Imagine that you wake up on a warm sunbeam shining into your face, you open your eyes, look outside of window and see beautiful white sandy beach with clear blue sea, lined with red-flowered trees and flourishing bird life around.
Then you get up right away as you are, and go to cook a breakfast and a cup of a big coffee right on the beach. This is the first hand experience you can not buy in any hotel and still, the only thing you need is just a camper van and an adventurous soul.
The very next day, you can wake up and see completely different scenery – you can see the mountains with the snowy tops, and you can even go visit few giant glaciers nearby. You can really do this without traveling thousands of kilometres to another country or half through the continent.
This is one of the most amazing assets of New Zealand – it is “compact” land, where you can find in relatively small area a biodiversity on the level of the big continents.
From exotic beaches and relentless rocky cliffs, through the forests and rainforests with ancient Silver Ferns or mighty Kauri trees, green hills and agricultural land, alps and mountains, volcanoes, even “deserts” or vast sand dunes areas.
And remember, no matter where in New Zealand you are, you are always only less than 200 kilometres from the sea.
If you are an early bird and you wake up sooner, you can be a witness to the most beautiful sunrises in the world, especially if you are on the beach or on the bay. You can also encounter the wildlife of the unforgettable pure, unique and often endangered species of New Zealand’s fauna.
Believe or not, some of the best camping spots in New Zealand are for free, or as low as few bucks per night (thanks to DOC campsites), so you are free to roam across country on a very low (accommodation) budget and experience the best things you have ever seen.
If this sound like something you want to experience, try the Freedom Camping with campervan.
New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world where you can do so, and it is very popular there indeed.
Freedom camping attracts thousands of travellers to New Zealand every year, and this period they often used to call as the “best time of their life”.
There are some conditions and unofficial rules included, which should be followed to keep this unique opportunities open for everyone in the future and also protect nature and environment.
What Is Definition Of Freedom Camping And Where Can You Camp?
Freedom camping is camping on the places which are not designated as a campgrounds and threshold they are often missing basic facilities like toilet, kitchen and showers.
If you have a caravan with all of these amenities then you are self-contained and can camp whenever you want without any complications.
However, if you are camping with the Van which is not qualified as a self-contained vehicle, you have to camp only in approved areas, otherwise you may get fine up to $200. If you are not sure always look for signs (freedom camping not allowed etc.) or ask locals.
You can find all camping areas – including freedom campsites on the links provided bellow:
DOC Campsites – Department Of Conservation is a government agency, which maintains about 200 camps all over New Zealand and we highly recommend to camp at this sites because it is very cheap and the money you pay them are going to the good thing. Not to mention that thanks to DOC you can camp in the stunning places!
Camper Mate – You can download the application and have it in your phone, quite handy.
Rankers Freedom Camping – If you camp in a Van click for “only in vehicle” or “camping and any vehicle” links.
Common Rules And Manners You Should Follow During Any Camping:
- Leave nothing but footprints – is the common showed proverb all over the New Zealand as they are trying to call people to respect nature and follow environmental ethic. If you are leaving the place, take ALL rubbish with you, and dispose it responsibly and appropriately at designated areas. Think of the contamination of rivers and don’t wash dishes, cars or any equipments near rivers or lakes. Don’t touch the pure nature and think of the future.
In the last years, some locals started to judge freedom camping and many communities all over New Zealand started to stood up against freedom camping and prohibit it in some areas.
I don’t think it is right attitude because kiwi’s have the same problem in their own ranks as well, but I must admit it is definitely the mistake of irresponsible and inappropriate behaviour of some freedom campers or backpackers. This is the reason why I’m writing this to help understand that as a travelers you have responsibility even if you lead life “without boundaries”, it doesn’t mean you don’t have any ethical or moral boundaries.
- Don’t feed animals, do not approach them – yes, everyone wants to have a great pictures with the beautiful creatures to capture the best memories and show it off on social media but honestly, do you want it for the price of the life of that innocent animal? We have seen many tourists who approached wildlife too close, till it was obvious that the animal feels uncomfortable and scared. The last straw was when we saw a woman who came to the nest of a blue-eyed penguins and started to take pictures of the cubs in front of their faces (literally touching their noses) with the flash! Absolutely wrong. This kind of behaviour can lead to their disruption and rapid decrease of the population of next generations. Feeding of the animals causes their loss of ability to find food on their own and thus their death. Do you have a heart to take a risk of it?
- Don’t leave the rubbish outside or don’t throw unconsumed food to the nature, because most likely possum will eat it, and more you feed possums, more you endanger fragile Kiwi birds which are on the edge of survival nowadays.
- Respect culture and environment, be considerate to others.
Please help us to retain New Zealand unique and beautiful and share this to other people so we can spread the good side of the freedom camping and satisfy both sides – travelers and locals – and try keep this amazing lifestyle live long for all of us.
Hope this post was helpful, and we are always happy for you feedback and comments.
© 2015 Independent Couple