Freedom Camping Dunedin

Famous for its rugged coastlines and serene hillsides, Dunedin is a charming city on New Zealand’s South Island, where, every year, freedom campers from all over the world flock to enjoy beautiful views and to experience that “back to nature” feeling.

However, as with most freedom camping in New Zealand, there are certain rules and regulations you need to follow if you’re planning to spend some time in Dunedin. So, along with a list of places you are allowed to freedom camp here, we’ll be looking at what you need to know to make sure you experience is as stress-free as possible, breaking everything down in a way that’s easy to understand.

Dunedin Freedom Camping Spots

  1. Thomas Burns Street
  2. Warrington Domain
  3. Ocean View Recreation Reserve

One very important thing to know about freedom camping in Dunedin is that, while there aren’t very many authorised spots, you can only stay in most listed above in a certified self contained vehicle.

To make sure you’re not breaking any rules, contact the expert team at Travellers Autobarn who will help you with hiring a campervan and make sure you’re being fully compliant with Dunedin City Council’s freedom camping regulations.

Thomas Burns Street

Thomas Burns Street

To freedom camp at Thomas Burns Street, you must be in a self contained vehicle and parked in one of the marked parking spaces, where you can stay overnight for a maximum of two consecutive nights within a calendar year. Non self contained vehicles are also welcome to camp here, but the rules are a little different, and you’re only entitled to a two consecutive night stay between 1st November and 30th April each year.

You will find toilet facilities provided here, as well as rubbish bins, but you are not allowed to start fires and, if you do, you are very likely to be issued with a fine. Likewise, make sure you only park in the “Shared Freedom Camping/Casual Parking” spaces, as camping is all other spaces is prohibited. With this in mind, it’s worth getting to this site early to grab a spot.


  • Toilets
  • Rubbish Bins

Warrington Domain

Warrington Domain

It’s quite easy to get confused about where you can freedom camp at Warrington Domain, but to simplify things, you just need to make sure you park in the area that is designated for your vehicle. You’ll find “Certified Self Contained Vehicle Parking”, “Non-Certified Vehicle Parking”, and a “Camping Area”.

While you need to make sure you’re parked in the right place, the same rules apply across all three designated areas, and you’re welcome to camp here for two consecutive nights in a calendar month with a 12 noon departure on your final day. Fires are not permitted here, but you will find drinking water and, from November to April, there onsite port a loos.

Unlike Thomas Burns Street, there’s more to explore at Warrington Domain, including walking tracks and the opportunity to spot sea lions, penguins, and a plethora of birds. Ideal for anyone looking to explore the wilder side of Dunedin!


  • Drinking Water
  • Port a Loos (November to April)

Ocean View Recreation Reserve

Ocean View Recreation Reserve

Set just off Brighton Road, Ocean View Recreation Reserve is a wonderful place to freedom camp if you’re looking for some beautiful views paired with a convenient, easy-access location. In terms of rules, you can freedom camp here in self contained vehicles with two night maximum stay, and you must vacate by 8:30 am on the day of departure.

You will find rubbish and toilet facilities here, but you aren’t allowed to light fires, so make sure you have some warm clothing packed! It’s also worth noting that this is a small freedom camping site, and it gets full pretty quickly, so make sure you arrive at the site early if you’re hoping to grab a space.


  • Rubbish and Toilet Facilities

Prohibited Areas

The three areas listed above allow freedom camping within a set of rules. However, there are some places where freedom camping in Dunedin is prohibited, so you’ll need to avoid this altogether to avoid getting a fine. These are:

  • Tairaroa Head
  • Portobello
  • Macandrew Bay/Broad Bay
  • Ocean Grove Zone

As well as these, you need to make sure you park within the designated areas at Thomas Burns Street, Warrington Domain and Ocean View Recreation Reserve. Parking outside of these areas will also result in being issued with a fine.

A Note on Freedom Camping in Dunedin

Note on Freedom Camping in Dunedin

Whether you’re touring New Zealand on a freedom camping adventure or you’re visiting one specific area, you’ll encounter different rules in different places. However, these can sometimes be difficult to understand, so to make things as stress-free as possible, here are the simplified freedom camping rules for Dunedin.

Dunedin Freedom Camping Rules

  • The maximum stay for freedom camping at all designated locations above is two consecutive nights
  • You must vacate by 12 noon at all except Warrington Domain, where you need to leave by 8:30 am
  • You must always use the toilet facilities provided
  • Litter must be placed in rubbish bins or taken with you when you leave
  • You cannot use any nearby waterways for bathing, washing clothes, or washing dishes
  • Fires are not permitted at any sites
  • Self contained vehicles must clearly display a NZS5465:2001 certification

Campers who break these rules or freedom camp outside of a designated area may be issued with a fine, which can be as much as $800.

Where Can NZS5465:2001 Certified Self Contained Vehicles Camp?

Dunedin City

In addition to the freedom camping sites we’ve detailed above, self contained vehicles displaying a NZS5465:2001 certification may park on any gravelled or sealed Dunedin City Council land, as long as it is not:

  • A cemetery
  • A scenic reserve
  • A prohibited zone (listed above)
  • Outside of the designated areas at Thomas Burns Street, Warrington Domain, and Ocean View Reserve

Freedom camping in Dunedin is a wonderful experience, and you have a few good places you’re allowed to camp legally. However, not only do you need to make sure you camp in the appropriate space, but you need to make sure you’re in the correct vehicle!

Don’t panic – this doesn’t have to be confusing. Speak with the team at Travellers Autobarn today, and we’ll match you with a campervan that is suitable for freedom camping in Dunedin, taking all of the rules and regulations into account. There’s never been an easier way to get on the road to your freedom camping adventure!

Freedom Camping in New Zealand – Important Information

There’s no doubt that freedom camping is one of the best ways to see everything New Zealand offers. However, there are some important things to note before you head out on your adventures:

  1. Freedom camping sites are usually only suitable for self contained vehicles, and the hire price of these can be between 10%-40% more expensive than non self contained vehicles. So, this is something you’ll need to factor into your budget.
  2. While freedom camping sites offer beautiful views in remote locations, their amenities are normally very limited. Also, even during the summer, night temperatures can fall as low as 0°C.
  3. Most freedom camping sites don’t have a booking system, and, as such, spaces are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. This means finding a spot can be quite difficult.
  4. Camping areas that are certified DOC (Department of Conservation) allow you to extend your stay for up to 30 nights as long as you hold a DOC Campsite Pass. These are massively useful for frequent freedom campers and cost as little as $95 per person.
About the Author

Bastian Graf

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.

Share this page

Find Your Nearest Travellers Autobarn Location