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Where can I camp?

Exploring the Taupō region by campervan or motorhome is a fantastic and cost-effective way to explore the region and its many natural highlights.

It’s an incredibly scenic destination to stay and play in, and we want to keep it this way by protecting our unique natural resources through sustainable camping practices. We invite you to love and care for this place as much as we do. 

Self-contained camping

Certified self-contained vehicles can park overnight on any council-owned or council-managed land other than on our reserves and Ferry Road, where camping is prohibited.

If you are unsure whether you can park your self-contained vehicle in an area of the Taupō district, keep an eye out for signs that show where it is not permitted.

You must also display your current self-containment warrant to show you meet New Zealand standards.


Non-self-contained camping

This map shows you where you can camp on council land if you are not in a self-contained vehicle. There are three areas to choose from:

  • Hipapatua Recreational Reserve (Reid's Farm) in Taupō
  • Mangakino Recreation Reserve
  • Whakamaru Recreation Reserve (drinking water is not available at this reserve)

Each of these locations has a specific area for camping in New Zealand.

The maximum stay at a single site is three nights and four days, before it’s time to move on and make space for another traveler. Look out for signs around the region that help you determine whether you can park your vehicle up for the night.

DOC manages a diverse range of campsites within unique forest settings, from the Kaimanawa Forest Park to the flanks of Mt Ruapehu in the stunning alpine setting of Tongariro National Park. Find a DOC campsite to explore and enjoy the best of the Kiwi outdoors.

We encourage responsible camping fun at all our commercial holiday parks and campgrounds, designated freedom camping areas or Department of Conservation (DOC) camping areas

Four Basic Rules for Freedom Camping

  1. Camping on private property is not allowed.
  2. Campervans must have their own toilets and fresh water; unless these are provided by the campsite.
  3. On-board toilets may only be emptied at dump stations (see locations below).
  4. Help us keep the Taupō region clean by disposing of your rubbish and waste responsibly.

Rubbish and Waste

Where can I dispose of my recycling and rubbish?

You can dispose of rubbish and recycling at any of the landfill and transfer stations in the Taupō region.

Find out the charges and opening hours of the landfill and transfer stations here.

Where can I dispose of my toilet waste?

Motorhome grey waste can be disposed of for free, 24 hours a day, at the following dump stations.

Most commercial campgrounds and holiday parks have dump stations available for guests to use.


More information on responsible camping

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Health & Wellness

Glamping in the Taupō region 

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