Freedom camping


​​​Please note the dates for Council's deliberations on the draft freedom camping bylaw have changed. Council will now deliberate submissions on Thursday, June 22, and this will be open to the public. 


Taupo District Council is working towards creating a Freedom Camping Bylaw to manage freedom camping in certain areas of the Taupo District. 

You can read the Statement of Proposal here which outlines the purpose of our draft bylaw on freedom camping and contains further information including pros and cons on potential freedom camping sites around the district. 

You can view an interactive map with sites we are proposing to allow freedom camping here. 

You can also read the draft freedom camping bylaw here:

Have your say

​Thank you for sharing your views on freedom camping with us.
All submissions will be considered. If you’d like to present your submission in person, you will be invited to a hearing to be held in May 2017.
Please note all submissions are made public and will be heard in a meeting which is open to the general public.​

You can read the submissions here​.


Freedom camping has become a popular option for visitors around New Zealand and offers an affordable holiday for domestic and international travellers.

In the Taupo District there has been a noticeable increase in the presence of freedom campers in recent years. This has raised concerns about whether there is an appropriate management regime in place. Freedom camping has also received negative attention in national media following an increase in complaints.

Freedom camping is a complex issue and council has invited feedback from the community through a number of consultation opportunities ahead of drafting a freedom camping bylaw.

What does the draft freedom camping bylaw change?

Council recognises the issues associated with freedom camping need to be managed and responsible freedom camping needs to be promoted. We also need an easy and effective enforcement regime to manage any effects that come from freedom camping.  

Council has recently been considering various areas around the district that could cater to increasing numbers of freedom campers. Sufficient areas need to be considered to ensure freedom campers continue to have a good visitor experience within our district. Not enough camping areas can lead to undesirable outcomes from overcrowding which is often exacerbated at peak times such as Christmas and New Year. It can also lead to campers incurring infringements, moving to less desirable areas within the district or moving onto another district where they are more welcoming. 

Camping is currently permitted at Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve, Mangakino Recreation Reserve, Whakamaru Domain and Whakamaru Recreation Reserve, and we are proposing these to be maintained. Further areas are proposed for all camping, including those outlined in the draft freedom camping bylaw.

​Since 2011, off-street parking on Ferry Road in Taupo has been permitted for the purpose of over-night stays. We are proposing to remove this to maintain lakefront access for day users. 

As part of the proposed bylaw we are proposing campers can stay at each site for a maximum of two nights/three days for certified self-contained vehicles, unless otherwise specified. 


​Consultation on draft bylaw17 February to 18 April 2017
​Potential hearings and deliberations​8 to 10 May 2017
​Deliberation22 June 2017 (10am to 12noon)
​Adopt potential freedom camping bylaw29 August​ 2017

Media rele​ases

Freedom camping bylaw to be considered
Consultation on draft freedom camping guidelines to open
Agend​a item

​Contact us

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team on 0800 ASK TDC or e-mail​.

Page reviewed: 30 May 2017 11:46am