Freedom Camping

Freedom camping is permitted in any local authority area within the District unless it is prohibited or restricted.

Read our information brochure


Prohibited Areas

A person must not freedom camp in any local authority area in the District in any vehicle that is not a certified self-contained vehicle.

A person must not freedom camp in any tent or temporary structure in any local authority area, except as allowed in clause 3.

A person must not freedom camp in any local authority area described in Schedule 1 and marked red on the maps in Schedule 3.


Prohibited areas include:

Te Kūiti Cemetery (new)

Te Kūiti Cemetery (old)

Te Kūiti Domain - Te Kūiti

Brook Park - Te Kūiti

Redwood Park -Te Kūiti

Te Kuiti Skateboard Park - Te Kūiti

Centennial Park - Te Kūiti

Rose Garden Reserve - Te Kūiti

Rukuhia Domain - Piopio

Kara Park - Piopio

Piopio Cemetery

Mōkau Esplanade (Aria Terrace) and Point Road (including carpark) - Mōkau

Carpark area opposite Whitebait Inn - Mōkau

Tokopapa Street (including carparking area) - Mōkau

Takarei Terrace Recreation Reserve - Mōkau

Boat Ramp carparking, Te Kauri Road - Mōkau

Beach Road - Mōkau

Tainui Street - Mōkau

Rangi Street - Mōkau

Oha Street - Mōkau

Mōkau Cemetery

Carpark Area, Moana Quay - Marokopa

Esplanade - Marokopa

Marokopa Recreation Reserve - Carley Reeve Drive Marokopa

Moerua Street - Marokopa

Rauparaha Street - Marokopa

Marokopa Road - Marokopa

Carley Reeve Drive - Marokopa

Kiritehere Cemetery Reserve (including Road reserve)

Benneydale Domain - Maniaiti/Benneydale (part)

Benneydale Hall - Maniaiti Road - Maniaiti/Benneydale

Benneydale public toilets - State Highway 30, Maniaiti/Benneydale

Boat Ramp carpark - Te Waitere

Te Waitere Cemetery

Iredale Quay River Esplanade - Awakino

Awakino Heads Esplanade - Awakino Heads Road - Awakino

Aria Cemetery

St Helen Domain - Aria

Mapiu Cemetery

Mapiu Domain - Mapiu

Waikawau Beach/Tunnel Recreation Reserve

Kinohaku Hall - Kinohaku

Waitomo Village Road - Waitomo


General Restrictions

a) The freedom camping must only take place in a certified self-contained vehicle or tent as specified below

b) The maximum period of stay in any location is two consecutive nights on no more than two separate occasions in any calendar month.

c) Freedom camping in certified self-contained vehicles is restricted to the signposted area (where signposted). Space will be available on a 'first-in first-served' basis.

d) Unless subject to area specific restrictions all vehicles being used for freedom camping must depart by 9am.

e) All vehicles being used for freedom camping must be legally parked and any possessions associated with freedom camping contained within a single, defined carparking space. If undefined, vehicles must park in a courteous manner to allow other vehicles to also park within the signposted area, with all possessions no more than 1 metre from the vehicle in any direction.

f) All vehicles being used for freedom camping must be parked clear of any entry and exit points to the site.

g) No person may light any fire while freedom camping in a local authority area except in a place specifically provided by the Council for that purpose, or with the prior written permission of Council.

h) All waste must be disposed of into an appropriate waste receptacle or removed from site.

i) The site must be left in a clean and tidy state.

j) Every person must leave and not return if required to leave by an Enforcement Officer under the Act.

k) All conditions stipulated on any signs in the local authority area must be complied with.


Area specific restrictions

Shearing Statute (Municipal) Reserve, Te Kūiti - Maximum of 6 self-contained vehicles in defined area only. No tenting.

Rora Street North, Te Kūiti - Self-contained vehicles only. No tenting.

Tui Park, Piopio - No time restrictions. Self-contained, non-self-contained and Tenting allowed.

Benneydale Domain (part) - Self-contained vehicles only. No tenting.

Te Waitere Reserve - Self-contained and non-self-contained vehicles. No tenting.

Te Anga Road Scenic Lookout - Maximum of 3 self-contained vehicles. No tenting


The Freedom Camping Bylaw 2022 applies only to the areas under the control of the Waitomo District Council.

The purpose of this Bylaw is to control freedom camping in the District in order to:
(a) Protect local authority areas;
(b) Protect the health and safety of people who may visit local authority areas;
(c) Protect access to local authority areas.


Read our Freedom Camping Bylaw 2022 (PDF 2.29 MB)

Read the Freedom Camping Act 2011