Camp with care in the Western Bay
Camping is a rite of passage in New Zealand. Each summer we hustle to get a good spot close to a lake, a river, beach or forest, and enjoy time reconnecting with whānau surrounded by nature.
In the Western Bay of Plenty District, we love to host freedom campers and try to accommodate as many people as we can.
Freedom camping is a pastime protected by law within Aotearoa New Zealand. It allows any one to use designated public land to camp for free, provided they follow the rules to ensure camping is sustainable and responsible.
We’re lucky to have 46 freedom camping spots from Otamarakau to Waihī Beach and they’re all unique. The three most popular areas are around Waihī Beach, Tuapiro Point and Ōmokoroa. And it can get really busy over the summer period.
When it’s crowded and campers are not playing by the rules, things start to get awkward. So here are our tips to make freedom camping in the Western Bay better for everyone.
- Camp at one of the 46 designated freedom camping sites. We have an interactive map that shows where each site is, along with rubbish bins, picnic tables and toilets.
- You must stay in a fully self-contained vehicle. Camping in a tent can only take place at TECT Park in the camping area.
- Take all rubbish with you. This includes liquids – don’t pour anything on the ground, as it can kill the grass and contaminate local water ways.
- Mind your fellow campers. Keep the noise down, and don’t take up more space than you need.
- Make sure you park within the specified freedom camping spots as indicated on the signs.
Check out the map at westernbay.govt.nz/interactive-freedom-camping-maps
If everyone follows these tips it’ll be smooth sailing all summer.
Say kia ora to our summer ambassadors
For the third year running we’ve got four summer ambassadors who’ll be visiting freedom camping spots this summer.
Our ambassador’s role is to help people camp responsibly and promote all the great things you can do in the Western Bay.
Ambassadors will also be talking to people about the proposed new freedom camping rules, so if there’s something you want to know, ask away. They’ll be giving away some sweet freebies to help you enjoy your summer too.
Want to know more? Visit westernbay.govt.nz/freedom-camping