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Freedom Camping

​One of the major attractions of the Ashburton District is its beautiful scenery and the freedom to be able to experience this landscape. Freedom camping is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike, and we welcome you to experience being close to nature in a responsible manner. Please respect our District to ensure our freedom camping areas remain for everyone to enjoy.

The Freedom Camping Act 2011 enables freedom camping in the Ashburton District, as long as it adheres to Ashburton District Council Bylaws and Department of Conservation's conservation areas. Read about relevant bylaws and conservation areas here.

There are many scenic locations for freedom camping within the Ashburton District from the heart of rural farmland to rugged coastal stretches.   Although many are only suited for self-contained units, information on camp facilities including toilets can be found on the Council campgrounds page.

There are campervan dump sites provided in our District for you to dispose of your rubbish. Some are commercial ventures and involve a charge. These can be found at:

  • Rakaia River Holiday Park, 16 Main South Road, Rakaia
  • Coronation Holiday Park, 780 East Street, Ashburton
  • Ashburton, East Street, opposite the Mobil Service Station​
  • Methven recycling drop–off facility, corner of Methven Chertsey Road and Line Road, Methven
  • Mt Somers Domain, Hoods Road, Mt Somers

Some washing detergents and soaps can be toxic to aquatic wildlife so please do not discharge waste water from washing activities in or near streams, rivers or the ocean.

We want to ensure access to the landscape and sights Ashburton District offers, and with your help, we can ensure these areas are protected and able to be enjoyed by future campers.