Level 1 water restrictions are in place for Hāwea, Luggate and Arthurs Point. For more information on what this means, please visit our water restrictions webpage.

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 $400 are given out to vehicles that are not compliant.

    Example of ZONE signage below.

     

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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 public toilet facilities or the toilet contained in your vehicle

    • 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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  • Freedom camping is permitted in designated areas of the district, and only if your vehicle is certified self-contained. Check out the Responsible Camping Map for areas that permit freedom camping or you can find a full directory of all camping spots on CamperMate.

    Department of Conservation (DOC) administered scenic reserves or recreation reserves have their own Freedom Camping rules. See complete list of DOC reserves where freedom camping is prohibited or restricted here.

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

    Department of Conservation (DOC) administered scenic reserves or recreation reserves have their own Freedom Camping rules. See complete list of DOC reserves where freedom camping is prohibited or restricted here.

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  • If your vehicle is not a certified self-contained vehicle you will need to camp at a designated campground.

    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.

    Read about the new regulations now in place for certifying self-contained vehicles 

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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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  • Visit the New Zealand Legislation website to see a full list of infringements. 

    Any of the below will result in a $400 infringement being issued:      

    • Freedom camping or making preparations to freedom camp in an area that is not permitted in bylaw

    • Freedom camping in a non-self-contained vehicle

    • Freedom camping in a self-contained vehicle with more people than the vehicle is certified for

    • 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

    Any of the below will result in a $600 infringement being issued:  

    • Displaying an altered or fraudulent warrant card

    • Presenting an altered or fraudulent certificate of self-containment

    • Failing or refusing to leave a local authority areas when required to do so by an eforecment officer

    • Refusing to give information when required to do so or giving false or misleading information

    We also have four 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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  • Please call the Council on 03 441 0499.

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

    You can also use the Snap, Send & Solve app, a simple and free way to send QLDC non-urgent 'Fix It' requests.

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  • If you are struggling to find suitable accommodation, please see our Manaaki page to help you find support.

    If you are living in your vehicle, you are able to stay at dedicated campsites. You can find available campgrounds and facilities on the CamperMate website or app or on our Responsible Camping page.

    Freedom Camping is only permitted in certain areas of the district, and only if your vehicle is certified self-contained. Check out the Responsible Camping Map for areas that permit freedom camping and the rules around freedom camping on the Responsible Camping page.

    If you are homeless and receive a freedom camping fine, you may be eligible for a waiver. You can request a waiver. These are assessed on a case-by-case basis

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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. 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 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. Used water from sinks, showers, bath, laundry and chemical toilets must be dumped at a public dump station. There are public dump stations in Queenstown and Wānaka.

    • BP Service Station, Frankton Road, State Highway 6, Frankton
    • NPD Service Station, corner of State Highway 6 and Hawthorne Drive, Frankton
    • Wānaka Showgrounds, corner of Brownston and McDougall Street, Wānaka
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