Just you and nature. It's the holiday you've been needing for ages. After all, nothing compares to a night under the stars. Camping on the West Coast is a great way to experience nature at its most raw and spectacular. Just remember to LOVE NZ and be a responsible camper so the next person can enjoy the wonder too.
Below is useful information to help you be a responsible camper on the West Coast. It is YOUR responsibility to be up to date with this information by the time you get here.
The West Coast is blessed with an abundance of secluded and scenic spots ideal for freedom camping, where camping is done in a location without facilities and is not a designated campground. In order to maintain the privileges of freedom camping and ensure the protection of our environment, it is important everyone camps responsibly and observes local freedom camping-related rules. You are responsible for learning what bylaws exist.
Freedom camping is permitted on DOC public conservation land, except in areas where it is expressly prohibited or restricted to self contained vehicles. This is indicated by signage.
Freedom camping in a prohibited or restricted area can result in a $200 infringement fee which must be paid prior to departing New Zealand.
Each district on the West Coast has different bylaws concerning where Freedom Camping is allowed. These are based on the Freedom Camping Act 2011. It is best to contact the local Councils to see what is allowed and what is prohibited or the local Visitor Information Centre. Many areas are also signposted. Again, it is soley your responsibility to know what bylaws exist and abide by them.
Part of keeping the West Coast and New Zealand beautiful is to be responsible with your waste wherever you camp. Carry in, carry out. Leave no trace. Don't ruin your holiday as non-compliance can result in a $200 infringement fee or a maximum $10,000 fine if prosecuted. And nobody likes finding a stack of toilet paper next to a pristine lake! Below is a map of all the dump stations along the West Coast so you can be a responsible camper.
For more information on Responsible Camping please visit:
Great Camping spot at the Kohaihai river mouth.
Goldsborough Camping Ground near Hokitika.