Camping in South Waikato Reserves
If you would like to know more about Casual Camping contact Council on (07) 885 0340.
APPLY FOR CAMPING PERMIT ONLINE - it's free and you'll get your permit delivered to your email inbox in minutes.
Our Freedom Camping Bylaw is available here.
Our Freedom Camping brochure is available here.
- Short-term parking without requiring a Camping Permit is available for self-contained vehicles only at these locations here (also see Google map at the bottom of this page for overnight parking locations). This is restricted to a maximum of two consecutive nights in any calendar month, in formed car parks within a particular area only and must arrive after 6pm and leave by 8am the following morning if staying one night, or by 8am on the second morning if staying two nights.
- A person my freedom camp using tents, bicycles or vehicles without obtaining a Camping Permit for up to two consecutive nights in any Local Authority Area identified as Restricted Area B in Schedule Three of the Bylaw. Camping permits can be obtained from the South Waikato District Council offices or the district's Information Centres. You can now also apply online.
- Freedom Camping Reserves must not be used for Residential Purposes.
- A Camping Permit will be issued to one vehicle at a camping site, valid for a maximum of six persons only.
- A Camping Permit will be valid for a maximum period of one week (seven consecutive nights) in any calendar month during the period March to November in any calendar year.
- A maximum of four consecutive Camping Permits per vehicle (four consecutive weeks) may be issued for a one-month period during the three month period from December to February only.
- Campers who have stayed for four consecutive weeks in any one month during the three month period from December to February cannot apply for a further Camping Permit to stay for more than two consecutive nights in Restricted Area B until a period of two months has elapsed since the end of their four week stay.
- To conserve shower water for shared communal shower water must not be used for washing of dishes, laundry or domestic animals and individual showers must be limited to two minutes duration.
- No open fires shall be lit in any designated freedom camping site. Gas cookers or gas BBQs only are allowed.
- Vehicles must not exceed a speed limit of 20 km when travelling within freedom camping reserves.
- Camp sites must be left in a clean and tidy state when the camper departs.
- Your maximum stay in any one location over the three month December to February period is four weeks.
- 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.
- 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.
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, from Friday 24 December 2021, 3pm to Wednesday 5 January 2022, 8am.
If you would like to know more about Freedom Camping please 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