Planning a Campervan Adventure in New Zealand? Stay Informed on These Rules to Avoid Fines

Reddy Darwis


Embarking on a journey through New Zealand with a campervan offers travelers the chance to enjoy breathtaking landscapes and immerse themselves in the unique local culture without worrying about transportation and accommodation. However, before hitting the road, it’s crucial for travelers to be acquainted with the updated rules.

The surge in campervan popularity in the early 2000s in the country has led to tensions with the local community. Reports of tourists stopping at picturesque locations and causing harm, whether through littering or excessive noise, have frequently made headlines.

In 2020, former New Zealand Police Minister Stuart Nash expressed concerns about camping tourists parking on the roadside and disposing of waste in public drains. “It’s not who we are as a nation, it’s not part of our global brand, and I don’t think it’s the sort of tourism that New Zealanders want to see in our country,” he stated.

Campervans Must Have Toilets

As a response, starting from December 7, 2023, only vehicles equipped with a permanent toilet that has been certified as a self-contained vehicle will be allowed to park in camping areas in New Zealand.

Portable toilets will no longer meet the criteria, and higher standards for water and ventilation systems in campervans and vans are now enforced. Vehicles that pass the inspection will be issued a green warrant or sticker.

Those found without the appropriate sticker will be deemed in violation of freedom camping regulations and face fines of up to NZ$2400.

Phased Implementation

These changes will be gradually implemented over the next 16 months. Therefore, if you’re planning to rent or purchase a van or motorhome for a trip to New Zealand, it’s advisable to adhere to these regulations. However, if you’re traveling before June this year, chances are you won’t be subject to these rules.

New Zealand boasts over 500 free camping sites for travelers, ranging from parking spaces behind shopping centers to coastal locations with the soothing sound of waves lapping at the shore.

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