Freedom Camping  

Freedom camping is the common term for camping at locations without specific camping facilities such as toilets, showers and cooking facilities. This page provides a guide for freedom campers who intend to travel through the Tasman District.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Who Can Freedom Camp?        

On Council owned land freedom camping is only allowed for mobile vehicles certified as self-contained with an installed self-contained toilet and at least three days storage capacity for drinking water, toilet waste and grey water.

More information on campervan self containment at the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association website.

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Who Cannot Freedom Camp?        

On Council owned land people in tents, or vehicles that are not certified as self-contained may not freedom camp on any Council owned land, and are requested to stay in camping grounds.

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How Long People Can Freedom Camp in One Location?        

People can only camp within one kilometre of a single location for two nights out of every four weeks. This means that after people have camped two nights they must move at least one kilometre away from their original campsite. 

Motueka Beach Reserve

In this area freedom camping in self-contained vehicles is restricted to two consecutive nights. However, after leaving the area for at least one night, self-contained vehicles are entitled to return for another two consecutive nights.

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Where is Freedom Camping Prohibited?        

Freedom camping is prohibited on the following public places:

  1. Within 500 metres of any “no camping” signs on Tasman District Council-controlled land.
  2. Kaiteriteri Beach area from Tapu Bay to Breaker Bay.
  3. Any Tasman District Council reserve (apart from road reserve) in any area, except for:
    1. Edward Baigent Memorial Reserve, 8 Wakefield-Kohatu Highway;
    2. Motueka Beach Reserve, 10 Everett Street, Motueka.
  4. Marahau from the start of the residential area to the end of the Marahau-Sandy Bay Road.
  5. The river side of any stopbank except that area in the vicinity of the State Highway Bridge at Waitapu, Golden Bay.
  6. Any formed roadway.
  7. Any location where the activity of freedom camping may cause an obstruction or hazard to traffic.

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How Do I Dispose of Effluent and Rubbish?        

Human effluent and rubbish poses a health risk and causes damage to our environment. Effluent must be disposed of at a campervan waste dumping station. Rubbish should be bagged and dropped off at any Resource Recovery Centre.

Incorrect disposal of effluent or rubbish may result in an instant fine or prosecution.

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Freedom Camping Bylaws        

The Tasman District Council has two bylaws that control freedom camping on Council controlled land. Both bylaws have similar aims, but control different geographic areas.

The purpose of the Bylaws is to:

  1. protect, promote, and maintain public health through regulating freedom camping in the District Territory;
  2. regulate wastewater and waste disposal and preventing the misuse of reserves, recreation grounds, and other land under the control of Tasman District Council that may otherwise result from unregulated camping;
  3. ensure that nuisance, public health risk, offensive behaviour or compromise of safety does not result from camping in public places under the control of Tasman District Council other than in accordance with the Bylaws or other statutory responsibility of Council;
  4. Allow freedom camping on certain public places within the area controlled by these Bylaws under strictly controlled circumstances.

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Freedom Camping Questions or Issues        

If you have any questions or issues about freedom camping please contact the Council

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