Immerse yourself in remote natural landscapes by camping in Clutha. Travel in your campervan or stay beach-side in one of our designated campgrounds. We welcome responsible campers who are willing to look after our unspoilt environment.

Where can you camp in the Clutha District?

We love our amazing natural landscapes and wildlife so please look after it. Responsible campers are welcome, see the attached Catlins Care Code. For more information on camping please go to the Clutha District Council’s website or chat to our friendly information centre staff.

F​reedom Camping

Some restrictions on overnight camping in the Clutha District have been put in place to protect our natural environment and ensure the sustainability for years to come.

Self-contained vehicles

If your vehicle is fully self-contained (with a toilet, wastewater and rubbish facilities on-board) then there are some opportunities to camp overnight for free on land administered by the Clutha District Council. However, restrictions have been put in place to control the numbers of certified self-contained vehicles and the areas where they can park.

This includes the following prohibited areas:

  • Town centres or residential areas
  • The foreshore area between Kākā Point and The Nuggets
  • Tautuku Beach Carpark and Florence Hill Lookout
  • The foreshore area of Catlins Lake
  • The Wetherstons area near Lawrence
  • Cannibal Bay
  • Long Point
  • Any other public areas where 'No Camping' signs are displayed.

Click here for the Freedom Camping in Clutha District​ brochure for more details.

What is a self-contained vehicle?​

Details on the requirements and process for vehicle certification - what it means to be self-contained - can be found on the NZMCA page Certified Self-Containment​​

Non-self-cont​a​ined vehicles

Freedom camping on land administered by the Clutha District in vehicles which are not certified self-contained, or tenting or sleeping outdoors, is not permitted.

If you do not have a certified fully self-contained vehicle, then please stay at one of Clutha District's many camping grounds.

Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites

There are three Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites: Tawanui, Purakaunui Bay, and Papatowai, all of which are located in The Catlins, which are only a small cost per night. They are all standard campsites with a limited range of facilities and services, including toilets, water supply and vehicle access.

Click here to view DOC campsites

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