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Freedom CampingTōpuni noho herekore

Freedom and self-contained camping areas and guidelines.

Council does not need to be advised of your intention to camp (freedom or self-contained) in the below locations, unless it is during a restricted period (i.e. you are unable to camp at Pourerere Beach from 17 December - 6 February). For all other times, you are welcome to camp in the below locations on a first in, first served basis.

Freedom Camping

Freedom camping is permitted in the following places:

  • Te Paerahi Beach (Porangahau) - In the Council owned ‘free camp’ area situated on the corner of Te Paerahi Street and Puketauhinu Place.
  • Pourerere Beach - Where signposted. Any camping between 17 December - 6 February is by a ballot process. Applications open in October.

Note freedom camping is any kind of camping in tents or non-self contained caravans. If you are unsure - a self-contained vehicle will be certified with a blue sticker in its window showing it complies with the NZ Standard (NZS 5465:2001).

Self-contained Camping

  • Tommy Ireland Point lookout (Pourerere Beach Road) – Fully certified ‘self contained’ motor homes ONLY for not more than three consecutive nights.
  • Aramoana Beach – Fully certified ‘self contained’ motor homes ONLY are permitted to stay overnight for not more than three consecutive nights, in the clearly signposted area at the end of the public car park area near to the public toilets. Three (3) parks have been allocated for this activity.
  • Kairakau Beach - Fully certified ‘self contained’ motor homes ONLY are permitted to stay overnight for not more than three consecutive nights, on the area of grass at the northern end of Kairakau Beach Road (past the new public toilet). The area allowed to be used is clearly signposted. Any other form of camping on any other ‘Council’ land at Kairakau Beach is NOT ALLOWED.

There is no camping allowed in the following locations: Whangaehu, Mangakuri, Parimahu and Blackhead Beaches. Camping is also not allowed on the ‘local purpose reserve’ at the northern end of the existing Blackhead Beach Public Camping Ground.

House Rules

  • There is a total fire ban on all beaches in Central Hawke's Bay all year around. There are no exceptions to this.
  • Length of stay is not to exceed 7 days.
  • Campers must leave the site clean and tidy.
  • Camp sites must be set up in such a way as to not interfere with or damage trees, other vegetation such as sand dune plants, or disturb nesting birds in the dunes.
  • No permanent structures will be permitted.
  • Suitable signs will be erected advising public of areas where camping is permitted and areas where camping is not permitted.
  • Dogs are allowed with campers at freedom camping sites BUT they must be kept under strict control at all times.  Signposted bylaws regarding dogs on beaches over summer months must also be adhered to. This typically means that dogs cannot be off-lead in certain areas (i.e. around ablution blocks).

Phone +64 6 857 8060 for more information.

Looking after New Zealand's environment

You will no doubt be travelling in New Zealand because of our beautiful countryside and environment. We know that you will want to protect this, so to do so you need to remember that the indiscriminate disposal of human waste ruins the enjoyment of the natural environment and creates a significant health risk. It promotes the spread of intestinal disease either from direct contact or by insect carriers such as flies.

Please make sure you respect our environment by thoughtfully disposing of any waste you have in an appropriate place. Below are some tips to help you to do this.

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

In New Zealand you can expect to find free use 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 Movan 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.

If you are out in the countryside, rubbish disposal can be a problem.

  • Plan your trip to minimise rubbish
  • Burying rubbish is unsatisfactory because rubbish can be exposed by animals or erosion so please carry away all rubbish.
  • Disposal nappies are not biodegradable! Ensure that you take plastic bags and carry used nappies home.
  • Roadside rubbish containers are only provided for light litter. E.g. sweet/lollies, small snacks and takeaway wrappers.
  • Food and household wastes (rubbish bags) should be taken home or disposed of in motorcamp rubbish bins or in the local rubbish dump.

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