Responsible Camping in the Queenstown Lakes District


Responsible camping is all about caring for our spectacular environment as much as we do.

Responsible campers leave no trace and help keep our communities and natural environment free from pollution and waste!

The Queenstown Lakes District allows responsible camping in certified self-contained vehicles only.

Camp responsibly in the Queenstown Lakes

    • Ensure your vehicle is certified self-contained

    • Always use the provided toilets (or your own)

    • Use a designated wastewater dump station for your sewage sink water

    • Use your own facilities for bathing, washing, and toileting to keep our environment clean and pollution free

    • Dispose of your rubbish at transfer stations in Frankton and Wānaka and recycle mixed plastics and glass with care

    • Always park in the areas specifically designated for your type of vehicles

  • A self-contained vehicle must meet the Caravan Self Containment standard. You’ll need to be able to live in the vehicle for three days without getting more water or dumping waste. It must have:

    • A toilet

    • Fresh water storage

    • Waste water storage

    • A rubbish bin with a lid

    • A self-containment certificate warrant card displayed at all times

    For more information on how to be self-contained, head to:

    Freedom Camping - New Zealand Government

  • Large campervans are prohibited from parking in Queenstown’s town centre but 33 parking spaces are available specifically for campervans in the
    Boundary Street Carpark nearby.

    Large campervans are prohibited from parking in Queenstown CBD and could face an infringement of $40-$60 if parked incorrectly.

    Smaller campervans such as Jucy or Wicked Campervans are permitted to park in the CBD as they are of similar size to an ordinary car.

    Five spaces are available at the Mt Aspiring Road Carpark in Wānaka with plenty more in the parking lot near That Wanaka Tree and the Wānaka Watersports Facility.

    Eight spaces are available at the Ramshaw LaneCarpark in Arrowtown

    • BP Service Station, Frankton Road, State Highway 6, Frankton
    • NPD Service Station, corner of State Highway 6 and Hawthorne Drive, Frankton
    • Lakeview Holiday Park, 6 Cemetery Road, Central Queenstown
    • Wānaka Showgrounds, corner of Brownston and McDougall Street, Wānaka
  • Check out this Adventue Smart video to see how you can stay safe as you undertake your own journey through Aotearoa.



There are many places you can camp, ranging from fully serviced holiday parks to DOC (Department of Conservation) campsites.

Visit or download the free app for full details.









Download the CamperMate App

We've teamed up with CamperMate to ensure all information on the map is correct and up to date for visitors! Download their free app on iOS or Android to find dedicated responsible camping sites and service hubs online.

Help minimise waste while camping

Whether you’re seeing our beautiful mountains and lakes for the first time or after decades of living here, they take your breath away. Our community shares the responsibility of being guardians of this stunning landscape, and we hope that you will make the most of our wild playground and care for it as we do by leaving no trace.

“Zero waste, it’s just what we do here.”

Putting recycling and rubbish in the right bin is helpful, but we want to change the game. Our Vision Beyond 2050 aspires to eliminate waste in the Queenstown Lakes.

So if you’re out and about in your campervan or you’ve got a tent ready and waiting in the boot of your car, get the thumbs-up from the locals by supporting our zero waste options while you’re here:

  • Tap water is free, healthy and delicious – and will help reduce single use plastic waste. The RefillNZ website map or app makes it easy to find locations where you can refill your reusable water bottle for FREE. 

  • Getting a delicious coffee? Sit in, bring your own reusable cup or use a deposit/return system in participating cafes. Local loan cup examples include Wanakup and Chunky.

  • The Wānaka bag makes a great souvenir and all profits support reduction of single-use plastics. For stockists see

  • Wastebusters was voted “top clothing shop” in Wānaka’s Local’s Choice Awards. Salvation Army and Hospice have shops in both Queenstown and Wānaka.

  • Local tips are available in the waste-free shopping guide at or

  • You'll find a list of local repairers and upcoming repair events at  

  • Some campgrounds have separate food scrap bins or you can drop yours to a local composter using the Sharewaste. Sharewaste connects people who wish to recycle their food scraps and other organics with their neighbours who are already composting, worm-farming, or keep farm animals.

  • Put only the right things in the bin so recycling can meet quality standards. Recycling is available at campgrounds, in public recycling bins near the lakefront, at the Wakatipu Recycling Centre in Queenstown and at Wastebusters in Wānaka (a small fee applies). For more information on what can be recycled within our district please visit: How we recycle in the Queenstown Lakes District.