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Where to Camp in Christchurch

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Camping in Christchurch.

As the major hub of the South Island packed with work opportunities for backpackers and heaps of free and cheap things to do, Christchurch is one of those rare cities in New Zealand where you can actually save money. Why spoil this amazing fact by staying in expensive accommodation? Camping in Christchurch is no doubt an appealing accommodation option for most backpackers, but where exactly can you camp in Christchurch?

There are three types of camping options in Christchurch: holiday parks, one Department of Conservation campsite, and freedom camping for those with a certified self-contained vehicle. Those without a self-contained vehicle would be better to make use of the holiday parks of some of Christchurch’s backpacker hostels to save money on accommodation.

So take a look at the directory below to find the perfect place to park up your van or pitch your tent for a night in Christchurch.

Holiday Parks and Campsites in Christchurch

Holiday Parks

Holiday parks in Christchurch have a range of facilities of a high standard. Unsurprisingly, this comes at a high price. They also offer a number of accommodation types, but campers can always rely on holiday parks to have powered sites to plug up your campervan and tent sites (providing there is availability). For more on what to expect from a holiday park, check out Accommodation Guide to Holiday Parks in New Zealand

Department of Conservation (DoC) Campground

The Department of Conservation (DoC) maintains one campsite in Christchurch. Facilities include flush toilets and water supply.

Freedom Camping in Christchurch

Freedom camping is legal only to those with a certified self-contained vehicle. Avoid prohibited freedom camping areas. More is explained in the Freedom Camping section below.

Nomads Hostels

Emma McGuirk on Wikipedia

Holiday Parks in Christchurch

Outskirts of Christchurch
  • Woodend Beach Holiday Park, Woodend Beach – NZ$15-$24 per person for a tent/powered site
  • Rangiora Leigh Holiday Park, Rangiora – NZ$25 for two people in a tent/powered site
Christchurch City
  • All Seasons Christchurch Kiwi Holiday Park, Woolston – NZ$28 per person for a tent/powered site
  • Spencer Beach Holiday Park, Spencerville – NZ$17-19 per person for a tent/powered site
  • North South Holiday Park, Harewood – NZ$20-$26 per person for a tent/powered site
  • Christchurch Top 10 Holiday Park, Papanui – NZ$44-$52 for two people in a tent/powered site
  • Amber Kiwi Holiday Park, Middleton – NZ$44-$50 for two people in a tent/powered site
  • 219 on Johns Motel & Holiday Park, Belfast – NZ$29-$35 for two people in a tent/powered site
  • South Brighton Holiday Park, South Brighton – NZ$19-$20 per person for a tent/powered site
  • Alpine View Holiday Park, Islington – NZ$20-$35 for two people in a tent/powered site
  • Riverlands Holiday Park, Kaiapoi – NZ$24-$30 for two people in a tent/powered site
  • Pascoe Park, Styx – NZ$12-$15 for two people in a tent/powered site

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Department of Conservation Campsite

There is only one campsite maintained by the DoC in Christchurch:

  • Awaroa/Godley Head – NZ$13 per person
    Suitable for tents and motorhomes.
    Book on the DoC website

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Freedom camping in Christchurch

Freedom camping in Christchurch is only permitted to those with a certified self-contained vehicle. Freedom camping in a non-self-contained vehicle or tent is illegal.

Those in a self-contained campervan can camp for a maximum of two nights in most of the public areas in the city. There are no time restrictions for freedom camping in Yaldhurst, Islington and Templeton (the area beyond Christchurch Airport).

Prohibited freedom camping areas to all vehicles include:

  • Christchurch city centre (anywhere enclosed in Deans Ave, Harper Ave, Bealey Ave, Fitzgerald Ave and Moorhouse Ave)
  • The car park at New Brighton Beach
  • Rapaki
  • Lyttleton town centre

For a more detailed map on the prohibited freedom camping areas, check out the Christchurch City Council website.

When freedom camping, please respect the environment and stick to the 11 Golden Rules of Camping in New Zealand.

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