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The written and unwritten rules for freedom camping in Tairāwhiti

Life on the road and the mystery of where the journey takes you is a great way to travel. Freedom camping in Tairāwhiti takes you to hidden gems and beautiful places but there’s a lot of written and unwritten rules you should be aware of. Here’s what you need to know.  

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1. You can’t reserve or pre-book sites

When it comes to freedom camping, the early bird catches the worm. Pegging a tarp on the ground to save a spot doesn’t mean the site is yours - so, remember it’s a first come first serve basis.

2. Leave nothing behind

Take back some awesome memories with you and leave no trace. Which means responsible freedom campers should recycle or dispose of rubbish here. Wastewater holding tanks should be disposed of at designated dump stations here. More info on what you can recycle where can be found on this handy page.

3. No semi-permanent structures

This means you can’t tie things up to trees or shrubs. No makeshift structures that can be blown away. It’s just you, your tent or your van under the stars.

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4. Don’t block any access ways

Rather obvious but easy to forget. Footpaths and boat access should stay obstacle-free so be mindful when parking your vehicle.

5. Bring your own water

Drinking water is not available at any campsite so remember to bring your own water – and plenty of it. There may not be a shop or gas station you can walk to so its important you come well prepared.

6. Open fires are prohibited

As idyllic as toasting marshmallows around an open campfire sounds, this is absolutely not permitted. You must have gas for cooking.

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7. Maximum stay is 3 nights

Permits are given for a maximum 3 nights stay. There are inspectors checking permits so best to play by the rules to avoid any fees.

8. We are dog-friendly

You can freedom camp and bring your pooch too but for the safety of others, you must keep them under control.

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New Zealand is a unique part of this world with an abundance of natural beauty.

Watch the Tiaki Promise video to learn what you can do to help protect and preserve Aotearoa.

  

Now that you’ve wised up on how to freedom camp the kiwi way, here are 7 fave freedom camping spots in Tairāwhiti you should check out before you hit the road. Bon voyage!

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