Maxpixel
Maxpixel

Where to Camp in Queenstown

© Maxpixel

The Guide to Camping in Queenstown

With bungy jumps, jet boats, hot pools, gondola rides and much much more, Queenstown is likely to be the town where you spend the most money in New Zealand (although, the above links are to a few decent deals we’ve found recently). Camping in Queenstown is a way to cut down the costs on accommodation so you can save more money for the fun stuff, but where can you camp in Queenstown?

Queenstown has very strict laws on camping, with absolutely no freedom camping options for non-self-contained camping (maybe check out The 50 Best Accommodations in Queenstown) and those with self-contained vehicles will have to drive quite far out of the town to find a free spot. Low-cost alternatives are just outside of Queenstown in the Department of Conservation campsites for all vehicles and tents. More convenient camping options lie in the Queenstown holiday parks but be sure to book well in advance for these limited and well-sought campgrounds.

Even just parking a motorhome in Queenstown can be a little risky for fines, so park in Boundary Street Car Park if looking for daytime parking for a motorhome. On that note, here is more about camping in Queenstown…

Holiday Parks and Campsites in Queenstown

There are three different types of campsites in Queenstown: holiday parks, Department of Conservation (DoC) campsites, and free campsites/freedom camping. Here are the main differences:

Holiday Parks

Holiday parks in Queenstown have a range of facilities of a high standard. Unsurprisingly, this comes at a higher 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 Accommodation Guide to Holiday Parks in New Zealand

Department of Conservation Campsites

Maintained by the Department of Conservation (DoC) (learn more about who the DoC are here), DoC campsites are low-cost campsites with limited facilities. Twelve Mile Delta only has tap water, while Moke Lake as flush toilets, a cooking shelter and tap water. These campsites are first come first served and you pay your fee to the camp warden.

Freedom Camping in Queenstown

Freedom camping is extremely limited in Queenstown. You cannot camp for free anywhere without a non-self-contained vehicle. Certified self-contained vehicles can park for a maximum of two nights outside on public land outside of the restricted zones outlined on Queenstown Lakes District Council website. For DoC land (Lake Wakatipu bays outside of the town) allow self-contained vehicles for 4 nights maximum in a single calendar month, between 5pm and 9am the following day.

 studio tdes on Flickr© studio tdes on Flickr

Holiday Parks in Queenstown

Queenstown City
Queenstown Suburbs
  • Frankton Motor Camp, Frankton – NZ$21-$23 per person for a tent/powered site
  • Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park, Arthur’s Point – NZ$50-$52 for two people in a tent/powered site
Arrowtown

Note that prices are approximate and are subject to change.

Where to Camp in Queenstown© NZPocketGuide.com

Department of Conservation Campsites in Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu

  • Twelve Mile Delta – NZ$15 per person (suitable for all vehicles and tents)
  • Moke Lake Campsite – NZ$15 per person (4WD access in winter, otherwise suitable for all vehicles and tents).

Note that prices are approximate and are subject to change.

Steve & Jem Copley on Wikipedia© Steve & Jem Copley on Wikipedia

Freedom Camping in Queenstown

Gibbston Valley
  • Kawarau Bridge car park, Gibbston Valley
  • East of the Gibbston Back Road and State Highway 6 intersection in the Queenstown Lakes District Council boundary.
Lake Wakatipu
  • Twenty Five Mile Stream

For more information, check out 5 Free Camping Spots in Queenstown.

Author

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.

Was this article useful?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on twitter
Twitter