Freedom camping in Wellington

If you're looking to do some camping in Wellington, check out the sites we recommend in and around the city.

We welcome responsible freedom campers in Wellington. We manage freedom camping to protect our environment, public health and safety, and access to our public spaces.

Freedom camping in Wellington is when someone stays on council-controlled public land close to a road or vehicle accessible area in a vehicle or caravan, as part of leisure travel or for lifestyle reasons.

General rules for all freedom camping

  • Use a certified self-contained vehicle, displaying a current warrant card.
  • If staying at one of our two freedom camping sites, park only in a designated freedom camping park - check the map at the entrance.
  • If our freedom camping sites are full, you can stay in a roadside park as long as your campervan is fully self-contained.
  • Don't stay in an area where freedom camping is not permitted. These areas include all council reserves, beach parks, sports fields, and play area carparks.
  • Please be aware of any driveways, parking near bends or intersections or over footpaths so you do not cause a traffic or pedestrian hazard.
  • If camping in a tent you need to stay at a campground.

If you break the rules or camp in prohibited areas, you can be fined.

If you are still unsure about where you can freedom camp please call us on 04 499 4444


Where can I freedom camp in Wellington?

Restricted camping on public land is allowed in Wellington City for self-contained campervans at the following two sites:

  • Southern end of the Marina car park at Evans Bay (271KB PDF)
  • Te Kopahou Reserve entrance car park at Te Kopahou Reserve (274KB PDF)
    Fishing, gathering and harvesting is prohibited at Te Kopahou Reserve.
    Watch for extreme weather. This area often has high winds so make sure you secure your rubbish and belongings so they don't get blown around.

If you arrive after 4pm in our peak season, November to April, you will probably find our campgrounds are already full. You need to make arrangements to stay at a facility in the Wellington region. See Campermate app for availability.

On your departure day please vacate the freedom camping site by 4pm as this frees up a park for others.

Freedom camping restrictions at our two designated sites

  • You can camp at either of these sites for a maximum of four nights in any single calendar month. If you stay longer, you can be fined.
  • Make sure you only park within the areas designated for self-contained campervans.
  • You must use a certified self-contained vehicle, displaying a current warrant card.
  • These sites are not suitable for tents.

Places you can't camp


Camping is not permitted in an area on any land managed under the Reserves Act and Wellington Town Belt Act unless you have written permission from the Council. This includes all WCC reserves, parks, sports fields, beaches and play area carparks as these are for recreational users. 

Other places to stay in Wellington City

  • Barnett St car park on the Wellington waterfront is available to freedom campers with self-contained vehicles for $30 per 24 hours. (Note: Because this area is used by the Harbourside Market on Sunday mornings, you can't park at Barnett St carpark overnight on a Saturday.)

Be aware of parking pricing and time restrictions. Most road-side parking in the suburbs is free and central city parking is free from 8pm - 8am. Please be considerate of others living in surrounding areas.

Full-service campervan parks in Wellington

If you need a serviced motorhome carpark in Wellington, visit:


Public dump stations

Wellington's purpose-built stations for responsible disposal of waste and sewage are located at Evans Bay Marina and at Ngauranga Gorge.

Find a public dump station

See these maps of other areas in Wellington city centre where camping is prohibited.



Freedom camping offences may be subject to an infringement notice (Section 27(6), Freedom Camping Act 2011) and fee of $200.

Park Rangers monitor both freedom camping sites and our coastal carparks early every day, including public holidays.

What to do if you receive a fine

If you receive an infringement notice from an Enforcement Officer, you can pay the fee online using your credit card (use the Camping payment type) or at the Wellington City Council Service Centre, 12 Manners Street, Wellington.

Pay camping infringement fines

Disputing an infringement

If you have been issued with a freedom camping infringement, you can dispute this. Wellington City Council takes a hard line on freedom camping in prohibited areas. We do not accept "I didn't see the signs" or "I didn't understand" as an excuse. We will only issue a waiver in the following circumstances:

  • Proof of a medical emergency or exceptional circumstances.
  • You stayed at a private house – we will need a signed and dated letter from the person you were staying with and proof of that person's address (for example an electricity account or rates notice in their name).
  • You were staying/stayed at a motel/hotel/hostel – we will need a receipt that proves you paid for the night’s accommodation.

Information on how to dispute a fine can be found on the back of your infringement notice.


Camping outside the city

The following sites are between 20km and 50km from Wellington City and include options for those camping in tents as well as for campervans:

Hutt Valley



Free overnight campervan parking in Porirua

You can park your campervan overnight for free at four sites in Porirua, about 20km outside Wellington:
Overnight campervan parking - Porirua City Council