Camping Tips

For camping and holiday park listings throughout New Zealand, visit Jasons Camping and Holiday Parks Guide.

Remember, ensuring happy campers requires some careful planning, particularly with a potentially mutinous family in tow! Here’s a few tips on how to go about things the right way:

The Top Five Rules of a Happy Camper
  • Rule number one
    Make sure you check on the facilities so you know what to bring – especially if you’re off to a remote area. There’s nothing worse than arriving without food supplies to find the store (if there is one) only stocks the basics – or expecting a powered site and suddenly discovering those appliances are all redundant.
  • Rule number two
    If you’re camping over the peak summer period (December to early March), book well in advance as popular beach and lakeside campgrounds fill up quickly. Remember, campgrounds in more remote areas usually operate on a 'first come, first served' basis, so reserving a site won't be an option. 
  • Rule number three
    Find out about security and 'quiet' hours - nothing evaporates holiday cheer faster than disrespectful neighbours late at night.
  • Rule number four
    Make sure you check out any hazards in the area for children eg streams, rivers and busy roads.
  • Rule number five
    Minimise your impact on the environment – check out Jasons Travel Media visitor care code online

What to take
• Cricket bats and balls • Barbecue and fuel • Beach or deck chairs • Beach gear and towels • Books and magazines • Camera • Compass • Coins (for laundry/shower facilities) • First Aid Kit • Fishing gear • Frisbee • Gumboots • Hammock • Insect repellent • Free Jasons Guides and RoutePlanner maps • Matches or lighter • Mobile phone/charger or phone card • Pocket knife • Rain gear • Rope • Rubbish bags • Sunblock and sunhats • Sunglasses • Tent and pegs • Torch and extra batteries

Camping with kids

  • Pack extra clothing and shoes, and proper rain gear.
  • Take along some toys, puzzles, board games, books or cards for those rainy days.
  • Bring plenty of snacks and drinks.
  • Apply their sunblock and insect repellent regularly.
  • Pick up a Jasons RoutePlanner Map and let the children plot their own holiday adventure
Driving tips for motorhomes and cars towing caravans
  • The speed limit on the open road is 100 kph, and 50 kph in residential areas, unless otherwise marked. 
  • If traffic builds up behind your motorhome or caravan, pull over at a rest area to allow traffic to pass. 
  • Motorhomes and caravans can have significant windage, so take special care when cornering.
  • Winding roads, difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions will slow your journey, so allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Comfortable driving distances in a day are about 200-300km.
  • If you are driving or staying in remote country areas, ensure that the gas canister and petrol tank are full.

Click here to find out more about Freedom CampingFreedom camping
Many travellers enjoy the chance to park beside a tranquil beach or lake, but freedom camping is only permitted in some parts of New Zealand. Local government agencies regulate camping restrictions for their areas, so check with the nearest Visitor Information Centre first.

Travelling the Cook Strait
If you are travelling between the North and South Island, you need to reserve your ferry passage across the Cook Strait channel well in advance (especially during summer). You can book via a Visitor Information Centre or contact Blue Bridge Ferries on Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries or Interisland Ferries on The Interislander.

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