Sustainable camping in Kāpiti
Kilometres of stunning coastline and the captivating backdrop of Kāpiti Island make Kāpiti a must-visit destination for sustainable travellers. It's the perfect stopover going to or from Wellington, with a series of coastal communities only an hour's drive north of the Capital.
Fully self-contained vehicles (meaning they must have their own toilet and waste-disposal facilities) are welcome to stay at our nine well-signposted designated sites around the Kāpiti Coast.
Permits are not required, but to enhance campers' stay and experience please:
- be considerate of residents and other campers
- remove all rubbish, including solid and liquid waste
- provide evidence your vehicle is self-contained, if asked by a council officer
- abide by all council bylaws including camp fires and barbecue use, noise and animal control.
For campers who are not self-contained, Kāpiti has several holiday parks that offer a wide range of facilities. Ōtaki Forks also has facilities and allows non-self-contained campers – visit the Department of Conservation website to read more about this campsite.
Sustainable camping (sometimes called freedom camping or responsible camping) is all about caring for our spectacular environment as much as we do. Sustainable campers leave no trace and help keep our communities and the natural environment free from pollution and waste.
The table and map below show Kāpiti sustainable camping sites, what facilities are available at each one, and how long you are able to stay. The number of sustainable camping vehicles welcome at each site ranges from one to six, on a first-come, first-served basis.
|Location||Sites available||How long can I stay?|
|North Bank, Ōtaki River, Ōtaki Beach||6||48 hours|
|Field Way, Waikanae Beach||2||24 hours|
|Waimea Road Carpark, Waikanae Beach||2||24 hours|
|Waikanae Park, Park Avenue||2||24 hours|
|Waikanae River Mouth, Tutere Street||4||24 hours|
|54 Marine Parade (opposite), Paraparaumu Beach||2||24 hours|
|62 Marine Parade (opposite), Paraparaumu Beach||2||24 hours|
|69 Marine Parade (opposite), Paraparaumu Beach||2||24 hours|
|Raumati Beach, Matatua Road Carpark||3||24 hours|
Campers can dispose of their toilet/shower waste at the following Council affiliated location:
Ōtaki Refuse Transfer Station (Riverbank Road Ōtaki PDS)
1 Riverbank Road
Other commercial locations include:
- Mobil Amohia St, Paraparaumu
- BP, 108 Kāpiti Road.
Note: these commercial locations are not owned or managed by Council, and are outlined on this page for user convenience only. Please contact the site manager regarding any maintenance.
We monitor our sustainable camping sites and encourage sustainable camping, which is all about caring for our spectacular environment as much as we do. Sustainble campers leave no trace and help keep our communities and natural environment free from pollution and waste.
The Government has made changes to some of its freedom camping rules.
The Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation Act came into effect on 7 June 2023. It changes where and how you can freedom camp in Aotearoa New Zealand.
A number of changes will be introduced, with the first in effect now and the final ones in effect in early June 2025:
- In general, you can only freedom camp on local authority land if your vehicle is certified self-contained.
- Vehicles with a portable toilet can no longer be certified self-contained. Blue warrants are being phased out and replaced with the new requirements. A new national register of self-contained vehicles will allow local authorities to check if a vehicle is certified as self-contained under the new requirements.
- The original infringement fee of $200 has been increased to $400. Many fees will increase again when regulations come into effect.
Find out more at Freedom camping changes, on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's website.
Our Sustainable Camping Ambassadors have some more information on what these changes mean for you when you stay in Kāpiti: