Freedom Camping

sleeper van

Freedom Camping:

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Thinking of buying or renting a Sleeper Van?
(That's one without onboard toilet facilties)


Here's something you need to know.....

  • A van is a great way to see the country....
  • Freedom to travel at your own pace with no bookings necessary....
  • Overnighting in beautiful remote places with no accommodation fees to pay....
  • What could be better?

Take a look at this Facebook Page which ensures travellers continue to get plenty of good information.
Facebook Camp NZ

Well, that's the way it used to be before commercial exploitation of the dream brought about an explosion in the number of campervans without toilet facilities on to NZ's roads.
The very large number now in use have taxed the ability of NZ's free places to accommodate them. Irresponsible users have littered lay-bys and rest areas using these areas as toilets. Insensitive overnighters have blighted city streets and parks with their presence.
All this has tested the tolerance of the NZ public beyond the limit and there is now, in some parts of the country, a very real antagonism towards "freedom" campers. In this area at least, the traditional Kiwi hospitality has worn very thin or completely worn out. Local residents are insisting their Councils "do something about these crapper vanners".
Councils are responding by putting up "No Camping" signs and developing instant fine regimes for those who ignore them. Other residents are taking a more direct approach and making their views clear to those in vans camping illegally.

All this means that opportunities to free camp are getting rarer by the day.


Apart for the personal security concerns, you really need to budget the cost of camping fees when making a decision on your mode of transport to see NZ.

A more economical option may well be to buy or rent a low cost rental car ($25 - $30 / day) and spend your nights with BBH where you can be assured of a warm welcome without the risk of being fined, moved along in the middle of the night  or having to dash through the rain to find a toilet.

Here's a simple cost comparison for TWO people excluding fuel & insurance:

Sleepervan Rental (Summer rates / 32 day hire & no "extras")
BBH twin or dble room (average)
Campground fees
Rental car

That makes van rentals 44% MORE per day.... and that's before "extra's" & instant fines!

If you do choose to use a van - please - don't use NZ as a toilet.
After all, you wouldn't like us to do that at your place... would you?

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