom campers have a reputation amongst Kiwis for being not-so-concerned about the environmental conservation of the land. There’s good reason for this too, as freedom campers often litter relentlessly, improperly dispose of human waste, and empty grey water away from dump stations. Even if you yourself are environmentally conscious, you may be setting an example for other tourists who are not. For these reasons, try your best to find alternatives to freedom camping such as these…
What You can do Instead
Instead of freedom camping, try visiting one of thousands of parks and campgrounds around New Zealand. These motorhome friendly parks and campgrounds are much cheaper and offer the same flexibility as freedom camping does. These motorhome parks and campgrounds are great for finding beautiful places to stay, without testing the law or annoying the locals, and they offer better safety and security, access to clean water, washing facilities and BBQ and fire pits. And best of all, you can find them all throughout New Zealand, meaning that wherever you are in your travels, you’ll never be far from a place where you can call it a night.
To many people, freedom camping represents what motorhoming is all about, namely, freedom. However, staying at designated parks and campgrounds is no less free, and better for the environment as well.