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Freedom CampingTōpuni Noho Herekore

The Wairoa District is a beautiful part of Hawke's Bay and the East Coast and it's the perfect place to visit for responsible campers. Enjoy our spectacular outdoor environment with Te Urewera, Lake Waikaremoana and Mahia Peninsula right on our doorstep. We have amazing beaches, rivers, hills, lakes, waterfalls and much more. Have a chat to one of our friendly locals and find out more about the district and its unique lifestyle.

The Wairoa District welcomes responsible campers and also encourages the use of designated commercial camping grounds and DOC campsites.

Here's how you can help to maintain the district's natural environment during your stay:

  • Use the toilets available in the area.
  • Take advantage of local laundry facilities for washing clothes.
  • Enjoy local facilities for bathing.
  • Dump your rubbish only at designated areas (i. e. the Wairoa landfill).
  • Ensure your black water (sewage) and grey water (shower, sink and hand wash basin water) holding tanks are discharged at designated wastewater dump stations.

Download Freedom Camping Brochure


Motorhomes at Whakamahia Beach

Freedom Camping Locations

Freedom camping is permitted in any local authority area within the District unless it is restricted or prohibited.

We care for our district and appreciate your support in this by complying with the conditions set out in relation to each site.

Persons found camping on prohibited land will be issued with an infringement notice and directed to the nearest registered camping ground or freedom camping site.

The government has recently changed the freedom camping regulations to find out more about regulations click here 

Rubbish and Recycling

Information on Rubbish and Recycling can be found here

Dump Stations

Please note some charges apply for dumping:

  • Riverside Motor camp, 19 Marine Parade, Wairoa: $5 per casual dump or FREE (included in camping fee) if staying onsite.
  • War Memorial Park, Freyberg Street, Wairoa: FREE (no charge)
  • Waikaremoana Motor camp, SH38, Waikaremoana: FREE (no charge).
  • Opoutama Beach - Upoko Tataramoa Drive, Mahia 4198

Special Note on Liquor Ban

Please note a liquor ban applies as follows:

WAIROA (24 hours per day 365 days of the year) bounded by:

  • Marine Parade from Murrae Street to King Street.
  • Queen Street from Murrae Street to King Street.
  • Riverbank from Murrae Street to King Street and all associated alleyways and car parks.

MAHIA (24 hours a day from December 20th to January 20th every year):

  • The whole of the Mahia Peninsula and surrounding area encompassed within the coastline from Nuhaka to Paritu.


Dogs are permitted within the freedom camping areas as long as they are tied up or on a leash at all times.

Types of Freedom Camping in the Wairoa District


Camping in self-contained vehicles is permitted on any area owned by the local authority within the district unless it is prohibited.

There is  new Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation(2023) click here to read more

Self-contained camping - travelling in a motorhome with a built-in kitchen, bathroom, a fresh water tank and holding tanks for black and grey water.


Non self-contained camping is only allowed in restricted areas. So if you are travelling in a vehicle that is not a certified fully self-contained vehicle or sleeping in a tent, you are only allowed to camp in restricted areas which are marked with green signs.

Non self-contained camping - travelling in a modified car, van or vehicle without some or all of the facilities needed for day to day living or sleeping in a tent with no day to day amenities.

The restricted areas are the Clyde Court in Wairoa and Oraka on the Mahia Peninsula. Please have a look at the map above or at the map in the Freedom Camping Brochure to find out where those sites are located.


There are some areas where any kind of camping is prohibited. Those sites are marked with blue signs.

Persons found camping on Council-owned land that is prohibited will be issued with an infringement fee or fine. To find out more about fees and fines Click here

Please have a look at the map above or at the map in the Freedom Camping Brochure to find out where the prohibited sites are located.

Popular Freedom Camping Sites

To find out where our popular Freedom Camping sites are located please have a look at the map in our Freedom Camping Brochure.

Restricted Camping Areas

Restricted Camping Areas

Prohibited Camping Areas

Prohibited Camping Areas

Safety For Travellers

You are travelling and you need to find a toilet where do you go?

In New Zealand you can expect to find toilets at:

  • Information and visitor centres
  • National park headquarters
  • Petrol stations
  • Hotels
  • Public libraries
  • Camp grounds
  • Rail and bus stations
  • Urban parks and children's playgrounds.

Use the toilets in towns as they may not be available in the countryside.

At remote locations where there are no toilets, bury your waste.

  • Select a secluded spot well away from water, walking tracks, huts and potential campsites.
  • Dig or scrape a shallow hole and refill with loose soil.
  • Waste will degrade fastest in loose topsoil where humus is actively decomposing.

Campervan, Caravan and motor caravan users

  • Use public toilets rather than fill up your holding tank.
  • Before setting out on your trip identify the location of sewage dump points e.g. camping grounds.

The procedure for dumping is simple and clean. If your vehicle has a holding tank it will have a flexible hose with a snap coupling to fit the dump point facility. In the event of a spillage a hose at the dump facility may be used to wash it away. Portable toilets may also be emptied into dump points with care.

Public Toilets

This map is showing the locations of the public toilets across the Wairoa District.

Our public toilets are open between 6am - 10pm daily, except the toilets at Whakamahia (open 24/7).


For more information about the Freedom Camping Act 2011 click here.

If you require further information about Freedom Camping do not hesitate to call or e-mail the Wairoa i-Site.

+64 6 838 7309


Wairoa District Council - Copyright © 2024 Wairoa District Council

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Wairoa District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Wairoa District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Wairoa District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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