One of the best ways to explore New Zealand with your entire family is to do it with a campervan for hire. However, you need to be acquainted with the different camping spots that you may have to use all over the country.
Holiday Parks and Camping Grounds
These are commercial operations that can provide you with the necessary camping equipment and security for your family. They usually have powered or unpowered motorhome or campervan sites as well as tent sites. For those who want to use tents, they can be installed on a patch of grass or wherever there is available space.
Campgrounds and holiday parks usually cost around NZD $10 to NZD $40 per site.
These camping spots may have a communal kitchen, a recreation room, a playground, bathrooms or showers, and swimming pool or spa. They may also have pay phones, recycling facilities, and coin-operated laundry facilities.
Department of Conservation (DOC) Campsites
There are more than 250 camping areas managed by the DOC throughout the country. These sites are often found in the most beautiful areas in New Zealand, but are unfortunately entrusted only to the campers without an on-site manager. DOC campsites can accommodate campervans, tents, or caravans.
DOC campsites usually cost between zero to NZD$19 for each person per night. It all depends on the campsite.
You can also find three different levels of DOC camping spots – basic, standard, and serviced. The basic campsites provide basic toilets and water from a lake, stream or tank. The standard campsites offer basic toilets, cold showers, water from a lake, stream or tap, rubbish bins, cooking shelters, wood barbecues, and picnic tables. The serviced campsites have flush toilets, hot showers, tap water, kitchen, barbecues, picnic tables, rubbish bins, and laundry facilities.
Aside from the campgrounds, holiday parks, and DOC campsites, there are also freedom camping sites in New Zealand. However, this does not mean that you can just set up camp or park your rental campervan anywhere you’d like.
Many of the fields, paddocks, farmland, and reserves are owned by private individuals, which means that you have to ask permission from the owner before you can camp without the risk of being charged with trespassing.
While there used to be public areas that are ideal for camping, they were exploited badly by campers that local councils now protect them with “No Camping” signs.
You really have to plan carefully where you can safely park your campervan, pull over or set up your camping site for free when you’re in New Zealand.
Free camping sites won’t cost you anything, except maybe when you’re not following the local laws regarding camping and you get charged by the local council.
Some of the facilities that you may find in free camps are public toilets, rubbish bins, and picnic tables.
Wherever you plan to camp in New Zealand, you need to learn to respect the environment. Don’t leave any signs of your visit. Throw your trash in the right bins, or take them with you. Learn to respect private properties and ‘No Camping’ zones. Avoid using pollutants. Most of all, be careful where you dispose of your campervan waste and choose only those approved dump stations.
Carefully consider what your campervan trip’s needs are to choose the right type of camping spot for you. That way, you will have an enjoyable and memorable outdoor adventure with your family in New Zealand.