Seeking a new adventure? Try freedom camping! From useful apps to help you on the road to the differences between a campervan and a motorhome, we’re giving you the 411 on what freedom camping is all about.
The rugged mountains, panoramic fiords, rolling hillsides, and vast greenery. What’s there not to love about New Zealand? It’s a nature wonderland. Now imagine seeing all this from a campervan, off the beaten track at your own pace. That’s what freedom camping is all about. If you’re thinking about trying out freedom camping the next time you’re in the Land of the Long White Cloud, this is the guide for you!
What Is Freedom Camping?
Image credits: RV Super Centre
Think camping. Except you’re on the road. And instead of merely pitching a tent, you’d be driving around in a campervan or motorhome, camping on public land with minimal to no facilities like toilets or showers.
And although it’s titled freedom camping, here are a few rules to keep in mind:
1. Ensure that all rubbish is disposed of
2. We get that when you have to go, you have to go. But it’s important to always keep New Zealand squeaky clean by using the toilet in your vehicle or a public toilet.
3. Protect the environment by using recycling facilities
4. Dump your waste at a designated waste disposal station
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Watch a video on Freedom Camping In New Zealand
Does My Vehicle Need A Self-Containment Certification?
Image credits: Travellers Autobarn NZ
Firstly, you may be wondering “what in the world is a self-containment certification”? So let’s break it down. Self-contained vehicles are those you can live in for a minimum of three days without needing to get more water or dump waste. This means you’re able to be on the road with the required facilities to fulfil your everyday needs. So make sure you have a toilet, fresh water storage, wastewater storage, and rubbish bin onboard!
Also, be sure to keep in mind that your self-contained vehicle displays a compliance sticker and carries the certificate of compliance (just in case you get stopped by a compliance officer 👀). All wilderness campervans and motorhomes must be certified as self-contained in order to meet environmental standards. Now that we’ve got freedom camping down, onto the next question: Campervan or Motorhome?
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Find more information about Certified Self-Containment here
Campervan Vs Motorhome — Which Is More Suited For You?
There are pros and cons to both types of vehicles. Take a look at which is better suited to your needs when travelling long hours on the road:
|✅ Smaller vehicles similar to the size of commercial vans||✅ Larger and more spacious, able to roam around|
|✅ Fits two people||✅ Fits two to six people|
|✅ Includes a kitchenette and a chemical toilet — a small toilet that offers little to no privacy & can tend to smell funky when used||✅ Includes a kitchen, a private toilet, a shower, TVs, heating, air conditioning, etc.|
|✅ Most are self-contained||✅ Fully self-contained|
|✅ For those on a tight budget and are comfortable with limited privacy or are okay to rely on public toilets and shared campsite facilities||✅ For those who have a bigger budget and value the option of privacy and separate spaces|
|✅ For those uncomfortable with driving huge vehicles|
✅ Drivers who are as young as 18
|✅ For those comfortable with driving huge vehicles|
✅ Most motorhome companies only rent to those who are at a min. age of 25
|✅ Ideal for short trips||✅ Ideal for long trips|
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Check out our guide for the Best Camping Sites In New Zealand
Where To Rent A Campervan/Motorhome In New Zealand?
There are plenty of places to rent a campervan/motorhome in New Zealand. After all, it’s one of the more popular activities of locals and travellers alike! Here’s a list of some rental companies you can check out if you’re seeking adventure:
|List Of Rental Companies In New Zealand|
|🚐 Motorhome Republic |
|🚐 CU Camper|
|🚐 Britz |
|🚐 GoSee Travel|
|🚐 Maui Rentals |
|🚐 Wilderness Motorhome Rentals|
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Check out our guide on what to do in New Zealand
Things get can get pretty confusing when you’re travelling in a foreign land. And hey, that’s to be expected. So here are several camping apps you’d need to help you plan and navigate your way on the road. Not forgetting to mention finding that ideal spot to park and rest up for the night.
1. Rankers NZ
Image credits: Rankers NZ
The official camping app of New Zealand, this app gives you the freedom of selecting from 4,200 locations. Have specific preferences you require from your ideal campsites such as pet-friendly locations or holiday parks? Just filter through the app by type of campsite, and locations situated near attractions, wildlife, and even facilities.
You can even take a look at reviews written by other happy, or perhaps not-so-happy campers to help make up your mind. No WiFi? No problem. Rankers NZ can be used offline if you need to save what’s left of your precious data. Campsites can also be booked ahead of time before you arrive.
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Check out Rankers NZ here
Image credits: Google Play
Ideal for locating campgrounds, caravan parks, as well as nearby facilities, this app has over 1,900 locations to choose from and has offline maps available. If you’re a thorough planner, WikiCamps is sure to be your best friend on the road with its customisable checklists and a seven-day weather forecast.
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Check out WikiCamps here
Image credits: Campermate
Similar to the other camping apps mentioned above, Campermate stands out in one particular area — local deals. You heard right. This app hooks you up with local deals and offers to make your stay all the more enjoyable. After all, who doesn’t love a good discount?
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Find out more about Campermate here
Image credits: My New Zealand Campervan Trip
Are camping grounds looking too basically mainstream for you? Campable will definitely direct you towards something a little more out of the ordinary and give you the authentic Kiwi experience you’ve been searching for. We’re talking vineyards, beaches, working farms, privately-owned land, and even pubs! The best part of all? It’s free. 😉
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Find out more about Campable here
5. Track My Tour
Image credits: App Store – Apple
One for the sentimental folks (myself included), this handy dandy app keeps track of your travel and everything you do. Yes, we really mean everything. What you do, where you stay, even meals you’ve eaten! It maps it all out so you never forget.
Ever Tried Freedom Camping In New Zealand?: Find out more about Track My Tour here
Your New Kiwi Adventure Awaits
With a new way to explore New Zealand’s wonders, you’re all set to book that trip and get on the road! And while you’re booking your campervan or motorhome rentals and stocking it full of food, remember to use your YouTrip card to cash in on our sweet wholesale exchange rates!
As Singapore’s favourite multi-currency wallet, we aim to get those pesky fees out of the way and help you save on your travels. With the best foreign exchange rates, no longer will you have to deal with those long queues at money changers! So if you’re looking for a go-to travel card, sign up for your complimentary YouTrip card today with <YTBLOG5> and get FREE S$5 in your account! Then, head over to our YouTrip Perks page for exclusive offers and promotions — we promise you won’t regret it. For more great tips and articles like this, join our Telegram (@YouTripSG) and subscribe to our free weekly newsletter here or down below.
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Stay safe and happy camping!