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Thread: Where can I camp (far from the madding crowd)?

  1. #1
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    Default Where can I camp (far from the madding crowd)?

    We have bought a Mazda Bongo campervan and spent this w/e in the Coromandel. We thought we would be able to just pull up anywhere scenic and camp for the night, but there were "do not camp here" signs everywhere. We ended up camping in a DOC campsite, which was nice, but we are anti-social types who like to be away from everybody at times. Is the whole of NZ like this and we'll always have to go to a campsite, or is it ok in other places?

  2. #2
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    Firstly, good for you for not ignoring the No Camping signs - they are there to keep you off other peoples land, yes, but they are also there for your safety, some areas are havens for thieves and general opportunists.

    If you want to free camp the local pub / garage is a good place to ask - they'll tell you local sites and tips...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam B
    We have bought a Mazda Bongo campervan and spent this w/e in the Coromandel. We thought we would be able to just pull up anywhere scenic and camp for the night, but there were "do not camp here" signs everywhere. We ended up camping in a DOC campsite, which was nice, but we are anti-social types who like to be away from everybody at times. Is the whole of NZ like this and we'll always have to go to a campsite, or is it ok in other places?
    Sorry I know nothing about campsites here, but I want one of these just for the name!

    Did all these warning signs go up after the kidnap of the 2 tourists last year or were they there before?

  4. #4
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    Default Where to pull up incampervan?

    Exactly my question , which I was going to put on today ! Where can we 'free' camp with our camper van, in Bay of Plenty, or Hawkes bay or between HB and Wellington? Like you SamB we like to get away from others sometimes, happy to pay nominal amount to do so if appropiate.

  5. #5
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    Ha ha, yes it's a great name for a van, Smiler and I always feel the need to say it in full. Or 'Mazba gongo' as my 6 year old calls it.

    These signs were official signs next to "no fires" and I think they were put up by the DOC. I don't think it was private land, as they were all grassy parking spots next to remote beaches. I would never dare camp if it said no camping, as I don't like being told off. However, I also don't like campsites.

  6. #6
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    What a small world this is. We were at Fletchers bay and Stoney bay DOC sites at the weekend too. I think my poor little Mitsi RVR may now need some attention to its suspension system after that journey.

  7. #7
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    Good luck with the Bongo. Not to burst your bubble but we had to bongos blow up on us and after the second one we were told never to buy a bongo....so keep an eye on your water levels and other mechanical problems.

    As for the free camping, it is harder and harder these days to find...There are so many campervans here now that more and more of those no camping signs have popped up.

    Kind of a negative post....sorry. Have fun though.

  8. #8
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    Some of the DOC campsites are very basic and remote, so it is possible to find places that are away from the crowds. DOC maintain these campsites for a very nominal fee - I think we paid $7 at the last place we went.
    The no camping signs are meant to discourage freedom camping. Unfortunately not everyone is a thoughtful camper and they leave litter or human waste behind polluting the countryside. After the incident last year, the signs have become more prevalent in some areas which are tourist hotspots to prevent such things happening again...
    As Moorf said, local garages and stores are a great place to get info on camping spots.

  9. #9
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    Park City Partner - you have scared us! We were told that bongos were v reliable, and we are not the mechanical sorts so may struggle to look out for problems. Yikes.

    Sounds like I may have to learn to like campsites....

  10. #10
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    For remote camping experiences I would recommend DOC campsites I guess. Local authorities have different policies for freedom campers on public reserves. Most of them tolerate (some even welcome) self-contained campervans i.e with their own toilets. Facilities will be lacking but you might get them to yourself. Try checking out district council websites for the reserves where you can do this, and what the local regulations are. Here in Dunedin freedom camping is tolerated - it's not permitted, and council staff can wake you up and move you on, but if you are responsible / clean up litter / use your own toilet etc a blind eye will likely be turned in most cases. As always, it's the irresponsible few that spoil it for the majority.

    TBH though camping is / campervans are really popular in NZ. On several trips we've pretty much had the roads to ourselves while driving somewhere, felt in the middle of nowehere, then when we get to the camping area they are really busy - especially during the holidays.
    Last edited by ruthyroo; 9th February 2007 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Add more info

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