This page tells you about camping in public places on Council land.
23/06/2020 12:00 a.m.
Freedom Camping Survey
The survey closed on Monday 22 June 2020.
Thank you to everyone who completed our survey.
Freedom Campers: Introduction
Freedom Camping can be a popular way to stay in the Whangarei District, especially in summer time. Because of the high demand for freedom camping spots in Whangarei (especially in summer) we have rules and guidelines for campers to follow.
The rules and camping locations are different for people staying in tents, vehicles, or certified Self-Contained vehicles.
Our top 5 tips for all campers:
Keep your campsite clean and tidy - leave no sign of your stay when you leave.
Dispose of waste correctly – use a transfer station or dump station.
Care for the environment, wildlife and public facilities such as toilets, signs and fences.
Confirm that you are allowed to camp in your spot – from the maps below, a sign at the site, a freedom camping ambassador, or an iSite.
Consider other people nearby – share the space, keep noise to a minimum.
Freedom Campers must take all rubbish with them when they leave.
Where can you stay in Whangarei District?
Our Camping in Public Places Bylaw regulates camping in Council controlled public places in our District.
It does not regulate camping on Department of Conservation land or other privately owned public spaces (e.g supermarket carparks).
Please read the information on this page carefully. You can be fined $200 if you do not comply with the rules.
This page provides you with an overview of the rules for different types of camping and pdf maps of the prohibited areas and areas with designated sites, as well as a link to an interactive map with the same information.
Camping in a self-contained vehicle
If you are certified self-contained (which means you have an approved wastewater system and holding tank) and you have a certificate and a warrant to prove it, you can camp in many places in our District.
There are four sites that have a restricted area where you can camp (see Schedule 2 below).
At three of these sites you can only stay overnight for one night. You can also stay in the areas for non self-contained camping, but you must comply with all site restrictions.
You can stay for a maximum of three nights in any other WDC public place, except for the prohibited areas.
Once you have reached the limit of your stay, you must move at least one kilometre away for your next stay and not return for at least four weeks.
Your self-containment certificate allows you to stay ‘off the beaten track’, and we encourage this.
Please empty your holding tanks at one of the dumpstations available. Follow the link below to see where these are located in our District.
Public toilets and dumpstations
Camping in a non self-contained vehicle
If you camping in a vehicle or a caravan that is not self-contained, there are 18 areas you can stay, but you must park within the designated site (see Schedule 3 below).
The maximum stay is one night, except for the Bascule carpark, where you can stay for up to three nights.
Camping in a tent
There are six areas you can camp in a tent on public land (see Schedule 4 below). You can stay for one night only.
Maps showing where you can camp
The schedules below show locations as pdf maps.
Alternatively, you can click on the link to the interactive map. This will take you to a new page and you can zoom in and out to view all of the prohibitions and restrictions in the District.
Camping in Public Places interactive map
PDF maps of all prohibited areas and areas with designated sites
There is a difference between freedom camping and resting on the roadside if you are tired.
If you are too tired to keep driving, then please find a safe place to pull off the road and rest before moving on.
Public and commercial campgrounds
For information on campgrounds in our District, please visit our whangareinz website.
For information on Department of Conservation (DOC) campgrounds please click on the link below.
You can also obtain a weekly campsite pass from DOC, where you can save up to 50% on many of DOC's campsites.
If you are an NZMCA member you can get a special DOC/NZMCA campsite pass. Follow the links below for more information.
Department of Conservation
DOC weekly campsite pass
DOC/NZMCA campsite pass
If in doubt, please ask! You can find out more at:
Camping in Public Places Bylaw
To read the full Camping in Public Places Bylaw, please follow the link below:
Camping in Public Places Bylaw