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.

New Bylaw December 2017

The rules for freedom camping have changed.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Where Can I Freedom Camp?        

On Council-owned land, self-contained vehicles displaying the necessary warrant and stickers may camp in all areas of the District that are not specifically prohibited, provided they do not create a safety issue.

Areas where freedom camping is permitted with some restrictions

  • Alexander Bluff Road Reserve, Ngatimoti
  • Waitapu Bridge, Takaka
  • Taupata Gravel Reserve, Collingwood – seasonal only


Restricted freedom camping areas

Number of campers, types of vehicle and length-of-stay restrictions also apply.

  • Motueka Beach Reserve – self-contained vehicles only
  • Motupipi Carpark, Takaka – self-contained vehicles only
  • Decks Reserve Carpark, Motueka – no tents


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Where is Freedom Camping Prohibited?        

Any form of camping is prohibited in the following public places:

  • All cemeteries
  • Residential areas listed in Schedule 1 of the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2017 with a speed limit of 70kmh or less
  • Reserves, parks and sportsgrounds (unless specifically listed as a permitted or restricted freedom camping area or permission is granted by the Council)
  • Roads in the Kaiteriteri, Stephens Bay and Split Apple Rock areas
  • The river side of any embankment, except the area at Waitapu Bridge
  • Hickmott Place, Motueka
  • Thorps Bush, Motueka
  • All public places and reserves in Takaka, except the 10 spaces allocated in Motupipi Carpark for self-contained vehicles
  • Pohara Recreation Reserve and Band Rotunda
  • Ligar Bay Esplanade Reserve
  • Tata Beach
  • George Quay, Motueka
  • Riwaka Resurgence Road Reserve
  • Lake Rotoiti, Kerr Bay Road Reserve
  • Waikoropupu Springs Road Reserve
  • Wainui Bay Road Reserve
  • Abel Tasman Memorial Road Reserve
  • The end of Staples Street, Motueka
  • Department of Conservation Offices, View Road, St Arnaud
  • Edward Baigent Memorial Scenic Reserve, Wakefield
  • All roads in Motueka township, speed limit 70kmh or less
  • Part of Riwaka township
  • Marahau township
  • Patons Rock township
  • All roads in Saint Arnaud township, speed limit 70kmh or less
  • Best Island


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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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Get Maps and Read the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2017        

The purpose of the Bylaw is to:

  • Ensure appropriate access to local areas is maintained and protected,
  • Protect, promote, and maintain public health and safety,
  • To protect the areas where people may freedom camp,
  • Provide transparency for those wishing to freedom camp in the district,
  • Encourage a positive experience for campers and local residents.


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Freedom Camping Questions or Issues        

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

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