Bush Camping South Island NZ

Submitted: Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 11:04
ThreadID: 55135 Views:5028 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived
In 3 weeks we are heading off for 17 days in a on the South Island NZ. I dont like staying in Caravan parks and hope to bush camp every second night or so.

The is fully self contained, and we are experienced bush campers in Oz.

Anyone here have any comments about bush camping in NZ, places to avoid, and idyllic sites etc.

Also of any topomaps suitable for use with OzieExplorer (Cheap)

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Andrea11 - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 11:13

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 11:13

We did the South Island last yr in a motor home, the visitor information centers are great ask for a Doc camping booklet, it will give you all the info on all thier camp grounds, our equivillant to NPs. We stayed in many the 2 best were one just out of Queenstown heading towards Glenorchy about 14ks out of Queenstown. The next was just outside lake Te Anau. Both of these are Majestic right on the waters edge with Magnificent veiws of snow capped mountains as the backdrop. Also if you get that far try Hamner Spring another stunning place.

Hope this info helps but definatly go to the information Centers they are fantastic.

Enjoy your holiday in my home Country.

AnswerID: 290554

Reply By: Wayne David - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 11:58

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 11:58
Go-N-Grey (WA) I'm somewhat of a 'lurker' on this forum. However your question about NZ has me very interested as I'm dead keen to see the place too. Just a question about seasons & heating though. How 'fresh' does the weather get on the South Island & will the vans heating system cope.

Cheers all
AnswerID: 290565

Follow Up By: DIO - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 18:41

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 18:41
'ffffresh' is inappropriate when referring to South Island winter weather. Ffffreezing is more like it. Often LOTS of snow, ice and very cold. Best time is Autumn and if your lucky Summer can be very comfortable. If winter is your thing, remember you will frequently find some roads closed beacuse of heavy snow fall and or avalanche danger.
FollowupID: 555987

Reply By: stevesub - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 13:40

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 13:40
The DOC camps in NZ are great and around $15 per night for 2 people - basic as with water, toilets, outside cold showers only.

There is not so much bush camping in NZ as in OZ but it is more prevalent in the Sth Is where there are more places to camp. Just watch for no camping signs if you are close to a camp ground - some councils don't like the bush campers.

Also personal safety is to be considered - there are more bad guys in NZ than OZ. Just think, remote area, only 1 van or tent there, bunch of bad b###rs come by - it happens all too often.

Would I bush camp in NZ, depends where because of the personal safety and I come from NZ.

ALWAYS lock everything when you leave your vehicle and do not have any valuables showing - otherwise they will not be there when you get back, especially at popular tourist spots.

This is an unfortunate fact of life in the Shaky Isles as far as I am concerned.

AnswerID: 290577

Reply By: Kiwiausie - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 18:21

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 18:21
Hi . ex kiwi here .. I was from the North Island not a good place to bush camp even worse to live there , but South Island is totaly different . I spent about 4 years in the South Island & the people are very laid back & easy going also a beutiful place to see & travel around , freinds that live down ther say that fuel is around $1.75 -- $1.90 per litre thats petrol . but you would still wan't to be be careful were you camp , just as you would any where on our Planet .. its not like it was 15 years ago .. before you go get the DVD out called Once Were Warriors & watch it . it was filmed in the North Island about 15 years ago , the same time we left & it was spot on . I could just imagine what it is like in Auckland now . All that said camp with others & you will love it ....
AnswerID: 290620

Reply By: Skippy In The GU - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 18:25

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 18:25
Hi Go-N-Grey, at www.gpsaustralia.net they can assist you , there is something similar to Shonkymaps for the New Zealand
AnswerID: 290621

Reply By: T-Ribby - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 18:56

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 18:56
I kin advise you to take plenty of strong sandfly and mossie deterrent - especially sandflies. These buggers will drive you crazy anywhere near the bush in the south island. I would try to keep away from a place called Pelorus Bridge up in the Nelson area. There is a story about a Pelorus sandfly that landed at Nelson airport and they pumped 1000 litres of avgas into it before realising what it was .. Lakes = biting insects. You won't see any ants though - they are all in Q'ld. There are some lovely spots - Lake Aviemore, Wanaka, Tekapo, Hanmer Springs. The West coast has the biggest mozzie and sandfly populations though and perhaps a place to avoid during the summer. Around Tekapo or Kaikoura would be my pick but get yourself a good map and just go

AnswerID: 290630

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 19:09

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 19:09

Free NZ gps maps for Garmin. (the whole country)
AnswerID: 290634

Reply By: Holden4th - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 19:51

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 19:51
Where you bush camp is the point. NZ is a bit like Tassie where most of the land you pass by is farmed and let's face it, farmers don't want you camping among their livestock. You are really limited to van parks or NPs in the South Island. Just pulling up at the side of the road at a rest stop (very few of those) could be very problematical.

Can I suggest that you get this very informative book


Which should answer your camping questions.

As for being cold - just treat it like an outback/mountains trip in July and add top quality rainwear for good measure.

BTW, the South Island is absolutely wonderful at any time of year so enjoy!
AnswerID: 290644

Reply By: Member - Geoff C (QLD) - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 21:01

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 21:01
We went over there and hired a motorhome for 3 weeks last September.Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Spent only 3 nights in van parks including the last night at Christchurch ($48 I think). We spent the first night in a shopping centre carpark which had a 24 hour supermarket with about 4 other motorhomes. Never had any threats but it was very cold. We basically just wandered around and always found somewhere to camp, some of the spots were absolutely beautiful. Don't know what it would be like in tourist season as we went when we did to avoid the crowds.
About the gas heater in the motorhome, absolutely useless but we had asked for and got extra blankets form the hire company before we started. Loved it and would recommend it to anyone.
AnswerID: 290661

Reply By: Wazza - (Vic) - Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 21:56

Monday, Mar 03, 2008 at 21:56
Got some road maps (not topo) that I scanned myself. Great for day to day driving - where do I email them to ? 10 meg for the south island maps, so I will have to split the email.

Let me know if you want them.

Wife and I got back from there last week. Spent a week up around Wanaka. Was great.

AnswerID: 290679

Follow Up By: warfer69 - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2008 at 19:02

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2008 at 19:02
Your dead right Wazza,Wanaka is beautiful,especially down by the lake..

N.Z river systems are like no other,So clear..

Did you get to Queenstown and jump off the bridge (the easy one) Not like Skippers Cayon.

FollowupID: 556206

Follow Up By: Wazza - (Vic) - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2008 at 19:07

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2008 at 19:07

went for a few swims in the lake while we were there. My mrs is from Dunedin, so we were over visiting her family for a while and took a week off to spend in central otago. Very nice.

Have been to Queenstown before with a few mates on a ski trip. I did the bungee where you actually jump from a parasail towed behind a jet boat. Was supposed to be a bigger jump than the bridge jumps, was excellent, but went too quick for the $$

FollowupID: 556207

Sponsored Links