Travelling sustainably not only makes you feel good when travelling, but also leaves a positive impact on the environment which you travel to. It aims to not disturb the land that you visit and leave everything how you found it, so the next travellers can also experience the natural beauty of New Zealand.  

Below is a list of ways to travel New Zealand sustainably, so let’s jump into it and learn how you can travel sustainably! 


1. Eco-Tours/Activities

Eco-tours are a way to travel through New Zealand sustainably.  

The benefits of eco-tours include the following: 

  • Boost the employment of local communities  
  • Raise awareness and educate travellers, as well as the locals, about the bio-cultural impact of a destination 
  • Protect the local flora and fauna. 

Some examples of destinations in New Zealand with eco-tours are: Poor Knights IslandsAoraki Mount Cook National Park, Fiordland National Park, Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier, Waitomo Caves, Wai-O-Tapu, Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 

If possible, book activities that are in local communities rather than with big touristy attractions, or even better attractions where a part of your fee goes towards local conservation projects.  

Glow-worms in Waitomo Caves

2. Carbon Footprint 

To make the most of your carbon footprint when travelling to New Zealand, travellers should stay for longer periods of time. Especially if you fly into the country as flying leaves a large carbon footprint. Some airlines have the option when booking to pay an extra amount to offset their carbon footprint from the flight. Find out more information regarding carbon offset from Air New Zealand 

3. Freedom Camping 

Freedom camping is a great way to explore New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes and feels like you’ve got the campsite to yourself! It attracts travellers to less populated destinations and spreads out visitors to reduce density in populated areas. Freedom Camping is also a cheaper option rather than paying for accommodation in hotels or caravan parks.  

The Travellers Autobarn Kuga & Hi5 (Self-Contained) campervans all come with the self-containment sticker, please ensure to add the “Porta Potti” during the booking stage for the certification to be valid. This means you can do freedom camping on your next road trip adventure in New Zealand. If you’re unsure where you can camp, there are a number of apps for freedom camping in New Zealand that can guide you.

Make sure to take all your rubbish with you when freedom camping to keep the environment clean. If possible, also recycle your waste.  

Campervan parked next to lake with couple sitting in camping chairs

4. DOC Campsites 

DOC Campsites in New Zealand are some of the most popular, affordable and enjoyable camping locations throughout the country. Offering a wide range of sites that are situated across a variety of stunning landscapes, DOC campsites provide visitors with enviable vistas and a wide variety of activities to enjoy.

Whether fishing at coastal campsites or tramping through the Waitakere Ranges, the DOC campsites have something to offer young and old campers. With an abundance of facilities and amenities available alongside these breathtaking environments, they make for an experience that is hard to beat.

For as little as $95/person you are able to stay for 30 nights at over 150 DOC campsite New Zealand wide….for more information about the DOC Camp Pass click here….

Snow-capped mountain view out the back of a campervan in New Zealand

5. Travel the road less travelled 

A factor that can cause negative impacts to the environment is over-tourism. Below is a list of eco friendly travel tips to prevent over-tourism from happening are: 

  • Travelling to New Zealand in the low season. Another benefit of this is that it’s cheaper to travel during the low season compared to the peaks season. The low season in New Zealand is during June, July and August.  
  • Try not to travel to destinations that are bucket list (Instagramable locations) and explore less travelled places. When there is overcrowding, a location may not look the same as perceived online. So why not travel somewhere where you know there are less people, such as some of New Zealand’s hidden gems!

Otago Peninsula New Zealand

6. Low-Waste Packing  

When packing your bags for your trip to New Zealand, make sure to pack reusable items. These can include aluminium water bottles, metal straws and tote bags. This will reduce the amount of single-used plastic as well as possible plastic littering. When receiving guides, maps or printed pamphlets etc., return them back to where you got them from or hand them on to other travellers to reduce waste.  When you go on your next road trip make sure to pack eco-friendly camping gear to reduce waste. 


From reusable items to activities  to do during your stay, travelling sustainably through New Zealand, not only has a positive impact on you and other travellers, but on the environment.

Check out the latest deals on our campervan hire in New Zealand, where you can also check out our locations in Auckland and Christchurch.

About the Author

Harrison Greig

Harrison is the Marketing and Social Media Guru here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Bachelor of Business (International Tourism). He has 4+ years experience in the tourism industry, enjoys capturing and showcasing the beauty of the world we live in!

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