​​​​​Council is responsible for registering camping grounds throughout the Clutha District. These grounds provide accommodation for mainly tourists, but occasionally for longer staying people. There are some sixteen registered camping grounds within our district. The majority of grounds will provide for tents, touring vans as well as cabins for people touring in cars.

Communal facilities in the form of kitchens, toilets, bathrooms and laundries are required although in some cases (notably smaller sites) the Council considers it reasonable to issue relaxations where the size of the site makes it uneconomical to provide all of these facilities. Under such circumstances there are usually alternative facilities available, e.g. a nearby restaurant or cafe is acceptable where there is no on-site kitchen.

Check out Destination Clutha for tourism information about our district - including accommodation.

F​reedom Camping

There are a range of public reserve areas which can be used during daylight hours to access and enjoy Clutha District's district and diverse natural areas, coastlines and wide-open spaces. However, some restrictions on overnight camping have been put in place to protect our natural environment and to ensure the sustainability of this tourism activity 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.

See our 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-Cont​ainment​​

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 a  one of Clutha District's many camping grounds.

Camping Ground Regulations

The Camping Ground Regulations 1985 prescribe the standards to be provided within grounds used as campsites for vans, tents and re-locatable homes. They include the required fire precautions.


Page reviewed: 27 Oct 2020 1:22pm