Responsible Camping - QLDC


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

Covid-19 updates Certified Self-Contained Vehicles Campground Locations Campermate Responsible Camping Tips Campervan Parking Dump Stations

COVID-19 Updates

Responsible campers can stay at open freedom camping sites, holiday parks and commercial camping grounds, and Department of Conservation camping grounds, providing they appropriately manage their health and safety, and that of the local residents within the community.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19, are COVID-19 symptomatic or are waiting on a COVID-19 test must self-isolate at their ordinary place of residence – and are not able to stay at responsible camping sites.

  • This includes physical distancing of two metres from people you don’t know, with one metre physical distancing in controlled environments like workplaces, unless other measures are in place.

    Campers must also travel and stay in groups of 10 people or less.

    Campers also need to take responsibility for their health and hygiene when using shared facilities. This means ensuring you have cleaning and hygiene products with you, along with minimising contact with people you don’t know. 

    People who are at risk of experiencing more severe illness should they contract COVID-19 (such as those with underlying medical conditions and seniors) are encouraged to take additional precautions if choosing to stay at a responsible camping site.

    Further information on social distancing practice can be found at and

  • People are able to travel outside of their region to a responsible camping site if they:

    • Are not COVID-19-positive, symptomatic or awaiting COVID-19 test results
    • Undertake it in a safe way (such as abiding by social distancing guidelines)
    • Keep a record of where they go, when they go there and who they spend time with
    • Have not arrived in New Zealand from overseas in the past 14 days
    • Have not individually received (from a Medical Officer of Health) a direction under
      s 70(1)(f) of the Health Act 1956.

    This travel includes travel by domestic air services, ferries, trains and public transport.

    Further information, including information on the current restriction by transport, can be found at and

  • Where possible responsible camping grounds should keep records of customers to enable contact tracing. Campers should be prepared to provide personal information (such as a contact phone number), when requested by a campground owner.

  • Each individual council is able to determine whether they should open their camping sites, in line with their obligations to manage visitors’ health and safety, and the health and safety of their staff. As part of opening, councils may also provide signage about safe practices on site and appropriate use of facilities that campers should comply with.

    People looking to camp should plan ahead and check Councils’ websites, or contact their local council or i-SITE, to ensure that a campsite is open and has capacity to take them.

  • Information on what holiday parks and commercial camping grounds are open can be found at

    Information on what DOC campgrounds are open can be found at People staying at these sites are still expected to take responsibility for their health and the health of others, and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Further information on staying at a DOC campground is available at  

  • As some camping site facilities may be closed at Alert Level 1 and 2, people may wish to consider where and how they travel. For example, those people who are not travelling in certified self-contained vehicles (to NZS 5465:2001) and who wish to camp, may need to stay at a commercial camping ground, holiday park or Department of Conservation campground.

    Responsible campers are still responsible for any waste they generate – and any instances of illegal waste disposal may result in a fine.

    Campers can dispose of any waste generated during their stay at a local council dumping station, which may open at Alert Level 2, or when they return at their ordinary place of residence. Campers should check in advance as to whether a dumping station is open, as some dumping stations may not be open at Alert Level 2.

  • People who are unwell should defer their travel until they are well again, in order to protect theirs and others’ health and safety. Those who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms and have not yet been tested for COVID-19 should stay home and may wish to ring Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for further advice.

  • In the event of this occurring, people should cut their trip short and check the Government COVID-19 website ( for further information as to their responsibilities

    People should consider how they can return home quickly to self-isolate when planning any form of holiday.

  • 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

    These are vehicles that have been certified to NZS 5465:2001 by an issuing authority (such as the New Zealand Motor Camping Association, or a registered plumber).

    The requirements of a fully self-contained vehicle can be found at 


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. Service Hubs in Frankton and Wānaka are open for those with a certified self-contained vehicle from mid November 2019 through to March 2020.

What is certified self-contained?

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 MUST be displayed at all times.

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

Freedom Camping - New Zealand Government

Where can I camp?

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.

Tips on how to be a Responsible Camper

  • 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 and recycling in the bins provided or at the transfer stations
  • Always park in the areas specifically designated for your type of vehicles

Campervan Parking

For your convenience, there are 33 dedicated car parks for large campervans in the Boundary Street Carpark, Queenstown. These are for large campervans, generally described as motorhomes, which often struggle to fit into a normal car park.

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.

Keep an eye out for the Responsible Camping Ambassadors this summer, located at the Responsible Service Hubs and Campsites. They are there to help you!

Dump Station Locations

  • BP Service Station, Frankton Road, State Highway 6, Queenstown
  • Lakeview Holiday Park, 6 Cemetery Road, Central Queenstown
  • Arrowtown – Corner of Wiltshire Street and Ramshaw Lane
  • Wānaka Showgrounds, corner of Brownston and McDougall Street, Wānaka

Stay up-to-date

Sign up to our newsletter Scuttlebutt and stay up-to-date with the latest news, events and information in the Queenstown Lakes District.