New Zealand very much lends itself to campervan or motor home touring and it has become extremely popular with locals as a holiday mode.Tourists with families in particular, also find this a very convenient means of touring the country.The camping facilities are usually excellent, and readily available.
With a choice of free camping or staying in camping grounds and holiday parks you should never have a problem finding somewhere to stop for the night.
Free Camping in New Zealand
While you may free camp in many locations, it will sometimes be necessary and more desirable to stay in a camping ground, especially in cities or larger towns. You need to check at the local Tourist Information Offices to find out what the regulations are for free camping in their areas as it varies. Sometimes there is a very small charge – about $ 5.Check for the red, black and white camping signs.
There is also a relatively new Native Parks Organization where for a fee of $ 70 you get to stay in up to 50 camping spots on private property. You need to be driving a wholly self contained rental campervan or motorhome to take part in this scheme. This is a great way to meet the locals.
New Zealand Camping Grounds
Being a nation of campers there is plenty of choice when it comes to finding a camping ground. You do need to be aware that over the peak summer period (December-January) the camping grounds will be busy and you need to arrive earlier in the afternoon if possible to ensure you get a site.
New Zealand camping grounds range from basic with just cold showers and toilet facilities to Holiday Parks with
- camp kitchens
- excellent bathroom facilities – hot showers, toilets etc
- Laundries with washing machines, clothes dryers etc
- Swimming pools
- Childrens play areas
- Mini golf
- Tennis courts
- Entertainment rooms with indoor activities
and more …
If your camp is not beachside it could be by a beautiful lake, or featuring thermal pools. I can not think of a camping ground I have stayed in that does not have something to delight the family.
Facilities at New Zealand Camping Grounds
- DOC (Department of Conservation) Camps are found in many beautiful, invariably beachside locations. These are very cheap. Therefore you will have very basic facilities. You get what you pay for, but they are often right on stunning beaches so some of the best locations in the country.
- Council Camping Grounds. usually have good facilities, with campers kitchens, hot showers, and bathroom and laundry facilities.
- Privately owned Camping Grounds. These range from basic to excellent. Most are very good. You should have a kitchen, hot showers and toilets.
- Camervan Only Camping Grounds There are a few campervan and motor home only camping grounds often located on private property. They are usually just a nice place to stay with no extra facilities.Your motorhome must be totally self contained to be suitable.
- Holiday Parks 4 star Holiday Parks have wonderful facilities with cabins, on site caravan hire, swimming pools, spa pools, childrens play areas and a shop.
Most camping grounds will have a number of power points for caravans and camper vans, as well as tent sites. There will be rules that it is essential campers complly with so other campers are happy. Many camps will expect noise to be limited after 10.00pm.Some may even close their gates. They will either have a facility for you to get a key, or you should be able to make some arrangement if you will be coming back later than their closing time.
The majority of camps either have a basic shop on site, or are very near to shops.