General rules for all freedom camping
You can freedom camp in a certified self-contained vehicle on most council-controlled public land in Auckland, including most roadsides.
To freedom camp in Auckland, you must:
- use a certified self-contained vehicle
- stay a maximum of two nights in the same road or off-road parking area (for example a council carpark)
- vacate your parking space by 9am on the day you leave
- not return to stay in the same road or off-road parking area within a two-week period, which starts from 9am on the day of departure
- comply with special rules for freedom camping on Waiheke Island
- not stay in any area where freedom camping is prohibited
- comply with any special rules for freedom camping in restricted areas
- comply with other rules about disposal of waste and responsible freedom camping.
You cannot freedom camp in tents in public places. This is not allowed in Auckland.
If you break the rules or camp in prohibited areas, you can be fined.
Freedom camping on Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island does not have a public dump station for campers to dispose of their waste. When you freedom camp on Waiheke, you must:
- only freedom camp for a maximum of two nights
- leave Waiheke on the third day to dump your waste at a public dump station
- not return to stay in the same road or off-road parking area on Waiheke within two weeks from 9am on the day you left.
If you want to camp on the island for more than two nights, you will need to find other self-contained accommodation.
Where freedom camping is prohibited or restricted in Auckland
You cannot freedom camp:
- at 58 areas prohibited (not allowed) under this bylaw
- at council reserves (parkland held under the Reserves Act)
- in regional parks (paid camping is available in designated camping areas)
- in carparks where parking is reserved or where a fee is charged to park (such as council parking buildings).
You can freedom camp in 20 restricted areas where extra rules apply. For example, limits on the number of vehicles allowed to park overnight and where you can park.
If you are not sure whether you can freedom camp in a particular location, check for signage in the area.
Disposing of waste
The law requires you to properly dispose of the human waste and grey water (such as sink and shower water) stored in your vehicle.
Look out for the blue dump station symbol, or search for dump stations on the Camper Mate app or the Camping NZ app.
You can search for public toilets using the AA Map.
Your waste can harm the environment and public health. You can be fined or prosecuted under the Freedom Camping Act 2011 for not disposing of it properly.
Responsible freedom camping
Freedom campers also need to follow all other rules and regulations that apply to anyone using a public place. These include:
You should always leave areas as you find them and be considerate of other people, including neighbouring homes and businesses.
Read more about responsible freedom camping and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Tiaki Promise.
If you do not have a self-contained vehicle
If you do not have a self-contained vehicle and you want to camp in Auckland, you need to use campgrounds that provide suitable facilities.
Find and book accommodation in our regional and holiday parks.
Homelessness - people living in vehicles
If you have concerns for the welfare of someone staying in a vehicle in a public place, visit our Community safety and support page for advice.
Get a copy of the Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 2022