Freedom camping in Waitaki

We welcome responsible campers to our beautiful district. When travelling and camping in Waitaki please be environmentally conscious – only take photographs and only leave footprints.

Check out our Freedom camping flyer(PDF, 524KB).

Who can freedom camp in Waitaki?

Self contained sticker If you want to freedom camp in Waitaki, you must be in a self-contained vehicle (with a toilet, wastewater tank and rubbish facilities on board) that clearly displays NZS5465:2001 certification.

If you don’t have a self-contained campervan or motorhome with this certification you will need to find a campground (by using the map link below).

Please remember to:

  • Only stay for a maximum of three (3) nights in a four week consecutive period in a permitted freedom camping area
  • Be familiar with the prohibited freedom camping areas (by using the map link below)

Please note: Freedom camping without a self-contained campervan may result in a $200 instant fine.

Where can I freedom camp in Waitaki?

There are many areas in Waitaki where you can freedom camp. There are also many camping grounds where you can camp. Please view our online map to see those camping grounds. The map also includes locations for dump stations and public toilets.

However, we do have certain areas where freedom camping is not permitted. The map also includes blue-shaded prohibited areas - you just need to zoom into the particular area - example below. Many of these areas are along the coastline between Oamaru and Kakanui (south of Oamaru).  For more information on where you can and cannot camp, please refer to the Waitaki District Freedom Camping Bylaw 2021(PDF, 2MB)

Camping map


Online Freedom Camping map


  • This information is made available in good faith but its accuracy is not guaranteed. Waitaki District Council accepts no liability for any error.
  • Freedom camping on private land requires landowner permission. Private land is not shown in these maps.
  • Permission of the landowner is required to camp on roadside outside residential properties.

Copyright: Street Map sourced from OpenStreetMap contributors under the Open Database License CC-BY-SA

Terms and conditions

Click here to view form.

Camping on DOC land

Freedom camping on Department of Conservation (DoC) land is generally allowed. There are some places on DoC land where you can't camp because the site has a special value eg Māori burial site (urupa) or a protected plant or animal is there.


Freedom camping tips

To make your camping experience enjoyable we also recommend you:

  • Be legally parked
  • Dispose of all waste and rubbish appropriately.
  • Leave the area as you found it, free of litter and damage
  • Are considerate of other users of the area and your impact on them and the environment around you.
  • Not wash dishes or wash/dry clothes in public facilities not designed for that purpose, eg public toilet
  • To do what Council staff or enforcement officers request including viewing self-containment certificates/warrants


Freedom Camping Bylaw


Other things you should know

We have other Council bylaws and controls that may apply when you are freedom camping eg litter, dogs, liquor in public places, parking control, lighting fires in urban areas. Please go to our Bylaws page for this information.