IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR CAMPERS
Kaikōura District has different rules to other regions in New Zealand. Please make sure you read and understand the rules below to avoid paying a fine.
Even though the vehicle below may have a blue 'self contained' sticker on it, and has a portable toilet inside - it is not permitted for freedom camping in the Kaikōura District.
If our camping enforcement officers find you staying in a freedom camping spot with the bed made up like this, and your toilet stored like this you will be fined $200.
Please note: When the bed is made up, the toilet must be available to use inside the van with sufficient head and elbow room. if not then it is not permitted by the Kaikōura Freedom Camping Bylaw and you will receive a fine.
Kaikōura Welcomes Responsible Campers
We welcome those who camp responsibly. We ask all campers to treat our environment with respect and to leave it as beautiful as you find it (or better).
Some general guidelines for Freedom Camping on Kaikōura District Council owned or managed land:
- Definition of self-contained - To be considered as ‘self-contained’ under Kaikōura’s Bylaw a vehicle must have a toilet that is easily usable inside your van at all times, including when the bed is made up. Freedom camping is only permitted in certified self-contained vehicles. Freedom Camping in tents is not permitted.
- Valid self-containment warrant certificate - You must display a current self-containment warrant issued under New Zealand Standard Self Containment of Motor Caravans and Caravans, NZS 5465:2001. The associated certificate must be made available on request
- Stay in a campsite - If you cannot find a permitted freedom camping spot you must pay for a campsite at one of our friendly holiday parks or camping sites which can offer excellent facilities at reasonable prices. Camp sites are available for as little as $20 per night. Ensure to book in advance during the busy summer season.
- KDC freedom camping bylaw - All regulations are governed by the KDC Freedom Camping Bylaw which does not cover private land, DOC land, KiwiRail or NZTA land.
- Rubbish & recycling - Take all rubbish and recycling to Innovative Waste Kaikoura on Scarborough Street or take it with you.
- Storage tanks dump point - On-board storage tanks must be emptied on a regular basis at the Council approved dump point at South Bay Domain.
Designated Responsible Camping Sites
Camping for free in a certified self-contained vehicle is allowed for a maximum of 1 night in the same spot (or within 500m of that spot) in any four week period.
The designated sites are shown as orange tent icons in the interactive map and are found at:
- West End car park; maximum 10 vehicles. Normal parking rules still apply 8.30am – 5.30pm;
- Jimmy Armers Beach; marked camping spaces only; maximum 6 vehicles, maximum vehicle length of 7.5 metres; sites must be vacated by 7am.
- Scarborough Street; fenced site; maximum 20 vehicles;
- South End Railway Station Carpark; marked camping spaces, only maximum 6 vehicles; maximum vehicle length 5 metres;
- Pohowera (South Bay); maximum 15 vehicles (closed between 15 August and the last day in February the following year to protect the banded dotterel/Pohowera threatened species which nest there).
- Camping opposite the Fire Station on the Esplanade is no longer permitted.
PLEASE NOTE: Vehicles must park within the marked spaces. One vehicle per space. All personal effects must be kept within the vehicle. On-board storage tanks must be emptied on a regular basis at a Council approved dump point.