Freedom Camping and KiwiCamp
Temporary freedom camping hubs to close gradually
The three temporary freedom camping hubs set up in the Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga City will be gradually closed over the next two weeks.
With the change to Alert Level 2, the temporary facilities set up to ensure strict self-isolation rules were followed, will no longer be required. People are now able to resume local and inter-regional travel in a safe manner.
The three freedom camping hubs – Commerce Lane, Te Puke; Marine Park, Tauranga; and Uretara Reserve, Katikati - will therefore gradually revert to their normal designated use.
Freedom campers currently using the sites will be provided with information about available sites and facilities before the sites are closed.
Those at Marine Park on Sulphur Point in Tauranga will be asked to relocate from the asphalt to nearby grass or move to one of the designated freedom camping locations within the City. This is the priority site to close to ensure neighbouring businesses that normally use the location can function and the public can resume use of the boat ramp facilities.
The additional temporary shower units and toilets at the Te Puke and Katikati hubs will be withdrawn by the end of next week. These were provided when many of the freedom campers were found to be living in vehicles that were not fully self-contained. The sites will revert to normal role under Council by-laws for freedom camping.
Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council manage most local freedom camping sites within the wider Western Bay of Plenty and these would be re-opened from Thursday 14 May. Department of Conservation campsites and facilities will also open during Alert level 2.
Local camping grounds and accommodation facilities are also able to re-open, although each business would have their own requirements and procedures to follow under Alert Level 2, especially contact tracing.
Anyone unable to find suitable accommodation due to the impacts of COVID19 can still contact Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.
Where can I camp?
There are 46 different places you can freedom camp in the Western Bay. See a link to our interactive maps to see where you can camp below.
No person may freedom camp for more than three nights in any four week consecutive period at any one site. The four consecutive weeks begin from the first overnight stay. This excludes tenting at TECT Park, where the limit is two nights.
All sites are restricted to 'Self Contained' vehicles only. Please park in the designated parking areas and respect other reserve users.
Please ensure you read the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2019, for a list of areas where freedom camping is permitted or prohibited.
Freedom Camping in tents is only permitted at TECT Park, and permission must be obtained from the Park Manager first. Please ensure you also check the TECT Park Alerts page for any further restrictions.
Should you receive an Infringement Notice for freedom camping and wish to request a waiver, please click on the link below and complete the form.
For further information, please read the Bylaw above.
Enjoy your stay!
Maps of approved areas
Check out our interactive map of permitted freedom camping sites here.
Click/tap on the freedom camping areas to find out more information on each site, including which sites have restrictions on camping over summer. The map also includes locations of toilets, tables and rubbish bins.
Freedom Camping Bylaw Review August 2019
Council reviewed its Freedom Camping Bylaw in 2019. The review included removing five freedom camping sites, modifying the overnight parking areas for two sites, and changing the permission wording for tenting at TECT Park.
To find out more, click here for the key decisions document.
Freedom Camping Infringement Waiver Request
If the driver of the vehicle wishes to make an explanation or request a waiver of the infringement, this can be done online, within 28 days of receiving the infringement notice. If you wish to request a waiver, please click on the link below and complete the form.
KiwiCamp is a clean and modern ablution block, with all the services you need – toilets, hot-showers, cooking hotplates, dishwashing sink and a laundry. The toilets are free to use but you pay a small amount to use the other facilities.
This facility is available for use by all visiting campers but purchase of a KiwiCash digital key is necessary to access the KiwiCamp facilities (apart from the toilet which is free to the public).
- Where is the KiwiCamp? KiwiCamp is located at the Seaforth Road carpark, Bowentown. Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/k1gz53ckdLZL3bGa8
- About KiwiCamp - Please see the KiwiCamp website.
Another KiwiCamp facility is expected to be operational at TECT Park by May 2020.
KiwiCash Digital Key
KiwiCash is a smart way of making payments for access to KiwiCamp facilities around New Zealand, using KiwiCash Digital Keys.
Your KiwiCash Digital Key identifies you and connects you to your online KiwiCash account. This allows you to make secure, easy payments for services with a tap of your Digital Key at any KiwiCamp facility. Online accounts can be created and topped up on the KiwiCash App or on their website.
Digital Keys will be available for purchase for $5 at any Council Area Office in the Western Bay of Plenty District, from the beginning of December 2019.
Please find Council office hours can be found here.