Nice spot, clean facilities.
Nice place for the night! Good toilets and it's pretty quiet.
Great wee place for freedom camping. Not too far from the town of Hanmer. There were nice clean toilets and soap and basin to wash your hands too. Plenty of space. Only con were the sandflies so remember your sprays haha.
Good place to spend the night
Clean flush toilets, water, soap, walka
Pine tree forest, birds singing
Unlimited sandflies...so be ready...it’s like they come back to life even after smashing them.
Excellent small campground on the outskirts of town. Lots of No Camping signs around including next to the entrance to the DOC camp. To avoid any doubt called DOC who clarified that behind the work area camping is allowed for max 4 nights but only between hours 5pm and 9.00 am. Some one might like to confirm this .
Thanyou DOC.another great site.
Arrived dark and rainy day. The other 2 free campsites were already filled. There was one tent camping in the area. I fell asleep well for maybe about an hour or so but woke up to big steps walking on the roof. Im sure they're not of possums. It was like the feet of a deer or something similar. It went on for almost 2 hours. Worst comes to worst, I was ready to crawl to the driver's seat and sped off to the town centre. The following day, i asked the locals about it as there was news about wild cat spotted in South Island. The footprints on the roof and on the windscreen resembles to it
Great spot and only a short walk to town. Lots of signs around the main roads saying no freedom camping though which made us weary. There was 3 campers that night including us and we never got checked on. Toilets are right there and clean. Got quite cold at night so rug up!
Great location not too far from hot pools. The toilets were nice and close, a light sensor came on inside the toilets at night. It got a little muddy after rain, but still okay. D.O.C. and fire brigade workers are around during the day.
Easy access flat quiet and clean. Great location right next to a beautiful pine forest for easy walks and bike rides.
mid July. I nicked into town and back for a soak in the pools and never once had to worry about finding a spot over the 2 nights. Thanks DOC👍
Great spot to park overnight but why oh why do people leave rubbish "next to" a bin. Please take it with you or put it in the bin. If the bin is full don't dump it next to it.
I've been told they will close this car park if it continues to happen.
Gorgeous grassy site that fills up quickly! I arrived around 4pm and got a spot but there were many others who weren’t so lucky. However some people weren’t respectful and parked very cramped (ie struggle to open door). It is a very peaceful location with an easy 15 walk into Hanmer Springs which is safe (even at night - just use a flashlight). Three clean flush toilets with toilet paper and soap. Hanmer Springs heritage forest walks just next to campsite which are lovely to explore. Lots of sandflies and friendly bumblebees.
Pretty nice place in walking distance to Hanmer Springs. Clean toilets nearby. Becomes crowded in the evening, but good for a one night stay.
Beautiful campsite in walkable distance to the town center. Starting point of many walks in the area. Drinking water supply, clean and good facilities, plenty of space for 12-15 vehicles. There were some sandflies around but it could be much worse.
Clean flushing toilets, close to town, fills up quick in the afternoon so get there a little early. There are mosquitos so make sure you have spray or coils, we had to go to town to get spray as they are that bad. Overall nice free place to camp for a night
Little place that fills up early so get their early if you want a spot. Didn’t check out the bush walks around the campsite. Take a torch if your walking back from town at night as it is very dark.
Beautiful place to camp right next to the forest. Actually quite easy to find despite what others have said. Put Woodland Walk Recreation Reserve into maps, drive past and it’s the next left on Pawsons Rd. Don’t put Pawsons Rd into maps, doesn’t locate it properly.
Clean flushing toilets, sink, soap, toilet paper. Sensor light, will still need a head torch to walk there but very close to the freecamp site.
Make sure you leave time to do one of the many forest walks around. I’d recommend the Woodland Walk, very nice!
Not sure why it’s not on Rankers but there’s another freecamp site on Cheltenham St, off Amuri ave next to the Library/Gallery. 2 vehicles 8pm-8am, max 2 nights in 30 days. Right in town, but the woodland is much more scenic. Happy camping!
The previous review helped greatly to find it (thanks) we arrived at 4pm, second van there. By 7pm it was full (approx 8 campers max) fantastic free camp, clean toilets and lovely walks from site. Easy walk to town if you needed food etc.
This place was a little difficult to find, but made easier by everyone’s reviews! As you drive through Hanmer, take a right down Jollies Pass Road, continue over the small bridge. You’ll pass car parking areas off the road for Woodland Walk Recreation Reserve (its not here). The left-hand turn you need is directly after this, there is a small sign on the right for ‘Pawsons Road’ to indicate it. The road is a gravel road and easily missed. Didn’t see any small blue sign for camping either but thankfully there were a few other vans already there. Good little place for free, 15 minute walk into town. Just be mindful if you plan to walk back from town in the dark - after the initial village on Jollies Pass Road the last 5/10 minutes are completely in the dark on a country road, which was a bit creepy!!
Parking entrance is off on side road past scoutt hall. Lovely place to park overnight with forest around you. Toilets were flushing and clean, with sensor light at night not far from carpark.
Great location, easy to find, lots of space, nice and quiet. Turn down Pawsons Road and it’s first on the left. Great free toilets. Just a bit muddy in the area at this time of year due to rain so just be careful where you park.
Great spot! Close to town, flushing toilets, lovely views :)
There are signs saying no camping but that refers to the picnic area, the freedom camping spot is near the workshop. Lots of walks in the nearby forest/woodland. Clean toilets which have a light. Great spot for star gazing on a clear night!
Nice free place, clean toilets.
But many possums. Don’t parking under the trees otherwise they dance at night on your roof.
This campsite is still available for use for selfcontained vehicles. There are signs on the road before turning into this site indicating there is no freedom camping; however, this is only for the roadside area. We checked with a council worker nearby. Good spot, close to town and also has some nice walking tracks. Great flush toilets.
Stayed here on 27th December and it did the job. Not completely sure on whether camping is allowed here now but there were 6 or so other campers there and both police and security came past without moving anyone on. Toilets close by and very close to Hanmer village
Free and toilets available but not a very scenic view on the parking lot. Nice forest with short walks.
Hanmer Springs had now outlawed Freedom Camping. There's a big sign as you turn off the main road and by the turning of what was the camping area. There still looks to be space for around 16 to 20 vehicles but we weren't prepared to be moved on in the middle of the night. With a giant sign expressly saying no camping is a risk, driving past the next day maybe a few people were camped.
Perfect spot if exploring Hanmer Springs. Can walk to town and hot baths (15mins) and there are good forest trails around. If you do the ‘Forest Walk’ there are some cool wooden carvings to look at. Good flush toilets and a tap to help with dishes etc. Sandflies though!! Small ish space, pretty much full both nights we stayed.
Great free campsite so close to town with clean toilets
15Oct18. From Hanmer Springs go past the picnic area entrance to the next entrance.
I think there were eventually 10 vans that night. Park considerately and there is room. Mostly level.
Flush loos although they had not recently been serviced when we were there.
Good bush walks on the other side of the road. Good.
Small spot so get there early, was quite and very close to town centre. Didn’t use facilities
We stayed here for a night and it was good. Got there at 7pm and had no probs getting a spot (in August/winter) there were quite a few people around but it was quiet and calm. It's just a really good spot to park for the night not far from town. Take jollies pass road then turn left when you see the Pawsons road sign. We had a possum climbing on the roof of our campervan so if you're wondering "what's that sound?" It could be a possum!
Great spot. We freedom camped here in a self contained caravan. Clean toilets.
Best tip I can give is do not follow google maps. It takes you to another reserve up a hilly road/residential area where people have been stuck in the wet grass! The actual area is off Jollies Pass road, on rhs as you come into township area.
Nice spot within 15 minutes walk of town. Clean facilities. Small spot that was full by 7pm so get in early
Turn down Pawsons Rd. and its just on your left. Lots of room for large vehicles and has decent toilets. Nice quiet spot with walking/cycling tracks nearby.
Great little free spot. Can get slightly crowded. Easy 15 minute walk into town.
Luis Vigil Vidal
Good place to stay. Nice clean flush toilet. Next to the town. Just get early as it was fully packed when we arrived and was hard to get a spot. There were around 35 vans.
Decent amount of space for vehicles, nice and close to town for spa goers. Toilets nearby. Bring your mozzy nets though as there are many sandflies in this area.
Quiet and nice spot for self contained campers. Ground is a bit uneven. Toilets are clean and tidy.
Vander Plancke Julien
Close to Hanmer Springs. Toilets are available. You can also start some good walks from there.
Don't arrive too late there it can be crowded.
We really loved this little spot! Nice secluded area just out of the city centre with a nice grassed area, toilet and short walk options close by. Unfortunately there were a lot of bugs but that doesn’t change my rating for this spot. It does tend to fill up by evening so to secure a spot I wouldn’t leave it too late.
It's free and a cool site to park up for the evening. There are bush walks nearby with 3 clean flush toilets (may need to bring your own toilet tissue and soap) with sensor lighting. Great for self contained camping.
Operating at the moment - mid June! Great spot - close to town, toilets just behind the corner.
Great spot and the only place to free camp in Hanmer. As previous reviewers have said it is tricky to find but basically up Jollies Pass Road, left into Pawsons and then you will see a tiny blue camping sign. Enough for 5 or so campers (there were only two others with us). A bit muddy, but a clean flushing toilet. Great place to aim for on the Picton to Christchurch drive.
The only free site near Hanmer Springs that we found. On Pawson's Road off Jollies Pass Road. It's not much and the overflowing skip is pretty gross but it serves the purpose. Toilets are good.
The "no camping" signs are confusing but this section has a small self contained icon on a wooden post.
Really great location, only a few minutes out of town, super quiet and clean. Can be a little bit difficult to find in the dark as we mistakenly drove towards a driveway that said 'road closed' which was part of the national park. Would highly recommend!
Great spot, close to town with a flushing toilet and lighting. We found this spot easily in the dark.
This free campsite is open, we camped here the 27/3/17 .. as stated in the description, the picnic area is a no camp zone but continue past the picnic area and the first turning on the left (going out of town) you will find a parking area next to the workshop with a sign showing a camper van.
Nice clean area with a few great walks in the park, good toilets close by.... and only a couple of kilometres out of the town centre.
Had a look here 28 Feb 2017, there's a sign on the gate saying 'Camping area now closed' and advising that the nearest free camping area is at St. James Station on Tophouse Road, accessed via the Clarence Valley Road.
Just 3 minutes out of town, very quiet and in a stunning area. Plenty of bush walkers and cyclist passing by. The camp is a car park behind a chain link fenced shed, to access pass the scouts hall and take your first right. Nothing flash but very suitable in lovely surroundings. Clean public toilets available.
Perfect spot and easy to find, cnr of Jollies Pass rd and Pawson's Rd. look at a map 1st and you'll be sweet. flushing toilets with basins, take your own soap and paper. A few annoying sand flies at dusk and dawn! We were wrapped with the place! Thanks DOC!
As the other reviews said, is on Pawsons Rd and not signposted but as soon as you turn in you see a tiny blue sign of campervan and toilets. Flat gravel area next to maintenance site. Perfect for a free night's stay. Toilets nearby but didn't venture as raining the whole time we were here! Only a few sandflies which was a nice break.
Don't give up hope finding this, clean public toilets near by and nice little spot to stay overnight. Maybe it's a good thing some can't find this.
Was easy to find. Clean facilities.
Not easy to find - no signs on the road. Toilets are okay.
8, because we were not sure if it is allowed, otherwise 10. We have asked in the info-center about freedom camps around and they were almost yelling at us there is for sure NO freedom camping and we should see the big sign "no FC" in the beginning of Hamner Springs and that we will get fined because council is more than DOC...but we found the camp anyway, there was a blue sign of self-contained campervan and we have asked DOC employee if we can stay there and it was ok...no one came during the night, but we really don't know if it is allowed or not.
Went there because we wanted to stay for one night but couldn't find the spot. There were no signs (except for some saying "No camping allowed").
Free camp site, easy to drive past and miss. Look out for Pawson Rd on left hand side (park on gravel area next to workshop with wire fence), clean public toilets nearby. Right by stream in forest park.
Very nice and secluded car park, not too far away from downtown. No facilities. Next to fenced maintenance area.
Not signed well. Okay place to stay, toilets were really really nice and clean. just a gravel and grass parking area really.
Large flat gravel area with close access to well maintained flush toilets. Found this spot eventually after being moved on in the night by the very nice security guard. The site is actually Pawsons Road, off to the left next to the fenced compound. Great spot!
Basic but good for a night.
Nice place, close to the river and free, I would recommend it. There is a sign for self-contained vehicles only.