Planning your next freedom camping adventure around Auckland? Discover the beauty of Auckland’s natural landscapes and the joy of freedom camping with our top 8 best spots for an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, these locations offer stunning views, adventure-filled activities, and the chance to connect with nature – all from the comfort of your campervan.
With campervan hire readily available in Auckland, it’s easier than ever to embark on a journey through the region’s most picturesque destinations. So pack your bags, fuel up your campervan, and hit the road as we reveal the hidden gems that make freedom camping in Auckland an absolute must-try for outdoor enthusiasts and avid travellers alike.
Get ready to be captivated by the breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and warm Kiwi hospitality that awaits you at these top 8 freedom camping spots in Auckland.
One of Auckland’s best kept secrets, the Tawharanui Peninsula is a finger of land projecting into the Hauraki Gulf from the east coast of North Auckland Peninsula.
As you make your way to the camping site you’ll pass through the rural area of Matakana, home to many craft studios, cafes and vineyards. The road continues through farmland and winds its way through to the regional park.
The campsite itself is located alongside a stunning white sandy beach within a protected wildlife area, plus you’ll find a variety of walks on offer – just a short distance from the campsite which caters for all fitness levels. It’s a popular campground afterall, so we recommend booking in advance through Auckland’s Regional Council website.
Toilet/long drop in each bay with 2 unisex cubicles.
Portable water taps in each bay.
There are no bins or rubbish disposal facilities, please take all rubbish and recycling with you when you leave.
There is no power supply at this camp site.
Auckland, North Island
Hatfields Beach is on the northern end of Auckland city, around 40 km away. You’ll stay in Orewa, at the car park at Hatfields Beach, in a town with plenty of history and character.
This freedom camping spot does not offer much in the way of facilities, however it does provide an adequate area where you can stay for a maximum of 2 nights to enjoy some fishing and swimming. Along with some good water spots, there are a number of walks close to the camping site for you to venture on; mostly short walks perfect for a Sunday morning stroll!
There are no amenities at this site, please ensure to take all rubbish/waste with you when you leave.
Awhitu, North Island
Stand in awe at the steep, black sand dunes while you walk along your own private beach at sunset, breathing in all the beauty. Hamilton’s Gap is a secluded slice of heaven along the Awhitu Peninsula, which will give you complete access to the unique west coast beaches.
The best part is the campsite is completely free!
Not far from your camping spot you’ll find some reserves, such as Te Toro scenic and Rays Rest. These reserves are sparse enough you will feel as though you will have the entire world to yourself.
Pack a picnic lunch and your swimmers, and seize the day!
Get ready to discover a hidden gem called Te Toro Recreation Reserve. Nestled along the scenic Manukau Harbour, this spot is known for its well-maintained grassy area where you can park your self-contained campervan.
Looking for family-friendly amenities? They’ve got them in spades. A fun playground for the little ones and a boat ramp for water enthusiasts. Plus, the reserve’s large grass areas and tree shade make it perfect for picnics and games. And don’t worry about cleanliness – the toilets, showers, and changing rooms are kept in top-notch condition.
But the real star here is the journey itself, a scenic drive from Auckland that takes you straight to this peaceful haven. Te Toro Recreation Reserve is not just a camping spot, it’s a tranquil escape that gives us all a slice of paradise.
Discover the captivating charm of Parry Kauri Park, where history and nature intertwine seamlessly. This local gem houses two mature Kauri trees that stand tall and proud, a testament to the former landowners’ dedication, Harry Parry and Tudor Collins.
But it’s not just their majesty that will leave you in awe; the opportunity to spot native birds feasting on fruit at the bird feeder adds a delightful touch to your visit. The park also serves as an educational hub, helping visitors identify different tree species.
Take a leisure stroll along the well-made boardwalks, absorbing the tranquillity of the native bush, and find your way to the lookout and kauri tree grove. Don’t forget a stop at the Warkworth and District Museum, located right in the park. Here, you’ll find intriguing displays of gum-digging days, making your trip both recreational and enlightening.
So, why not pack a picnic and head over? Parry Kauri Park is waiting to share its story with you!
Rosa Birch Car Park
Pukekohe, New Zealand
If you’re seeking a convenient and accessible overnight campervan parking spot south of Auckland, look no further than Rosa Birch Car Park. While it may not offer scenic views or luxurious amenities, this location provides a practical solution for your campervan needs. Surrounded by lush green parks and playing fields, Rosa Birch Car Park is perfect for an impromptu game of cricket or a leisurely stroll. With shops just a short walk away, you can easily stock up on snacks and supplies during your stay.
Please note that strict rules apply at Rosa Birch Car Park: dogs must be leashed, and alcohol, smoking, and outdoor fires are prohibited. Your campervan must also be fully self-contained for overnight parking. Families will love the nearby playground, complete with a rope climb and swings, as well as the adjacent tennis courts and hockey arena. Situated close to Hill School and Beresford Street in Pukekohe, this well-maintained park offers ample open space and shady trees for relaxation.
Visit Rosa Birch Car Park to experience a convenient and hassle-free freedom camping experience just south of Auckland.
Playground for kids
No alcohol, smoking, or outdoor fires allowed
Dogs must be leashed
Ray’s Rest Reserve
Kaiaua, New Zealand
Experience the natural beauty and tranquillity of Rays Rest Reserve, a beachside gem located in Miranda, next to the Taramaire Wildlife Refuge Reserve. The Franklin District Council allows free camping for up to two nights for self-contained motorhomes and campervans, making it the perfect spot for nature lovers seeking a peaceful retreat.
Ensure your vehicle has a self-containment certificate and arrives early to secure your preferred spot, as spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Marvel at the wetland environment, a haven for migratory birds, and immerse yourself in the captivating surroundings.
Rays Rest Reserve is not only a popular destination for New Zealanders but also a convenient overnight freedom camping spot for those travelling between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula. With its open, sunny location right by the Firth of Thames, this picturesque site offers breathtaking sunsets to the west and enchanting sunrises to the east.
Although there are no facilities on-site, self-containment is essential, and visitors can enjoy nearby attractions such as the Shorebird Centre, excellent birdwatching hides, the renowned Kaiaua fish and chip shop, and the soothing Miranda hot pools. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Rays Rest Reserve and create unforgettable memories amidst its stunning scenery.
Perfect for self-contained vehicles
Port Albert Domain
Port Albert, New Zealand
Nestled in South Kaipara, Port Albert Domain welcomes freedom campers seeking a peaceful retreat amidst picturesque surroundings. Open to those with certified self-contained vehicles for a maximum of two nights; this serene location offers a children’s playground, toilets, and a historic wharf for visitors to enjoy. Situated on Wharf Road and adjacent to Port Albert Wharf Reserve, Port Albert Domain serves as a perfect stopover for travellers exploring Auckland and its beautiful landscapes.
Not only is Port Albert Domain an ideal spot for relaxation away from the hustle and bustle, but it also boasts a rich history that can be explored at the nearby Albertlanders Museum in Wellsford. During your stay, indulge in delicious seafood from a local shop or unwind at the charming café just up the road.
With opportunities for fishing from the wharf or venturing further out into the harbour by boat or kayak, Port Albert Domain provides a delightful blend of tranquillity, history, and outdoor activities. Whether you’re passing through or looking for a leisurely getaway, this enchanting destination has something for everyone.
Freedom camping is an excellent way for travellers to experience raw, untouched New Zealand landscapes and wildlife.
From pretty sweet seaside spots to epic, mountainous sand dunes, New Zealand’s freedom camping spots have a little something for everyone – especially our other favourites on the North Island.
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.