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Source: Auckland Council

With plenty of sunshine predicted for Tāmaki Makaurau this summer, Auckland Council has some tips for those planning to pitch their tents or park up their campervans at our holiday hotspots. From rules for freedom campers to the best spots for day-trippers, here’s what you need to know before you go. 

Secure your spot   
There are few things more thrilling than a spontaneous summer road trip, few things duller than driving from one fully booked campsite to the next while your sausages go warm. To avoid disappointment, book ahead at one of the dozens of holiday parks and campgrounds Auckland Council manages in some of our most popular regional parks, beaches and reserves. Some book out months in advance over the busy holiday period while more secluded spots will often have availability even in peak times. Check out these five camping spots you may not have heard of for some off-the-beaten-track inspiration.  

Freedom camp the right way
Freedom camping is a popular activity around Aotearoa for locals and visitors alike. While it is allowed in many public areas around Auckland, some new rules were introduced in 2022 that would-be ‘frampers’ should be aware of. Namely, that they must: 

  • use a certified self-contained vehicle (CSC). Sorry, your cousin’s van with a mattress in the back won’t cut it; 
  • stay a maximum of two nights in the same road/off-road parking area; 
  • vacate their parking space by 9am on the day of departure; 
  • not return to stay in the same road/off-road parking area within a two-week period; 
  • not stay in any of the prohibited areas, including all regional parks and public reserves (except in a designated overnight parking spot. To find these, go to our accommodation page and check the “Overnight CSC parking area ”). 

Find more information about freedom camping on OurAuckland. 

Make a day of it  
Let’s face it, some of us love the idea of camping but deep down are not built for squeaky air mattresses or snoring tentmates. The solution? Plan a day trip and skip the overnight stay. You’re welcome to pop up a tent or gazebo at any of Auckland’s beautiful beaches and reserves, many of which have barbecue facilities for that proper Kiwi summer experience. Just make sure you pack everything down and take it with you at the end of the day.  If you need some inspiration for places to visit, check out these five stunning spots for day trips in Auckland. 

Respect the land and other people  
Everyone remembers the infamous tourists who left a trail of destruction around Aotearoa’s holiday hotspots in the summer of 2019, and none of us wants to make similar headlines. Whether you’re staying in a holiday park or parking up at one of our designated freedom camping spots, we ask everyone to show manaakitanga towards the environment and other people, including local communities. That means not leaving rubbish behind, being mindful of where you park your vehicle (driving and parking on beaches or on green spaces in reserves is not allowed) and keeping those evening kumbaya renditions to a sensible hour and volume.  

Happy camping!  

More useful links:  

Book accommodation at our parks 
General rules and information for freedom campers in Auckland 
Making the most of our regional parks (video)