Where to Camp in Christchurch
Where to Camp in Christchurch

Where to Camp in Christchurch

© Pxhere

The Guide to Camping in Christchurch

As the major hub of the South Island packed with work opportunities for backpackers and heaps of free and cheap things to do, Christchurch is one of those rare cities in New Zealand where you can actually save money. Why spoil this amazing fact by staying in expensive accommodation? Camping in Christchurch is no doubt an appealing accommodation option for most backpackers, but where exactly can you camp in Christchurch?

There are three types of camping options in Christchurch: holiday parks, one Department of Conservation campsite, and freedom camping for those with a certified self-contained vehicle. Those without a self-contained vehicle would be better to make use of the holiday parks of some of Christchurch’s backpacker hostels to save money on accommodation.

So take a look at the directory below to find the perfect place to park up your van or pitch your tent for a night in Christchurch.

Holiday Parks and Campsites in Christchurch

Holiday Parks

Holiday parks in Christchurch have a range of facilities of a high standard. Unsurprisingly, this comes at a high price. They also offer a number of accommodation types, but campers can always rely on holiday parks to have powered sites to plug up your campervan and tent sites (providing there is availability). For more on what to expect from a holiday park, check out the Accommodation Guide to Holiday Parks in New Zealand

Department of Conservation (DoC) Campground

The Department of Conservation (DoC) maintains one campsite in Christchurch. Facilities include flush toilets and water supply.

Freedom Camping in Christchurch

Freedom camping is legal only to those with a certified self-contained vehicle. Avoid prohibited freedom camping areas. More is explained in the Freedom Camping section below.

Emma McGuirk on Wikipedia© NZPocketGuide.com

Holiday Parks in Christchurch

Outskirts of Christchurch

  • Woodend Beach Holiday Park, Woodend Beach – NZ$15-$24 per person for a tent/powered site
  • Rangiora Leigh Holiday Park, Rangiora – NZ$25 for two people in a tent/powered site

Christchurch City

Note that prices are approximate and subject to change.

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Department of Conservation Campsite

There is only one campsite maintained by the DoC in Christchurch:

Note that prices are approximate and subject to change.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

Freedom Camping in Christchurch

Freedom camping in Christchurch is only permitted to those with a certified self-contained vehicle. Freedom camping in a non-self-contained vehicle or tent is illegal. Those in a self-contained campervan can camp for a maximum of two nights in most of the public areas in the city. There are no time restrictions for freedom camping in Yaldhurst, Islington and Templeton (the area beyond Christchurch Airport). Prohibited freedom camping areas to all vehicles include:

  • Christchurch city centre (anywhere enclosed in Deans Ave, Harper Ave, Bealey Ave, Fitzgerald Ave and Moorhouse Ave)
  • The car park at New Brighton Beach
  • Rapaki
  • Lyttleton town centre

For a more detailed map on the prohibited freedom camping areas, check out the Christchurch City Council website.

When freedom camping, please respect the environment and stick to the 11 Golden Rules of Camping in New Zealand.

More Accommodations in Christchurch

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Try some other accommodation in Christchurch…


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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