Responsible Freedom Camping
Kaikoura welcomes those who camp responsibly. We ask all campers to treat our environment with respect and not to leave rubbish or human waste behind them. All campers using public land (freedom camping) must be self contained or have easy access to toilets.
Freedom camping is prohibited on Council Reserves and in the South Bay Recreation Reserve. Freedom camping is discouraged throughout the peninsular, town and all residential areas.
Over the last few years Kaikoura District Council has been working towards finding a sustainable, permanent and positive solution to ensuring those who camp in Kaikoura do so responsibly. Council is forming a Responsible Camping Working Group to work together to agree how camping should be managed in Kaikoura, including looking at camping sites and how camping can be a positive part of our districts future.
If you want to freedom camp in Kaikoura, you must have access to a toilet or have an on-boardtoilet, wastewater collection and rubbish disposal facilities.
Freedom camping is limited to two days, unless you are otherwise informed.
Camping is discouraged particularly in the town centre, residential areas and the rest of the Kaikoura peninsula (shown on the map).
Camping is prohibited on Council reserves and in the South Bay recreation reserve. Camping in prohibited areas may result in an infringement notice.
Freedom campers should use public spaces, camping areas or camping grounds. For more information, contact the local i-Site Visitor Centre.
Freedom camping on DOC land is generally allowed. There are some places on DOC land where you can't camp because the site has a special value, for example it's a Māori burial site (urupa) or a protected plant or animal is there.
- Check where you can and cannot park.
- Do not camp on private land.
- Respect our environment – leave the site clear of all rubbish, waste and damage. Understand that dumping of waste and litter is an offence and will result in instant fines or prosecution.
- Act responsibly, respect the access and enjoyment rights of other public space users and be considerate of your impact on them and the surrounding environment. Respect our urban areas.
- Dispose off all toilet and waste water at Council-approved dump station (see above Map). Do not leave your waste in the environment.
- Freedom camping is limited to two days.
- Do not wash dishes or wash/dry clothes in public facilities not designed for that purpose, e.g. public toilet.
- Following safe fire practices at all times, including adhering to fire bans.
- Keep dogs under control.
There are other Council bylaws that may apply and controls under other legislation, such as for noise, dog control, liquor in public places, and parking control.
Council believes that camping along our coastline is something many of our residents and visitors treasure and that tourism (including freedom camping) is an important part of our local economy. Council is committed to finding solutions that manage the impact of badly behaved campers whilst encouraging responsible campers to visit and enjoy our District.
Blanket-banning freedom camping is not allowed under NZ law. In addition, tourism (including freedom camping) is an important part of our local economy. We must find solutions that continue to encourage visitors to our District whilst managing their impacts more effectively.
Freedom Camping has been an issue for a number of years. The closure of some traditional freedom camping spots along SH1 due to ongoing earthquake rebuild work may have resulted in a higher than normal concentration in other places in Kaikōura, including the Kiwa Road site.
Council is forming a Responsible Camping Working Group to address freedom camping in Kaikōura. The name responsible camping has been chosen because Council believes that this is the best way to describe the attitude we’re taking to managing this complicated issue and the outcome we are seeking for our community.
What can you do?
If you have any thoughts/suggestions or ideas about freedom camping, the actions we’re currently taking or have planned, please email us.
In March 2018 a paper went to Council, that reviewed the approaches of neighbouring Councils to help us learn lessons from our neighbours. Read the Council paper here.
In January 2018 Council agreed to take some action as soon as possible as well as look at medium and long term solutions for the District as a whole. Read the Council paper here.
Note: The link to the Campermate app will remain on the Council page. CamperMate is one of two apps officially endorsed by the responsible camping forum. Campermate also contains information about dozens of tourist attractions, sites and businesses that help tourists visiting our District to get the most out of their trip and bring revenue to many local businesses. In addition, the current information about the Kiwa Road site clearly states that it is for self-contained vehicles only and encourages responsible camping. This helps raise awareness of the damage currently being done and notes that it’s not acceptable and risks the campsite being closed.
To make sure future complaints are actioned and recorded appropriately, please make any complaints about human waste/dumping through our Contact Us page or by calling the front desk. That way, Council staff can quickly and easily log the complaints for appropriate review/action.
If you require further information or wish to make a complaint about freedom camping, please contact us or phone 03 319 5026.
Last updated: 24 May 2018