Camping in South Waikato Reserves
COVID-19 Update: Most of the reserves in the South Waikato are closed to camping during this self-isolation period. However we are aware of a few people who have decided to self-isolate in a camper. We are aware of who these people are and where they are.
These are the guidelines issued: Self-contained vehicles can be used as accommodation by persons that are self-isolating during COVID-19 Alert Level 4. Self-contained vehicles have a toilet, water and waste facilities and will display a sticker confirming they meet the Self-Containment Standard NZS 5465:2001. Persons using self-contained vehicles to self-isolate should however be aware of other risks they may face like access to water and disposal of waste and practise heightened cleaning and hand washing protocols and social distancing at all times.
Those using self-contained vehicles to self-isolate are strongly encouraged to stay at commercial campgrounds, which are essential services and permitted to stay open. People in self-contained vehicles must also stay at the same site for the entire duration of Alert Level 4 (unless they are covered by the extension for domestic travel that runs until 11.59pm on 27 March).
Vehicles that are not self-contained must not be used for self-isolation. Any persons still in vehicles that are not self-contained must move into alternative accommodation immediately. People seeking assistance with finding alternative accommodation can call the Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.
The New Zealand Police are responsible for enforcing the self-isolation requirements. They are assigning significant resources to identifying any persons that are not following these requirements and to ensuring that such persons do comply.
If you would like to know more about Casual Camping access our Casual Camping brochure here or contact Council on (07) 885 0340.
(It's free and you'll get your permit delivered to your email inbox in minutes)
- Overnight parking in a Certified Self Contained (CSC) vehicle does not require a permit and is limited to the areas indicated here (also see Google map at the bottom of this page for overnight parking locations). Camping in tents and other types of vehicles requires a camping permit. Camping permits can be obtained from the South Waikato District Council offices or the district's Information Centres. You can now also apply online.
- Your maximum stay in any one location over a 3 month period is 4 weeks.
- Overnight parking does not require a permit and is limited to the reserves indicated - Glenshea Park and Tokoroa Memorial Sportsground. All vehicles parking overnight must be fitted with a minimum three days toilet and grey water capacity and all rubbish must be removed from the site on departure. Overnight parking shall only be in areas identified for such purpose and those asked to move on shall comply with any request from an authorised Officer of Council.
- All toilet and grey water disposal must be at a Council approved dump point. These are located in Tokoroa, Putāruru and Tīrau.
- No permanent or semi-permanent structures are permitted.
- A minimum distance of three metres is required between each tent/campervan in case of fire.
- No open fires are permitted. Gas cookers or gas BBQs only are allowed.
- All dogs must be restrained at all times to ensure the safety of other campers and the owners are responsible for the removal of their dogs' waste.
- The riding of motorbikes in the reserve where others are camping is not permitted.
Obtaining a Permit
Camping Permits are free of charge.
The permit is valid for the dates specified when you complete your application. If you change the dates of your stay, be sure to apply for another permit - it costs nothing and you can do it online and have it delivered to your email inbox in minutes).
One permit is required for each vehicle at a camp site (maximum of six people can be covered by a permit). Campers are encourage to bring sufficient rubbish bags to suit their length of stay. From mid-December to mid-February rubbish bags will be collected from the authorised dumping point at each of the reserves on the following days:
- Dunham Point - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Whakamaru Reserve - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Jones Landing - Monday, Friday
- Little Waipa - Monday, Friday
Public toilets located at each reserve are available for the use of visitors and campers.
Permits can be obtained from the Council offices in Putāruru and Tokoroa*. Or the i-SITEs in Tokoroa and Tīrau or Pride in Putāruru office in Putāruru, or by applying online.
* Please note that the Council offices close over the Christmas period, usually just prior to Christmas through to the next working day after 2 January the following year. (Note: In 2020, SWDC offices will reopen on Monday 6 January.)
If you would like to know more about Freedom Camping access our Camping brochure here or call
(07) 885 0340 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information Centre Contact Numbers:
- Tīrau (07) 883 1202
- Putāruru (07) 883 7284
- Tokoroa (07) 886 8872