Hōpuni kore utu
The South Taranaki District is a beautiful part of the country and a great place to explore. South Taranaki District Council hopes you take time to enjoy the spectacular scenery, get to know the friendly locals and experience all it has to offer.
While we’re a camping-friendly district, we support responsible camping and encourage the use of commercial camping grounds, Department of Conservation camping areas and our own designated areas.
Our Freedom Camping Bylaw (2016) was designed to protect our natural environment and ensure sustainability. We allow self-contained and non-self-contained camping in different areas around the district.
In August 2017, the townships of Hāwera and Ōpunakē became the 46th and 47th Motorhome Friendly towns in the country and were officially welcomed into the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s nationwide Motorhome Friendly scheme.
Download this easy-to-follow brochure(best printed) that goes over all freedom camping sites in the district, explains what type of camping is allowed where, as well as some helpful information about nearby facilities.
Freedom Camping Ambassadors
We actively enforce our bylaw over the summer months with Freedom Camping Ambassadors who check in on the sites regularly to ensure the rules are being upheld. If there are any serious offences taking place, you could be fined $200.
Where can I Freedom Camp?
See the Freedom Camping Brochure for more information.
Surf Highway 45
- Arawhata Road Carpark, Ōpunakē.
- Ōpunakē Recreation Ground Carpark, Heaphy Rd (western carpark area only).
- Halse Place, between Heaphy and Longfellow Roads, opposite the Ōpunakē Recreation Grounds. Maximum of 12 vehicles.
- Middleton Bay Carpark via Heaphy Rd at the corner of Halse Pl. Three designated parks at northern end of the Carpark.
- Hurst Park (Railway Reserve) Gisborne Tce, between Havelock and Napier Sts. On the old railway entrance only
- Northern Headland Carpark, Wharf Rd
- Ōpunakē Lake Carpark and play area, Layard St. Maximum of 6 vehicles
- Manaia Domain Carpark, corner of Hassard St and Bennett Dr
- Thoumine Park Carpark, corner of Victoria St and Riverside Dr
- Victoria Park Carpark, Park Lane
- Bridger Park Carpark, High St
- Eltham LibraryPlus Carpark, corner of Bath and King Edward Sts
- Taylor Park Carpark, Tayler St
- Lake Rotokare Scenic Reserve, Sangster Rd. There are three designated spots for all types of freedom campers, but only 6 vehicles/tents allowed on site at any one time. No animals allowed at the reserve self-contained vehicles infront of the estuary only. Non-self-contained vehicles outside the public toilets and information centre only. Tenting on lake front only.
- Rukumoana Reserve, Rawhitiroa Rd. Caution should be taken in the winter months as the ground can be soft.
- Normanby Domain Carpark, Ketemarae Rd
- Tuke Street Reserve, Fitzroy St or Tuke St
- Glen Nui Reserve, Lake Rotorangi
- Pukekino Landing, Lake Rotorangi
- Turuturu Road Soccer Grounds Carpark
- TSB Hub, Waihi or Camberwell Carpark. Three self contained vehicles per side.
- Albion Street Carpark
- Waihi Beach Reserve, Denby Rd
- Stafford Street Pool Reserve, Bedford Street/Egmont Street Reserve, Egmont St
- York Street Picnic Area
- Bourke’s Lookout, Pātea Beach, Egmont St
- Mana Bay, Pātea Beach, Beach Rd. 2 designated carparks at beachfront, 6 designated carparks and tenting options allowed at riverside carpark.
- Wairoa Reserve - Long Beach/Cave Beach Access, Waipipi Rd
- Dallison Park Carpark, Chester St
- Aotea Rotary Community Park, Corner of Chester St and Weraroa Rd. Tent within 100m of a public toilet only
All campers, including those in certified self-contained vehicles, can stay for a maximum of three nights before they need to move on.
Please be a tidy camper
Make the most of our facilities during your stay. You can help by:
- Ensuring your sewage and grey water holding tanks are discharged at designated wastewater dump stations (see list of dump stations below)
- Using public toilets available at all our designated non-self-contained camping areas
- We like to be clean and green in South Taranaki. Please use nearby rubbish bins or transfer stations to dispose of your waste.
- We have free recycling facilities (open 24 hours a day) at Ōpunakē, Eltham, Manaia, Waitotara and Waverley Transfer Stations. Pātea and Hāwera Transfer Stations also have free recycling during their opening hours.
Where to dispose of toilet and grey water
- Ōpunakē Beach
- Ōpunakē Tansfer Station
- Hāwera Holiday Park
- Normanby (SH3)
Not all public places in the district are managed by the Council and our freedom camping rules don’t apply to these areas, such as conservation land and state highways. The Department of Conservation has a freedom camping policy – you can find out about their rules here.