Return to home page

Freedom Camping in Matamata-Piako


Freedom Camping in our District

Matamata-Piako is one of New Zealand’s visitor hot spots. We’ve got lots of attractions to explore and host around 18,000 nights of freedom camping each year.

New Zealand’s freedom camping laws allow camping on all Council land and roads, unless the Council prohibits it through other methods (like a Bylaw or Reserve Management Plan). So we've put a Bylaw in place that strikes a balance between attracting and supporting tourism in our area, while protecting special places in our district.  

The main points to note from the Freedom Camping Bylaw are:

  • Freedom camping is restricted to people in self-contained motor vehicles (i.e. not tents or other temporary structures), based on NZ Self-Contained Standards
  • There are some areas where people CAN’T freedom camp (prohibited areas).
  • There are some areas where people MAY freedom camp (restricted areas), with a maximum number of self-contained vehicles that can stay in each location  
  • People can stay for a maximum of four nights in any specific location within any one-month period
  • People cannot freedom camp within 500m of a place they have previously camped within the last month 

To see all the spots where Freedom Camping is prohibited or restricted, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Freedom Camping?

Freedom Camping means to camp (outside of a camping ground) within 200 m of an area accessible by motor vehicle, or within 200m of the mean low-water springs line of any sea or harbour, or on or within 200m of a formed road or a Great Walks Track, using a tent, temporary structure, or a motor vehicle. 

It does not include staying at a camping ground, temporary or short-term parking of a motor vehicle, day trips, resting or sleeping at the roadside to avoid driver fatigue, or people who are homeless and as a result need to sleep in their vehicle.

The Freedom Camping Act 2011 (the Act) defines freedom camping as staying for free in a vehicle or tent, within 200 metres of where you can drive, the coast or a Great Walks Track. More information about freedoom camping nationally can be viewed here:

Latest news

Additional Information

We're happy to answer any questions you have about Freedom Camping - feel free to contact us on:

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 0800 746 467