We welcome responsible campers who are prepared to look after our environment and follow some simple rules.
Where can I freedom camp?
Is your campervan self-contained?
If your campervan is fully self contained (with a toilet, waste water and rubbish facilities on-board) then you may camp overnight for free on most land administered by Council away from the town centres and residential areas. There is some public land including DoC reserves which are excluded. Observe all no camping signs. Please check the maps for clarification.
In return you must:
- Be away from the town centres and residential areas within the district.
- Dispose of your waste water at one of the waste disposal dump stations and dump your rubbish at the Council transfer stations or dump stations.
- Not light any fire.
- Leave the area as you found it, free of litter.
- Stay a maximum of two nights
Freedom camping in the No Freedom Camping Zones is not permitted and is likely to result in an infringement notice for which a fine of $200 is payable.
If your campervan in not self-contained:
If you do not have a fully self contained campervan then you cannot freedom camp anywhere in the Queenstown Lakes District and must stay in a camping ground if you wish to camp. Freedom camping without a self-contained campervan will result in a $200 instant fine.
Large campervans are prohibited from parking the Queenstown CBD and could face an infringement fee of $40-$60 if parked incorrectly.
33 dedicated parks for large campervans are now available at the Boundary Street Carpark. These are for large campervans, generally defined as motorhomes, which generally struggle to fit into a normal park, not smaller juicy or wicked type van campers.
Camping Grounds and Conservation Campsites
There are many camping grounds within the Queenstown Lakes District including low cost camps with toilets and running water through to holiday parks with hot showers and cooking facilities. It is best to book these over the popular holiday periods.
- Department of Conservation Website - Info on conservation campsites around the Queenstown Lakes District
- Wanaka Showgrounds, corner of Brownston and Mcdougall Street
- Arrowtown - Corner of Wiltshire Street and Ramshaw Lane
- Lakeview Holiday Park, 6 Cemetery Road, Queenstown
- BP Service Station, Frankton Road, State Highway 6
- Dump Stations throughout New Zealand outside Queenstown Lakes District
Freedom Camping Bylaw
The new Freedom Camping Bylaw became active on 19 December 2012.
- View the new bylaw here
- Freedom Camping in the Queenstown Lakes District - Recommendation for Adoption: December 2010 (PDF, 2.2MB)