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Know the rules before camping in public places

This page contains information about the new Camping in Public Places that came into place on Saturday 21 October 2017.
Updated: 25/10/2017 12:00 a.m.

This summer Whangarei district’s rules about camping on public land are much clearer than ever before and people who break the rules can be penalised. 

The new Camping in Public Places Bylaw came into place last weekend - just in time for the beginning of the summer holiday season, when people are likely to start heading north, camping and tenting along the way. 

Council Strategic Planner Coordinator Shireen Munday said a public outcry about irresponsible campers fouling the environment and squeezing others out of public spaces in recent years had been frustrating Council, campers and residents. 

“With the sudden increase in numbers of freedom campers in New Zealand, many councils, including ours, had bylaws that were not keeping pace with the effects of this new kind of tourism. 

“The Traffic and Parking Bylaw and the Public Places Bylaw both controlled some aspects of camping in public places. But in some ways the two bylaws conflicted and there were gaps that neither covered.” 

Following a public consultation process, Council made the new Camping in Public Places Bylaw on 28 September. Since then signs have gone up at relevant sites making it clear what is not acceptable in our district and what the penalties are for breaking the rules. 

“In short, the new bylaw is more restrictive than the other two were. 

"In the past, non self-contained vehicles could park anywhere for up to three days. Camping is now prohibited at 38 sites in the district, camping in non self-contained vehicles is restricted to 18 sites across the district and tents are allowed in only six of those sites - all of which are close to public toilets. 

“The number of nights in a row people can stay at the sites is now limited to one or three days. In the past there was no limit on how long self-contained vehicles were allowed to park up on any site, which caused significant access issues. 

“People who break the rules can now be given $200 tickets by enforcement officers." 

Ms Munday said visitor camping was evolving, so the new rules provide a consistent and enforceable platform for enforcement actions. 

“We can continue to tweak things to meet changing needs, but this is a very good foundation for the future,” she said. 

Read more about where you can stay in the Whangarei District and also view our interactive map on our Camping in Public Places page.

Areas with designated sites for self-contained vehicles

Maximum 3 Night Stay

  • Finlayson Street/Reyburn House Lane carpark

Maximum 1 Night Stay

  • Onerahi - Beach Road Reserve
  • Ruakaka Beach Reserve
  • Whangarei Falls Scenic Reserve

Areas with designated sites for non self-contained vehicles

Maximum 3 Night Stay

  • Bascule carpark – Port Road

Maximum 1 Night Stay

  • AH Reed Memorial Park – Whareora Road carpark
  • Kowharewa Bay
  • Manaia walkway carpark
  • Marsden Bay Reserve
  • Matapouri - Wehiwehi Road carpark
  • Ngunguru Library
  • Ocean Beach carpark
  • One Tree Point - boatramp carpark
  • Parua Bay
  • Reotahi
  • Sandy Bay - toilet block carpark/grass area
  • Tamaterau
  • Tarewa I-Site
  • Waipu Caves
  • Wellingtons Bay – main reserve (Whangaumu Reserve)
  • Whananaki North
  • Woolleys Bay - western carpark

Areas with designated sites for all camping

Maximum 1 Night Stay

  • ​Parua Bay
  • Sandy Bay - toilet block carpark/grass area
  • Tamaterau
  • Waipu Caves
  • Whananaki North
  • Woolleys Bay - western carpark



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