Where Can I Camp?

The Wanaka region is the perfect place to explore by motorhome and campervan or pitch your tent and watch the sun go down across the mountains

In the spirit of manaakitanga, our community not only takes a hosting responsibility but also one of guardianship over our beautiful environment. As Wanaka works towards being a sustainable visitor destination, we ask that visitors play their part in contributing to our regions well-being while enjoying our magnificent natural resources.

Wanaka is one of the most pristine parts of the world - here's some tips to help keep it this way.

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Specifically, we ask all visitors to please “Leave No Trace” and be considerate of others:

  • Travel and camp only where permitted.
  • Remove all waste – carry it in, carry it out
  • Refrain from using our lakes and rivers for bathing, laundering clothes or washing dishes.
  • Refrain from toileting on the ground and / or in the bush / forest. 
  • Ensure you discharge motorhome or campervan black water (sewage) and grey water (sink and hand basin water) at designated wastewater dump stations only.
  • Light no fires

Freedom camping and 'parking up' overnight

Under Queenstown Lakes District Council Bylaw, it is not permitted to freedom camp or 'park up' in an occupied vehicle overnight in a public place in any town. Persons found freedom camping or occupying a 'parked up' vehicle overnight on any street, reserve (including the lakefront), carpark, rest area or road lay-by will incur an infringement notice for which a fine of $200 is payable. 

Self-Contained vehicles may camp overnight for free on most land administered by Council away from the town centres and residential areas. There is some public land including DoC reserves which are excluded. Observe all no camping signs.

Non Self-Contained vehicles cannot freedom camp anywhere in the Queenstown Lakes District and must stay in a camping ground if you wish to camp. Freedom camping without a self-contained campervan will result in a $200 instant fine.   


All commonly recyclable materials can be disposed of at the Wanaka Recycling Centre (on Ballantyne Road). Many holiday parks also encourage guests to be sustainable by providing on-site recycling facilities.

Rubbish disposal

Small amounts of rubbish can be disposed of in the bins provided around town. Larger quantities of rubbish can be disposed of at the Wanaka Landfill on Ballantyne Road, even after hours if in a blue council bag. All holiday parks and camping grounds also have rubbish disposal facilities for guests.


Timed street parking may be used by motorhomes and campervans so long as the vehicle does not extend beyond the end of the white line which marks the parking space. Parking is available along the lakefront opposite Pembroke Park for extended periods during the day but not for overnight camping.

Sewage cassettes and sink-water tanks

Motorhome and campervan black and grey water cassettes/tanks can be emptied free of charge 24 hours a day at the Wanaka Showgrounds, corner of Brownston and McDougall Street . A motorhome dump station is also available at the Boundary Creek camping area. Most Wanaka holiday parks also have dump stations available for guest use.

Motorhome travel in other parts of New Zealand

The www.camping.org.nz website is a useful information tool for planning motorhome travel in New Zealand.  There are helpful tips on how you as a visitor can engage in responsible tourism and also links to regional information on camping regulations and motorhome facilities.

If in doubt, assume nothing – always ask!