Freedom camping under the new law
There are new penalties and some exemptions. Are you homeless, or making a lifestyle choice? Who gets fined and how they are notified. The law is vague. Councils and enforcement officers have to make it work.
Cooking on the road: planning food for…off the road
A 4-day camp adventure at Lake Tarawera Hot Water Beach, a long way from roads and power: how to manage the food?
The Desert Road
The Desert Road On our first road trip with our new caravan. We made it successfully from Wellington to Whangarei.
The Homestead, St Bathans
I’ve been enjoying a few days away at one of my favourite spots, The Homestead Campsite near Saint Bathans.
10 Tips for safe caravan towing
Here are 10 tips for safe towing: caravans and their tow vehicles have much the same accident rates as other forms of motor transport, their main type of accident, jack-knifing, however, is different.
Why Caravans roll over… and how to prevent it
An explanation in detail of every aspect of tow vehicle and caravan stability.
Building a connected NZ camping and tourism industry
To ensure a sustainable recreational camping industry related interest groups need to be more engaged and appreciative of the issues each group faces.
The only ones at Lake Pukaki
I can’t believe we are the only ones at Lake Pukaki tonight. So incredibly grateful to have captured these skies.
Lake Monowai campsite
Our small family of 3 set up camp in a quiet and secluded paradise in the heart of Fiordland National Park
Why not stop and stay a while?
Introducing Stop and Stay, where to stop when travelling and camping in NZ — use it, share it, add to it.
Easy-to-make flat breads — Recipes for camping
These recipes come from the fabulous book New Zealand Backcountry Cooking by Paul and Rebecca Garland.
Cooking with fire
NZ Fun Adventures was pleased to see so many outdoor enthusiasts join with us for this, now annual, event in our events calendar.
Pros and Cons of full time family travel
We get heaps of people message us and ask about the pros and cons of travelling full time so we thought we’d put pen to paper and share the highs and lows of full time travel with kids
More cold season tips
Sharing our best hacks which made life so much easier on a recent Matariki vanning trip.
A small, beautiful cassette toilet
There is a cassette toilet in that beautifully crafted cabinet.
Update: Self-containment and freedom camping changes
The Government’s recent changes to Freedom Camping and self-containment certification are now being implemented. These changes mean that over the next 18 to 24 months new regulations may impact your freedom camping.
Thinking about your overnight park
Do you park your camper facing outwards? (Quick evac if needed.) Or just how you feel?
Freedom inside the fence
We were looking for a freedom park for the night, but following the recommendation of friends we came here, through the big gates, to this pest-free reserve and we discovered it was so much more than a parking spot.
Small town New Zealand: Find the words Puzzle
From North and South Islands see how many you recognise.
Small town: Waiau
A small, North Canterbury, gem of a town, with friendly, welcoming locals, walks, exhibits, cycle rides, shops and free overnighting. Perfect for a couple of nights. Or more.
A small paint kit, a few good brushes…
I have found that it is the obscure, forgotten little places that hold the most interest and subject material for paintings and rewarding experiences.
This is the story of three types of self-contained vehicles…
Baby Bear, Mama Bear and Papa Bear campers
The Aeropress: quality coffee with an easy clean up
No more sloppy grinds in the bottom of the waste bucket. No more looking for bushes to throw them under.
Around my own back yard
I’ve always dreamed of travelling around my own back yard in a van and I finally did!
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference to quality of life.
Greenies on the road: Managing food scraps
I’ve been turning our food scraps into compost for many a year now, and there’s no way I’m sending them to the landfill now. We chose to use bokashi buckets in our housetruck, as we already had them. A worm farm could also work, though bokashi is possibly more forgiving and takes all food waste — bones and shells included.
These events offer an opportunity for people to overnight while they attend. Some are restricted to certified self contained vehicles, some restrict or ban pets. Check the event website for details.
Small town friendly
Here are some suggestions on how to go about attracting campers to your town.
One hundred nights a year
I am on track with my original goal of 100 nights away per year and mountain bike as much as I can in other regions.
Winter’s not going to stop Mavis
Winter’s not going to stop Mavis enjoying one of the many spots available at Pahoia Beach Park! Bay of Plenty. ©2023 Cheine Matheson
Editorial: The good news
The really good news: only 47 infringements issued: 0.03% of the freedom campers.
Let’s go south for a few weeks’
‘Let’s go South for a few weeks.’ ‘How many weeks?’ ‘Eight.’ ‘How about six?’ ‘OK. let’s see how it goes.’
Why we chose our Swift Sprite Quattro caravan
We’ve had heaps of people have asked us for feedback on our caravan and why we chose it so here it is.
8 degrees of harm
Societal harm caused by the new self contained motor vehicles legislation. With change there always consequences. While some changes are positive and beneficial sometimes consequences cause a degree of harm.
I am on track
I am on track with my original goal of 100 nights per year & mountain bike as much as I can in other regions. Teardrop. © 2023 Andrew Morton
Halfway through my 73 days traveling
Left Auckland 34 days ago, halfway through my 73 days traveling the South Island. Now in Cromwell then Arrowtown on the weekend. Noticed that it’s getting colder. Now I appreciate my diesel heater. ©2023 Roland Jones
A stove jack
Best mod for camping so far, a stove jack that I got sewn into the awning. Keil MacDiarmid ©2023 Keil MacDiarmid
It was cold at Mavora Lakes
It was cold at Mavora Lakes. Plenty of snow around.
I think the Mrs thought I was a bit crazy suggesting a night away in the van this time of year
How do you make winter camping more comfortable?
Here’s a few favourite tips and tricks for keeping warm, dealing with cold, wind, rainy days, and embracing the colder months outdoors for enjoyable winter camping trips. It just takes a little extra preparation and the right gear.
Quinneys Bush Family Holiday Camp
Looking for a one stop camp for the family with the dog as well ? Then Quinneys Bush is the place to go.
Get on Ya Bike
For the novice cyclist, the historical Karangahake Gorge cycle/walking track — along the old railway embankment— is a safe and gentle way to introduce an inexperienced cyclist.
Two long blacks and a cheese scone
No, this is not about 12 weeks of coffee tasting around the South Island in a small van by a couple of over 80s
I did it!
My very first solo camping and tramping trip! Two epic days in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.
Gold miner Wattie Thompson
I came across this derelict house built by Wattie Thompson who had panned the river for gold for over 50 years.
Before the cyclone: Freedom Camping, Eastern Hawke’s Bay, Winter 2022
We feel so privileged and fortunate to have made this journey a year ago, gathering such beautiful memories of the landscape as it was.
Winter at Nokomai Station
Winter at Nokomai Station on the way to Queenstown. ©2023 Dallas Hibbs
CampFest — Bulls, 2023
Several hundred campers, locals and visitors met at Bulls Domain in March for the first CampFest. An inclusive camping event for all types of camper with live music and market stalls.
Kiwi Burn Hut Loop Track, Mavora Lakes
Many trampers have vouched that Kiwi Burn Hut is a popular and great option for families, so we thought we’d check it out and put it to a true family-friendly test. With my toddler (and his dada) in tow, we set out to do the full Kiwi Burn Loop Track and spend one night at the hut halfway through.
Camping as a young family
Our story begins in December of 2022 shortly after the birth of our second child, we decided that now was as good of a time as any to dip our toes into the world of caravanning.
Our morning view, heater on
Our morning view, heater on. Ruapehu. Hoping for warmer when we get to Kimbolton today. ©2023 Helen Garthwaite
Vege nachos: Recipes for camping
This recipe is easy to make. It uses mostly tinned foods so is a great meal to make when you are running low on fresh foods or if you have no fridge. Increase or decrease the quantities of the ingredients depending on how many people you are feeding.
Fill in the grid: campers in winter
Each of the underlined words below should be recorded into the list on the left. Place each word according to the number of letters in the word. Then transfer the words into the Fill-it-in-grid.
Kimbolton Sculpture Festival 2023
The annual festival is a mix of small to very large artworks, sculptures with mainly a rural theme, put together using all manner of bits and pieces from shearing blades to bike tyres.
The Store cafe and camp – Kekerungu (Marlborough), Stop and Stay
It is a popular stopping point. It’s a wee gem to stop and chill out at, even on short notice.
Lakelands Holiday Park, Whanganui, Stop and Stay
Just a 10 minute drive from Whanganui, on the shores of Lake Witiroa, the park is a lovely spot with everything you need for a chilled-out family holiday.
Group: Life of Van
Life of Van NZ FB Page is a private group with a positive vibe, giving everyone from weekend warriors to van life veterans a place to connect.
NZ lifestyle camping
NZ Lifestyle Camping supports a national network of more than 160 self-containment testing officers throughout NZ and is committed to supporting the NZ leisure camping industry.
Self containment changes in brief
What you need to know if you are currently self-contained, currently certified self-contained, planning to be self-contained, not self-contained, or wanting to freedom camp, now the law has changed.
Our trip to the Bridge to Nowhere, on the Whanganui river, will always be a special memory that I share with my 84 year old mother.
Waiting on a law change
As this magazine goes to print we are waiting to hear the government select committee’s recommendation on the bill introduced by Stuart Nash MP.
I am currently helping my daughter build her own camper as she wants to take a gap year and see our beautiful country. Crispian
If the law changes: Managing self-containment
From a small van to a large bus, there are thousands of commercially or home-built vehicles on our roads, providing travellers with all the necessary comforts of living, while they are also self contained.
The power of freedom camping bylaws
Bylaws differ between regions of Aotearoa New Zealand, and do not exist in almost half of all council districts.
Bylaws are created by local authorities — regional and district councils — to manage public land and facilities.
Can the travelling camper save NZ's small rural communities?
Smaller rural communities should be welcoming these thousands of travellers with open arms.
Rarangi DOC campground: Stop and stay
By the sea, only twenty minutes from Blenheim, Rarangi is an easy flat drive.
A great two weeks at Waihora Domain
It was a great two weeks at Waihora Domain in Motukarara. Linda Butler.
Our little escape pod
We love our little caravan not just for holidays but for other emergency get-a-ways, should the situation call for it.
Tramping the Kaweka Forest Park
I love the freedom that carrying an ultralight tent provides, it empowers you to camp wherever your legs can take you.
Recipes for camping
Recipes for Rocks and Gravel, Paneer and Vege Curry and Tuna Pasta. Camp cooking when the fresh food is running out.
Autumn, Issue 3, Camping the Kiwi Way
We bring you travel stories, tips, wonderful places to visit, insight into political changes, some solid information, a puzzle, light reading, serious reading and some fun browsing.
Greymouth Star pinged
Their title: “Freedom campers pinged”. A prime example of poor and emotive reporting.
A beautiful country, but…
Hold on a minute, we are campers and have most of the items required to survive the first few days of an emergency without outside assistance.