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Camping in the Waikato

We will be reviewing our Freedom Camping Bylaw in 2023. Find out more at

The Waikato district has some amazing towns and beaches and we highly recommend you visit some of these great spots.

Camping grounds in the district

We have some great camp grounds in our district with a variety of accommodation options. 

Find out more about camping grounds

Where can I freedom camp?

You can freedom camp in most areas on our district. Use this map to discover where you can and can't park your self-contained vehicle for the night. 

Freedom camping is prohibited in the areas marked in red.

Note: this map is a new feature. If you have any feedback, please use the feedback options at the bottom of this page.

Things you need to know

In a self-contained vehicle?

If you are in a self-contained vehicle you can camp anywhere in our district except in the prohibited areas. You can stay up to 3 nights in each area. 

Note: Some areas have restrictions. Self-contained camping at The Point in Ngaruawahia is restricted to a designated area and it can’t be used if the area is required for events. At St Stephens Car Park in Tuakau you can only camp in a self-contained vehicle between the hours of 6pm and 10am and you can’t stay for more than two nights.

Not in a self-contained vehicle?

You can camp at Onewhero Domain and Te Kauwhata Domain but you can’t camp in these areas for more than 2 nights if you aren’t self-contained. It is free to camp in these areas.

Otherwise you’ll need to stay in a holiday park, campground or a Department of Conservation camping area.

Freedom camping dump stations

If you are driving a certified self-contained vehicle, please dispose of your grey water (sink and shower) and toilet waste in a safe and environmentally sound way at an approved dump station. It is recommended that you dispose of your waste every 2-3 days.

You’ll find dump stations in the following areas:

Freedom Camping Act 2011 and our Freedom Camping Bylaw 2016

Under the Waikato District Council Freedom Camping Bylaw (2016), you can receive a $200 fine if you do not comply with the rules. You can also be fined for littering or making too much noise.