Camping and freedom camping

Enjoy camping in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, be considerate and check the rules around freedom camping.

Council camping grounds

Freedom camping

Non-self-contained freedom camping

Non-self-contained freedom camping (e.g. camping in a car or tent) is not permitted anywhere in Christchurch or Banks Peninsula.

Self-contained freedom camping

If your campervan is fully self-contained (with toilet, wastewater and rubbish facilities on-board) and certified as such by a self-containment issuing authority, then you may camp overnight for free on land administered by the Council across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, except for prohibited areas in town centres, some residential settlements and on Council parks and reserves, (under the Parks and Reserves bylaw).

See below map for self-contained freedom camping areas. 

Map Listing

Tips for responsible self-contained freedom camping

If you are freedom camping in Christchurch or Banks Peninsula, please:

  • Follow all signage related to freedom camping
  • Respect nearby residents
  • Park properly. Don’t block roads, driveways or tracks
  • Use the toilet. Don’t relieve yourself beside the road, in the bush, on the ground, on the beach, or in a river, creek or lake
  • Empty your campervan toilet at a dump station
  • Take your rubbish with you, or put it into a Council rubbish bin. If the bin is full, phone the Council’s Customer Service Desk on (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169
  • Lighting campfires can pose a risk to the community and the environment, and the rules change from place-to-place. Use a gas fire if cooking food, and be sure that it is clear of any flammable material.

The Freedom Camping Act allows for the Council to issue a fine of $200 if someone is found freedom camping, or making preparations to freedom camp, in a local-authority area and in breach of the Council's Bylaw, including any temporarily closed sites.

Full details are in the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015.

Paying a freedom camping infringement

Freedom Camping Infringements can be paid for via post, in person and by phone.


Post a cheque for your freedom camping infringement to:
Christchurch City Council
PO Box 73049, 
Christchurch 8154.

In person (cash, cheque or eftpos)

You can pay in person at Council service centre.

Phone (24 hours a day)

You can pay over the phone using any major credit card. Call the Customer Call Centre on 0800 800 169.

Check the Department of Conservation website for more campsites and camping tips and activities.