Camping in The Catlins
Chris McLennan

Camping in Southland

Camping is a popular pastime in New Zealand, and Murihiku Southland has plenty of campgrounds and holiday parks on offer. As a country that cherishes the outdoors, it's no surprise that spending a night under the stars is a preferred accommodation choice. There's nothing quite like sitting around a campfire on a clear night, listening to the sound of waves crashing on the beach or the soothing trickling of forest rivers.


Camp-friendly events

Where can you camp?

Like in the rest of New Zealand, you will find all kinds of camping types in Murihiku Southland, from Holiday Parks to Freedom Camping. Here is what you can expect in Southland.

Holiday Parks and Campgrounds

Most Holiday Parks and Campgrounds in Southland offer epic views for a budget-friendly price. You will find powered and non-powered sites for tents, caravans, campervans and motorhomes. They sometimes also offer cabins, self-contained motel units and backpackers' lodges. Easy access to a shared kitchen and bathroom facilities is always part of the deal. 

Department of Conservation campsites

The Department of Conservation (DOC) manages over 20 public camping areas on conservation land throughout Southland. You will find these sites in some of our most beautiful places, like Pūrākaunui Bay. These campsites usually don't have an on-site manager and are operated in a typical Kiwi way: on a trust basis. Facilities are typically minimal and basic, but fees are reasonable and sometimes even free. Tents, campervans, motorhomes and caravans are all welcome on DOC campsites.

Freedom camping

There are certain areas in Southland where you can pull over, park your campervan or motorhome or set up your tent and camp for the night free of charge.

When freedom camping in Southland and the rest of New Zealand, you must always do the following:



Southland has an abundance of places to stay, offering plenty of variety, no matter your itinerary or budget. 

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