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Where can you camp in the Clutha District?

There are some great places to stay in Clutha and we welcome responsible campers who are prepared to look after our unique and natural environment. Camping is permitted in any designated camping ground for all types of camping in tents, campervans, sleeper vans and vehicles.

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 Kaka Point and The Nuggets
  • Any other public areas where 'No Camping' signs are displayed.

In addition, and as a trial over the 2019/20 season, freedom camping is restricted across The Catlins area, apart from a designated camping site in Owaka, located on Inn Street.

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) camp sites

There are three Department of Conservation (DOC) camp sites: 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.

Self-Service Laundromat