G'day Nick here from Rankers. Here’s my insights from Freedom Camping around NZ for the past 20 years.
Make A Plan
Freedom camping in NZ has become busy - even in these Covid times. In years gone by you could be far more spontaneous. Not now. NZ is a camper's paradise for a reason. There’s more of us hitting the road and finding those sweet spots.
There’s amazing options, if you make a plan. To unlock all the info on the Rankers Camping NZ app, you need to understand how the filters work, then you’ll make the best decisions.
Places that are easy to access attract more campers. Places that are harder to access will be less so. Those that go deep get the gold.
You’re more likely to get a sweet spot, and you’re assured of a place. If it’s late in the day, Holiday Parks are the safe bet.
Save The Drama
Stay at designated areas. I’m a local, I’ve seen travellers sneaking around trying to find a place to stay. Honestly, it’s not worth it. No more looking over your shoulder. Put your feet up and relax.
Underestimating driving times is the No1 mistake for NZ travellers. I’ve been in other countries, where the target is the destination. NZ is the opposite of that. Have a go at being present on your journey. You’ll find your reward.
Check The Weather
Other places have snakes, spiders and bears that can be trouble. In NZ, we have the weather. If you need to hunker down, Holiday Parks have the infrastructure to make your life enjoyable.
Check In With The Locals
The locals in the DOC and i-SITE info centres are on the ground and in the know. A nationwide resource that’s good to lean on.
Feed Your Soul
Leave each place better than you found it. You’ll feel the difference.
Everyone needs to go. Save the embarrassment of getting caught short. If you have a portable toilet in your campervan that’s stored under your bed, then these links might be helpful:
It’s An Adventure
I’ve discovered that Freedom Camping is more of an adventure than an overnight stay. The many good ones are close to walks, nature, beaches and so much more. But it may take time to get there. So I’Il go back to the beginning… You're always best to plan 😁