At orange, our offices are open for those who need to visit us in person. We also have a wide range of services available online or via the phone – using these will help reduce the risk and keep each other safe. Check out our COVID-19 response page for more details.

Freedom Camping FAQs

  • The zone signage informs campers where it is OK and NOT OK to camp in the Queenstown Lakes District – ONLY in Certified Self-Contained vehicles.  Areas where there is no camping allowed are monitored by infringement officers and fines of $200 are given out to vehicles that are not compliant.

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  • Responsible camping is an umbrella term for all types of camping which educates campers to camp responsibly by:

    • Ensuring your vehicle is certified self-contained

    • Always using the provided toilets (or your own)

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

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

    • Disposing of your rubbish and recycling in the bins provided or at the transfer stations

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

    • Freedom Camping is a type of camping – which is restricted in certain areas under the QLDC Freedom Camping Bylaw, ensuring residential areas are free from Freedom Camping and our environment is protected

    All of these refer back to the Tiaki Promise – an initiative referring to campers promising to be responsible in and for New Zealand.

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  • Check out the Responsible Camping Map on the QLDC website (under Responsible Camping) for areas that permit freedom camping.

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  • Our Responsible Camping map details areas in RED where Freedom Camping is prohibited.

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  • Check out Campermate and go to one of the many camping grounds in the area.

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  • No, a Certified Self-Contained vehicle will display a current warrant card on the front left bottom windscreen, which will include the lawful number allowed to sleep in the vehicle.

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  • Infringement Officers roam our district specifically targeting non-compliant vehicles; you’re at risk of getting a fine and also a wheel clamp in certain areas.

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  • Any of the below will result in a $200 infringement being issued:      

    • Freedom camped in an area that prohibits freedom camping
    • Freedom camping in a non-self-contained vehicle
    • Freedom camped in the same area for more than two consecutive nights
    • Freedom camped in breach of consent conditions
    • Freedom camper failed to leave site clean and tidy
    • Freedom camper lit fire at camping site

     

    We also have 4 designated areas we see as needing extra protection from the effects of freedom camping. In these locations, a wheel clamp is placed on vehicles which will result in an additional $200 release fee on top of the infringement for freedom camping in a prohibited area. These locations are:

    • Lake Hayes Reserve
    • Wānaka lakefront
    • Shotover Delta
    • Boundary Street carpark
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  • Pay your fine to release the clamp by following the directions on the ticket.

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  • Please call QLDC to report the issue on 03 441 0499 – we provide 24/7 assistance.

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General FAQs

  • You can find available campgrounds on the Campermate website or app, our Responsible Camping page and on the Tourism NZ website.

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  • Campermate is a great source of locating services such as toilets and showers. If your vehicle is Certified Self-Contained, you should have your own toilet on board!

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  • Campermate is a great source of locating services such as rubbish and recycling centres.

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  • Campermate is a great source of locating services such as laundromats.  If you stay in a registered camping ground, most of these will have their services on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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  • Campermate is a great source of locating services such as dump stations.  There are public dump stations in Queenstown and Wānaka.

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  • Campermate is a great source of locating services such as dump stations.  There are public dump stations in Queenstown and Wānaka.

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  • Campermate is a great source of locating services such as rubbish and recycling centres. Both Queenstown and Wānaka have transfer stations which have rubbish and recycling areas.  Dumping of rubbish causing overflowing in town centre bins is not being a responsible camper.

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  • Campermate is a great source of locating services such as toilets, laundry, shower, rubbish removal, camping sites and more!

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Background FAQs

  • No, we can’t ban all Freedom Camping, and this is due to government legislation. Each Council adopts different bylaws to combat it as best they feel appropriate in their district. Through projects like this, we also needs to educate campers how to be responsible – they often want to do the right thing but generally don’t know how.

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  • QLDC has Enforcement Officers who monitor locations and ensure freedom camping isn't undertaken in prohibited areas. If you spot someone camping where they shouldn't be, please call QLDC to report the issue on 03 441 0499.

    We provide 24/7 assistance.

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  • We’re not. Australia also allows freedom camping, with similar rules and regulations.

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  • New Zealand government legislation allows Certified Self-Contained campers to ‘freedom camp’, however each district in New Zealand has its own set of bylaws around freedom camping.

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  • Councils around New Zealand have their own bylaws (or not) to cope with camping, according to how they feel best addresses Freedom Camping in their district.

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