Freedom Camping Hawkes Bay

With stunning coastal landscapes, rolling vineyards, and picturesque countryside, Hawke’s Bay (located on New Zealand’s North Island) offers the perfect blend of natural beauty, relaxation, and adventure. One of the best ways to enjoy this region to its fullest is through freedom camping, especially if you’re trying to save as much money as possible!

But, with certain restricted areas in place, knowing where you’re allowed to enjoy freedom camping near Hawke’s Bay is incredibly important. That’s what you’ll find here, along with all of the information you need to make sure you can freedom camp without running into any issues.

Hawkes Bay Freedom Camping Spots

Before we begin, it’s important to note that there aren’t any freedom camping spots in the immediate Central Hawke’s Bay area. However, if you travel into the surrounding areas, you’ll find a few good options where you can pull up in your campervan and stay overnight under the starry New Zealand skies.

It’s also important to note that each of these freedom camping sites is only suitable for self contained vehicles. Contact Travellers Autobarn today to learn more about hiring a campervan, and we’ll help get you on the road to your freedom camping road trip.

Kairakau Beach

Kairakau Beach Road, Kairakau

Located just over an hour drive away, Kairakau Beach is the closest freedom camping spot to Central Hawke’s Bay. Here, self contained vehicles can stay overnight for up to three consecutive nights in any calendar month, and there is a signposted area that will direct you to the designated spots.

As with most freedom camping locations, there aren’t many facilities on offer here, but there are public toilets close by that you can take advantage of. One of the best things about this freedom camping spot is the beachside location, which gives you immediate access for swimming, fishing, and surfing opportunities, as well as the chance to drift off to sleep as you listen to the sound of the ocean.


  • Public Toilets

Aramoana Beach

Aramoana Beach

Pourerere Beach Rd, Aramoana

Not to be confused with the other Aramoana Beach, which is located on the South Island, this freedom camping spot is a 90 minute drive from Central Hawke’s Bay. Self contained vehicles are welcome here for up to three consecutive nights, and the camping grounds are located at the end of the public car park area on Gibraltar Road.

This is a good option if you’re concerned about availability, as there are three car parks allocated for freedom camping here, offering multiple spaces. Each car park has a clearly signposted area, too, so there’s very little risk of accidentally camping in the wrong place.


  • No Amenities – Self Contained Vehicles Only

Te Paerahi

Te Paerhai Road, Pōrangahau

Just under a two hour drive from Central Hawke’s Bay will take you to Te Paerahi, another area where freedom camping is allowed. This site operates on a first-come-first-served basis, and you’ll find your way to the designated areas by following the signposts. As usual, you’ll need to be in a self contained campervan to stay overnight here, and the only facility on offer is a public toilet block located a very short walk away.

This is a great option for anyone willing to travel a little further afield in search of a beachside location and access to walking trails.


  • Public Toilet

A Note on Freedom Camping Near Hawke’s Bay

Throughout New Zealand, each council has its own rules and regulations when it comes to freedom camping, and knowing what these are as you make your way through this amazing country is incredibly important. Below, you’ll find the freedom camping rules for the sites located near Hawke’s Bay, provided in a simplified way to keep everything as stress-free as possible.

  • No matter which freedom camping grounds you choose to stay at, there is a total fire ban on all beaches, and this is in place all year around.
  • Dogs are welcome at all freedom camping spots, but they must be kept on a leash at all times (outside of your campervan). There are also signposted bylaws in relation to dogs on beaches, so make sure you keep an eye out for these, as dogs cannot go on certain beach areas at different times of the year.
  • The maximum length of stay for any self contained vehicle in any freedom camping spot is three consecutive nights.
  • Each freedom camping spot will have a clearly signposted area advising you of which designated spaces you can and cannot park in. Make sure you pay close attention to this, as camping in the wrong area can result in an infringement notice and a $200 fine.

Follow this advice, and there’s no reason why your freedom camping adventure near Hawke’s Bay can’t be everything you dreamed it would be.

Contact Travellers Autobarn today to find out more about hiring a self contained campervan for your Hawke’s Bay freedom camping holiday, and let us help you get on the road without any worries.

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.

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