10 Free Camping Spots in Auckland

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Freedom Camping in Auckland

Nothing sounds sweeter to a backpacker’s ears than the word “free”. Freedom camping is a great way to save on the cents when travelling around New Zealand. The Auckland region has a limited number of free camping spots, but the few it does have are only open to certified self-contained vehicles staying a maximum of two nights. Take a look at the list below for the free camping spots in Auckland.

Remember to camp responsibly when freedom camping in New Zealand following the 11 Golden Rules of Camping in New Zealand. For more options for camping in Auckland, take a look at Where to Camp in Auckland.

1. Gulf Harbour Car Park

A pretty sweet seaside spot for certified self-contained vehicles. The Gulf Harbour Car Park has public toilets. Maximum stay is two nights. Find out How to Get Your Campervan Certified Self-Contained.

Location: End of Laurie Southwick Parade, Gulf Harbour, Whangaparaoa, Auckland

 itravelNZ - New Zealand in your pocket on Flickr© itravelNZ® - New Zealand in your pocket™ on Flickr

2. Ray’s Rest Camping Reserve

Get in early to secure your spot in this popular free campground on the edge of the Auckland and Waikato regions. With a certified self-contained vehicle, you can stay for up to two consecutive nights in one calendar month. A good place for a walk on the beach and watching wading birds. Note that there are no facilities.

Location: Rays Rest Reserve, East Coast Road, Kaiaua

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3. Te Toro Scenic Reserve

Overlooking the Manukau Harbour, freedom camping in the Te Toro Scenic Reserve is a pleasant freedom camping spot with a small beach to relax at. Freedom camping is for two nights maximum with a certified self-contained vehicle and it is first-come-first-served. Public toilet facilities and picnic benches are available.

Location: After 494 Te Toro Road, Awhitu Peninsula, Auckland

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4. Hamilton’s Gap

A countryside drive on the Awhitu Peninsula brings you to Hamilton’s Gap, a freedom camping area on the coast. There are public toilets and a stunning beach to explore! Your vehicle must be certified self-contained to stay here.

Location: End of West Coast Road, Awhitu Peninsula

 russellstreet on Flickr© russellstreet on Flickr

5. Rosa Birch Car Park

A good option for a quick overnight stay when driving in or out of Auckland. Stay a maximum of two nights in the car park with toilet facilities. Your vehicle must be certified self-contained to stay here.

Location: Beresford Street, Pukekohe

Nataliej44 on Wikipedia© Nataliej44 on Wikipedia

6. Port Albert Domain

Located in South Kaipara, the Port Albert Domain is open to freedom campers in a certified self-contained vehicle staying a maximum of two nights. There are a children’s playground, toilets and a historic wharf at the site.

Location: Wharf Road, Port Albert, Rodney

5 Free Camping Spots in Auckland© Brian on Flickr

7. Matheson Bay

This well-kept secret on the Hibiscus Coast is not only a great swimming spot but also has a small freedom camping area in a sign-posted grassy reserve. Those with certified self-contained vehicles can stay for up to two nights. Check for wet grass conditions before parking up.

Location: Matheson Bay Road, Leigh

5 Free Camping Spots in Auckland© Mark Clinton - THL

8. Sunburst Reserve

The popular summer holiday hotspot, Snells Beach, offers an area for freedom campers providing they have a certified self-contained vehicle and only stay a maximum of two nights. There are six dedicated parking spaces for motorhomes at the Sunburst Avenue car park.

Location: Sunburst Avenue, Snells Beach

5 Free Camping Spots in Auckland© KiltedKiwi on Wikipedia

9. Parry Kauri Park

Just south of Warkworth, the Parry Kauri Park is a museum and a freedom camping area for campers with a certified self-contained vehicle. Learn about the kauri milling history of the area and walk a short kauri bushwalk during your stay.

Location: Tudor Collins Drive, Warkworth

5 Free Camping Spots in Auckland© Szilas on Wikipedia

10. Hatfield’s Beach

Stay in Orewa, north of Auckland city, at the car park at Hatfield’s Beach. Those with a certified self-contained campervan can stay up to two nights and enjoy some fishing and swimming while you’re there.

Location: Hibiscus Coast Highway, Hatfields Beach, Orewa

10 Free Camping Spots in Auckland© Wallpaper Flare (copyright free)


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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