Camping and campervans in Christchurch and Akaroa

There are plenty of beautiful camping spots in Christchurch, Akaroa and Banks Peninsula for you to enjoy. To protect our environment we have different rules depending on if you are staying in a tent, car or campervan. Know where you can freedom camp.

tent iconCamping in a tent or a vehicle without on-board facilities

Camping in a tent or non-certified vehicle is not permitted anywhere in Christchurch, Akaroa or Banks Peninsula. You need to stay in a camping ground that has facilities you can use. 

campervan icon

Self-contained campervans (freedom camping)

If your campervan is certified self-contained (with toilet, wastewater and rubbish facilities on-board) then you may freedom camp in some areas of Christchurch, Akaroa and Banks Peninsula. 

Camping in town centres, some residential settlements, Council parks and reserves isn’t allowed. Some areas are restricted to two nights in any 30-day period in a self-contained vehicle only. 

Use our map to find a place to stay

Map Listing

For more information download our brochure.

What is freedom camping?

Freedom camping is also known as free camping, wild camping or boon docking.

This is when self-contained campervans stay overnight in non-designated camping areas.

You need to have a certified self-contained vehicle with a toilet, wastewater and rubbish facilities on-board.

Tips for responsible camping

Love our place as much as we do.

Be responsible campers and help us to protect our environment.

  • Respect nearby residents and wildlife.
  • Park considerably, not blocking any roads, driveways or tracks.
  • Use our free public toilets or your on-board toilet. It’s not permitted to go to the toilet beside the road, in the bush, on the ground, on the beach, or in a river, creek or lake.
  • Only empty your campervan toilet at a dump station, use our map to find the closest one.
  • Take your rubbish with you, or put it into a Council rubbish bin. If the bin is full, please phone us on (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.
  • Lighting campfires can pose a risk to the community and the environment, and the rules change from place-to-place. Use a gas fire if cooking food, and be sure that it is clear of any flammable material.

Paying a freedom camping infringement

The Freedom Camping Act allows for the Council to issue a fine of $200 if someone is found freedom camping, or making preparations to freedom camp, in a local-authority area and in breach of the Council's Bylaw, including any temporarily closed sites.

Full details are in the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015(external link).

Freedom Camping Infringements can be paid for via post, in person and by phone.

Post a cheque for your freedom camping infringement to:
Christchurch City Council
PO Box 73013, 
Christchurch 8154.

In person (cash, cheque or eftpos)
You can pay in person at Council service centre(external link).

Phone (24 hours a day)
You can pay over the phone using any major credit card. Call the Customer Call Centre on 0800 800 169.

Check the Department of Conservation(external link) website for more campsites and camping tips and activities.

Appeal a freedom camping infringement

Camping in Akaroa

Camping in a tent or a vehicle without certified on-board facilities

You need to stay at a campground where there are facilities you can use. Camping in a tent or vehicle without certified on-board facilities is not permitted anywhere in Akaroa or Banks Peninsula.

Full details are in the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015(external link)(external link).

Narrow, steep and unsealed roads

Some of the roads in Akaroa and Banks Peninsula are narrow, steep and unsealed with limited places to turn around. For everyone's safety we advise that you don't travel on roads marked 'Not suitable for campervans' or '4WD drive only' unless you are in a suitable vehicle. 

To plan your journey, check the road conditions and get more information, visit link)

Campervan parking in Akaroa

Akaroa has narrow streets and limited parking at busy times - for daytime parking, larger vehicles are encouraged to park in the Akaroa Freedom Camping Area, around the perimeter of the nearby boat ramp area, and near the tennis courts on Rue Jolie. 

Wherever you decide to park, please park considerately, and in a park that is the right size for your vehicle.