14 Rankers Reviews
189 Freedom Camping
NOTE - SUMMER SEASON 2020
Freedom Camping in Golden Bay has become very popular and many free sites are regularly full. Be prepared to stay in a local Holiday Park or DOC campsite, which generally have more space. Thanks and respect from Rankers and the local Golden Bay rangers :)
From 6pm to 7am every day, except Sunday when the carpark must be cleared by 6am.
Persons camping here overnight must leave the carpark each morning by the times indicated.
In all other areas of the carpark, freedom camping is not permitted - please see our image. Blue area is for non self contained, yellow is for self contained.
South Island ▷ Nelson Region ▷ Motueka
Showing 13 reviews of 14.
We arrived quite late but there were still a few spaces. Wasn't too noisy or busy whilst we were there. Toilets close by. It's a carpark, what more can you say?
Cost (2p, non-powered): $0
Location: It's a car park so nothing special but at least there is some grass
Facilities: Toilets close by
Value: 10/10 (free!)
X-Factor: nahh - functional place to stay only
Other: There's another free campsite close by (Motueka Beach Reserve) but it was full when we checked
Nice place to stay, the rule leave 2 m between cars is sometimes hard to understand, but if you ask kindly then they move their car, there is enough space.
We had some funny teenagers knocking on our van at 1AM... it was a bit noisy after the Christmas parade. We enjoyed the parade though.
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Site and facilities absoulety fine. Overseas campers do need to be reminded of camping etiquette in here NZ, as NZ strive for clean, quiet and safe places to stay which makes stay and experience appreciated 😊
15 sites for non selfcontained. much more for selfcontained. good Spot in the town center and for free.
Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.
Car park in centre of town. Very busy with MPVs with mattresses in the back. Quiet evening, despite being busy.
Managed to get a spot around 10pm, but only as someone kindly moved their van across one space so we had a double spot to reverse into - it's not great for larger vehicles being a car park designed for cars.
Have to be away by 7am, there was a security guy knocking in windows of people still asleep.
Overall a functional place to stay.
Guter Platz mitten in der Stadt. Ranger kontrollieren ob man Self contained ist. Sehr freundlich. Platz ist gut beleuchtet. Plätze sind mit blauer Linie markiert. Toiletten waren okay... wifi über isite möglich.
Good site directly in Town so close to the city markets.
Everything it’s in the Description => First come = first served !
Nice place with clean toilets.
Thanks NZ for this campsite ! We love you !
Francois & Caroline
Very convenient for one night and free so can't complain about anything !
Public toilets next to the car park.
Close to restaurants in the main road.
Stayed here a couple of separate nights. Good location in town and right by a park with clean toilets however be mindful if the farmers market is on the next morning as you will be woken up by the locals asking you to move!
Clean and quiet parking lot in town. Bathrooms were in nice condition. Easy place to walk to the store or sit down at a restaurant.
(Long review, but much needed)
Okay campsite. The reason I gave 7/10 is because the town was lovely and the location was convenient. Approx 15 non-self contained spots and 30 self contained spots in a town parking lot. Showed up at 6:30pm and no spots left - arrive earlier I guess? We took the risk ($200 fine) and stayed in a restricted area and it turned out okay, but most ppl just left. We did this because canpervans took up extra parking spaces to cook food in and beside their vehicles.
By the morning they ask you to leave by 7am because the locals begin using the parking lot. Students catch the bus there and use the car park to store their car for the day and locals use the toilets en route to work etc. We left at about 7:30am and over half of the people were still sleeping in their cars/campers. We left feeling bad for the people in this town having to deal with the daily mess and things that come with backpacker and freedom camping mentality/vibes. As a backpacker, staying at this campsite made me realize why locals disapprove of freedom camping in NZ. I would too if I lived in a place that had this happen daily.
-clean toilets (until freedom campers littered and dirtied bathrooms)
-nice picnic tables and park area
-convenient location (walking distance to everything in town)
-police drove through a few times possibly as a routine check which was comforting
-way too busy, people cooking everywhere and in a confined space
-over stuffed garbage bins and people disrespectfully left trash bags outside once bins were full
- people didn’t clear out by 7am and locals tried to use facilities but freedom campers occupied them
-locals also came by around 9/9:30pm and honked waking people up (and rightly so, as a local I’d do the same after staying at this campsite)
Overall - okay place to stay to crash for one night, but I would recommend going somewhere else not only for your own sake, but the towns.
Worst place I have ever stayed at. Don't get me wrong the facilities are ok: huge parking space so you will always find a spot and clean toilet nearby. But what I experienced staying there was the worst. Apparently the locals hate each and every freedom campers staying at the site. When we arrived there was a drunk(?) Local stopping us and trying to start an argument why "all of us are sh****ing in the bushes". At the carpark itself was a committee of locals checking out each car and discussing how to get rid of them. When we had a pizza in town we could feel all eyes on us, seriously they were murdering us with their eyes. I have heard of other stories where locals threw stones at cars or attacked the campers with wooden swords. I did not feel comfortable there and therefore cannot recommend staying there or even visiting the town as the overall vibe was strange. The only good thing was the Arcadia Restaurant which had amazing yummy food!
Not a lot of people know about this place so it's easy to find a spot even if you're arriving late. Nice toilets and a few bins, but still just a car park. The only real downside is the requirement of leaving early in the morning.