Camping in the Waitomo district

16 Dec 2014, 11:11 AM

There are many beautiful places to camp throughout our district and Waitomo District Council wants to support visitors enjoying their holidays while camping.

Campers are asked to respect the local environment, other visitors and residents and remember to keep your vehicles secure when left unattended.

Unfortunately, freedom camping is having a negative impact on our clean, green environment as a result of litter and the inappropriate disposal of human waste and grey water.

We urge people planning a camping holiday to utilise campgrounds or holiday parks wherever possible. These sites provide a good standard of service and facilities like electricity, running water and flush toilets.

In the Waitomo district there are campgrounds/ holiday parks located in Te Kuiti, Marokopa, Awakino/ Mokau and Waitomo. For further details on local accommodation please contact the Te Kuiti Visitor Information Centre i-SITE on 878 8077.

If you do plan on camping please follow these guidelines:


  • Use a portable fuel stove. They are more efficient than open fires and are less harmful to the environment. If you really have to make an open fire, keep it small, use only dead wood and make sure it is properly extinguished by dousing it with water and checking the ashes before you leave.
  • Before lighting an open fire you should check if a permit is required, by contacting Council on 0800 932 4357.
  • Waitomo District Council's Restricted Fire Season for open fires starts at midnight on 12 January 2015 and finishes on 31 March 2015.  This season may commence earlier if dry weather conditions develop.  Anyone lighting an open air fire which include - campfires, cooking fires, braziers, rubbish fires (including the use of 44gal drums as incinerators), controlled burns and prescribed burns - must obtain a Fire Permit from Council before lighting a fire. 

Waste water

  • Apart from being culturally offensive, the improper disposal of toilet waste can contaminate water sources and damage the environment. Use disposal facilities where provided or bury waste in a shallow hole at least 50 metres away from any waterway.
  • When washing and cleaning, take the water and wash well away from the water source. Drain used water (grey water) into the soil or grass because soaps and detergents are harmful to water life.
  • If you suspect water to be contaminated, either boil it for at least three minutes, or filter it, or chemically treat it.


  • Litter is unsightly, harmful to wildlife and pollutes our rivers and streams. Try to reduce the amount of rubbish you produce by recycling and take all your litter with you when you leave your camp site.
  • Glass, plastic (types 1 and 2), paper, cardboard, Tin and aluminium cans are all recyclable (PDF 575 KB) materials that can be disposed of at our rural waste transfer stations and district landfill.


Enjoy your summer camping holiday and be responsible with your waste wherever you camp.