Arthur's Pass

Freedom Camping in Arthur’s Pass National Park

Why Freedom Camp in Arthur’s Pass National Park?

Arthur’s Pass National Park is one of the most naturally beautiful regions of New Zealand and staying there for a night or two allows you to explore it at a relaxed pace. There are two freedom camping areas close to the tourist village and they are ideal for a short stay. It’s perfectly legal to stay at these camping grounds in non self contained vehicles, so there’s no need to worry about fines.

Klondyke Corner

We stumbled upon Klondyke Corner while searching for Greyneys Campsite in the dark. The signage isn’t great and it’s easy to miss these places! There were maybe 15 to 20 cars and a couple of tents spread out over a large area. There’s a little hut thing to hang out and eat in and one toilet which was in a decent state. From what we saw it was clean and our fellow freedom campers respected the environment (which is the way it usually is, contrary to what the media would have you believe).

We stayed at Klondyke Corner in late April and it was pretty cold — make sure to bring a warm duvet and blankets if you’re thinking of freedom camping in Arthur’s Pass National Park outside of summer.

Freedom camping in Arthur's Pass National Park -- Klondyke Corner Campsite

Greyneys Campsite

We didn’t stay at Greyneys Campsite as we drove right passed it in the dark, but we stopped off there the next day to check it out. It’s a lot smaller and is basically a car park — you won’t get as much privacy as you will at Klondyke Corner. It is slightly closer to the village though and also has a little hut thing and a toilet which was surprisingly clean.

Freedom camping in Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand -- Greyneys Campsite

Tips for freedom camping in Arthur’s Pass National Park

  • Try and arrive before it gets dark: It’s quite difficult getting set up in the dark and there were no lights at Klondyke Corner
  • Watch out for kea: We didn’t see any but apparently they are around. They love to chew on loose pieces of car!
  • Get cleaned up in the village: The public toilet block in the small tourist village is nice and it’s a more pleasant place to get changed etc.
  • Bring insect repellent: Apparently sandflies are a problem in this area. We didn’t see many but it always pays to be prepared.

Also, don’t miss Devil’s Punchbowl Falls while travelling through Arthur’s Pass. It’s one of the best waterfalls in New Zealand and is pretty easy to hike to.

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? Have you considered freedom camping? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.

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