Freedom Camping

Freedom Camping in Whanganui 

The freedom camping site at the Jubilee Stadium carpark will be closed from 3-7 November 2023 for maintenance and central region kapa haka.

The freedom camping site at Anzac Parade (Kowhai Park) will be closed from 1-3 December 2023 for an event.

Getting out and about in our district’s beautiful river and coastal areas is popular with visitors and Whanganui locals alike. We welcome freedom campers and we’ve recently put some regulations in place around where people can freedom camp to help protect our public places and ensure access for everyone.

The Freedom Camping Bylaw includes restrictions such as limiting how long people can freedom camp in certain areas, what vehicles they can use, and how many vehicles can be freedom camping at any one time. This bylaw covers both conventional and self-contained camping.

General rules for freedom camping

To make freedom camping work for everyone, we’ve brought in some general rules to follow:

  • fires are not permitted at any of our freedom camping sites, on Department of Conservation land or at public parks and reserves.
  • dogs must be on a lead at all times unless they are in an area where dogs are allowed off-lead – dog access areas.
  • our rules limit the number of vehicles allowed to freedom camp in an area at one time. If the maximum number of vehicles at a site has been met or space is an issue, please move to another site.
  • keep the area tidy and take your litter with you when you leave – rubbish and recycling page.
  • use approved dump stations for all grey/black water.

Please note you can be fined $200 under the Freedom Camping Act if these rules are not followed.

All of the rules are contained in the Freedom Camping Bylaw.

Where you can freedom camp

The map below shows the restricted (yellow) and prohibited (red) freedom camping areas.

Several areas have also been prohibited entirely, and many areas have “buffer zones” – areas around them where freedom camping is prohibited.

Click here for a map of all sites and buffer zones.

Conventional camping

Vehicles not certified as self-contained are required to stay at one of the freedom camping sites below with 24-hour access to a public toilet, or a campground

  • Anzac Parade
  • Moutoa Quay 

Tents are only allowed at the Anzac Parade site

Self-contained camping

Your vehicle needs to have current self-containment certification to stay at any of the following freedom camping sites:

  • Babbage Place
  • Jubilee Stadium Carpark
  • Mowhanau lookout carpark
  • 83 Taupo Quay
  • Westmere Lake carpark
  • River Road
  • Castlecliff Beach

If you are concerned about someone at a freedom camping site who may be experience homelessness, please get in contact with us so we can connect them with services that can help. Call (06)349001 or get in touch through our free Antenno app.