Camping in Wellington

3 September 2013

More visitors than ever are choosing to travel by campervan and we want Wellington to be a welcoming city when they arrive.

A couple seated reading newspapers beside their campervan at a sunny coastal spot.

Happy campers on the South Coast


We’re proposing some changes to the Council’s camping bylaw and asking the public for their views.

These changes would be more in line with national tourist information on responsible camping.

Campers are a diverse bunch, from retired baby-boomers to young backpackers - and some return to live in Wellington.

Myfanwy Emeny, the Council’s Acting Manager of Community Engagement and Reserves, says a new bylaw would allow us to set aside suitable places where people can park overnight, for the benefit of campers and the public.

“Being a top tourist destination in itself, Wellington is also the gateway for many visitors in campervans to travel north or south. We want to make it easier for them to know where they can stop overnight and what facilities are available. These areas could then be promoted through visitor information and informal networks.”

Many people park their campervans at places where there are no toilets or limited facilities. The bylaw would mean we can protect our environment and manage demand by limiting the number of nights people can stay.

“For larger vehicles that are self-contained, with toilets and sewage storage tanks, this is not an issue but it’s not so good for visitors in smaller vans. 

A new bylaw would give visitors more options, while protecting our public spaces from inappropriate use,” says Myfanwy.

Under the new bylaw, restricted camping would be allowed on the south coast at Owhiro Bay (Te Kopahou Reserve entrance car park), Te Raekaihau Point and Princess Bay, where there are toilets that would stay open overnight, and at Evans Bay Marina car park for certified self-contained campervans only. 

At all these sites, visitors would be able to park overnight for a maximum of four nights per month.

At Balaena Bay, which gets particularly crowded with campervans and beachgoers during summer, camping would be prohibited to protect public access to the car park and beach.

You can make a submission:

Copies are available from:

We need your feedback by 5pm on Friday 4 October.