Where can I park a campervan overnight in Christchurch?
Christchurch is both a great launch pad and a great end point for your New Zealand motorhome holiday. It's also an amazing destination in it's own right with plenty of attractions and things to do both in the city and the surrounding area, but where is it OK to park a campervan or motorhome overnight?
Luckily there are a number of options when it comes to overnight motorhome parking, with some better and more convenient than others. Let's discuss the options...
Freedom camping is a type of camping where individuals or groups can camp in designated areas, without having to pay for a campsite or obtain prior permission. It allows campers to enjoy the natural beauty of an area and experience the outdoors while minimising costs.
The concept of freedom camping is based on the idea of providing more affordable camping options and giving people the freedom to explore and enjoy the environment. However, it is important to note that freedom camping is subject to certain rules and regulations to ensure environmental sustainability and protect public and private property.
In Christchurch there are a number of different options when it comes to the question where can I freedom camp in Christchurch. It's worth familiraising yourself with the specific bylaws (Freedom Camping Bylaw 2021) that apply to freedom campers. These can be found on the Christchurch City Council Website.
In summary the rules are:
You must be in a certified self contained vehicle
There are prohibited areas you cannot freedom camp in, namely:
Central City prohibited area
Southshore Spit prohibited area
New Brighton and North Beach Car Park prohibited areas
Rapaki prohibited area
Naval Point & Lyttelton prohibited areas
You can spend no more than 2 nights freedom camping in the Christchurch Urban Restricted Area
Overall, freedom camping provides an opportunity for campers to enjoy outdoor adventures while being mindful of their impact on the environment and respecting the rights of landowners and local communities.
Christchurch Motorhome Site
The Christcurch Motorhome Site is a private parking site located on the southern outskirts of Christchurch city. It provides a private and quiet area to park up for the night.
Being located on the city fringe the site offers easy access to the city (either by driving in or by jumping on a local bus) as well as the Christchurch Adventure Park, Sumner Beach, Lyttelton and the picturesque Port Hills.
Althought there are no dump facilities on site, there is a dump station not too far away. The site does have a water supply and electrical hook up as well as WiFi.
Being a single private campervan parking site it can get booked out, so it's best to check availability and book ahead when you can.
Park over property
Park over property camping, or POP camping is as the name suggests parking your campervan over private property. Park over property is a scheme that was started by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) way back in 1991. Membership of the NZMCA is required to access some POP sites, but not all, many are available to non-members too.
The fee for POP sites can range anywhere from $5 to $30 per person.
There are a wide variety of POP sites and they are often businesses that have some spare space used by motorhomes to encourage visitors to frequent their business.
More information on the park over property scheme, including a directory of POP sites in the Christchurch area can be found on the NZMCA website.
South Brighton Holiday Park
This is a seaside holiday park located to the east of Christchurch City. It's a great base to get into the city but also to spend some time on the outskirts enjoying the coast too.
The holiday park has various types of accomodation covering motorhome parking sites, tent sites and cabins. There are communal kitchen facilties, toilets & showers and there is wifi access. Bookings are accepted online.
North South Holiday Park
This park caters to a wide variety of tourists, from backpackers, to people that are car-camping, right through to motor-homers. They have a wide range of accomodation types including:
2 and 3 bedroom holiday houses
Self contained units
Powered motorhome sites
So there is definitely a suitable accomodation option no matter what your group!
They have all the amenities you would expect from a modern and well run camp site, not only the standard offerings of wifi, electric hook ups, toilets, showers, kitchen, etc, but the park also boasts a swimming pool and a games/TV room - great for socialising with other campers at the end of a tough day!
Bookings can be made directly with the camp on their website.
There are many options for where to stay in Christchurch. It really depends on what's best for your situation - close and convenient to the city or a bit further out but with a few more facilities. For those that need facilities and are potentially travelling as a group we recommend North South Holiday Park. For those that want to be close to the city and attractions and are looking for a simple and safe place to stay you can't beat Christchurch Motorhome Site.