Due to the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle in February, most summer camping sites are closed for the remainder of the season.
Gisborne District Council's Freedom Camping Bylaw 2021 replaces 'summer camping' with restricted seasonal camping.
The only sites open are Pouawa Beach and Waihau Beach - Loisels until 1 May.
You must have a permit before you set up camp
- You must comply with camp site rules and conditions on the permit and in the bylaw.
- Monitoring will be carried out by council inspectors.
- Apply for your permit here online
Manage your own rubbish
- You need to manage your own rubbish. Check for the closest transfer station at each site.
- No bags are issued with your free permit so you need to take your own.
- We encourage zero waste - so please take your rubbish with you when you leave.
- Do not put rubbish bags at the roadside. Fines will be issued.
Read the 2021 Freedom Camping Bylaw
Restricted, temporarily closed and prohibited camping areas
Only 2 sites are open
Camp site rules
- No semi-permanent structures. Portaloos are permitted.
- Do not attach any structure to any tree or shrub.
- Do not cut any steps or access points into the sand dunes or riverbank.
- Keep a distance of 2.5m between each camp site for fire safety.
- Be respectful of the whenua - no digging, burying waste, polluting or littering the land.
- Manage your waste. Take your rubbish with you when you leave, this includes pallets and any other items at your camp.
- Do not put rubbish bags out near the roadside. This is illegal dumping.
- You must have a chemical toilet - one toilet for every 8 people. Empty your wastewater at the dump station.
- Do not block accessways.
- You must have gas for cooking.
- No open fires.
- All vehicles on your site must have a current registration and warrant of fitness.
- Pouawa and Turihaua - no tent or caravan is allowed within 10m of the edge of the road, and no vehicle within 5m of the edge of the road.
Apply for a permit
You must apply for a camping permit online before you set up camp.
Permits are free, no rubbish bags are issued with your permit.
All vehicles that will be at your camp site must have their registration numbers recorded on your permit.
All vehicles including caravans must have a valid registration and warrant of fitness. Caravans also need a valid electrical certificate. Parking infringements could apply.
You must have a chemical toilet. One per 8 people.
Koha is accepted for your permit, but no refunds will be given.
Information you need to know and Q&As
Also refer to the Freedom Camping bylaw for conditions and interpretations.
Care for our environment
Please respect our camping sites, they're public spaces so be considerate to other users.
Don't create a nuisance to other campers, other users and the environment.
Be respectful of the whenua – no digging, burying waste, polluting or littering the land.
Please leave the site clean and tidy.
We don't take reservations for any camp sites.
You can't claim a camp site by pegging out a tarpaulin or any other items.
You must be on site using an approved structure to be a permitted camp site.
Council inspectors patrol all camp areas.
Drinking water is not available at any camp area, you must provide your own water.
You must have gas for cooking. No open fires allowed.
You must have a chemical toilet - one toilet for every 8 people.
Semi- permanent structures means any structure not qualifying as a tent, self-contained vehicle or motor vehicle or portaloo as determined by a Council enforcement officer.
You must not:
- camp in a semi-permanent structure, or
- build, erect or bring a semi-permanent structure onto the area.
You need to manage your own rubbish.
No bags are issued with your free permit so you need to take your own.
We encourage zero waste - so please take your rubbish with you when you leave.
Take your rubbish to the closest transfer station - see camping site webpage for information.
Do not put rubbish bags at the roadside. Fines will be issued.
Your dog is allowed at your camp site, but for the safety of other campers they must be under your control.
You must pick up and dispose of your dog's droppings.
We will impound any roaming dogs.
All coastal areas in Gisborne-Tairawhiti are vulnerable to tsunami.
If you feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts more than a minute - you should get as far inland or as high as you can within 15 minutes (that's walking quickly not driving).
If you can take a transistor radio, listen for the all clear or otherwise you should wait 2 hours before returning to your camp, if no tsunami has been generated.
Beaches are public places, therefore all road rules apply:
No riding on the dunes, do not damage vegetation or cause erosion.
Be courteous to other beach users.
Don't create new tracks - use the established tracks.
Be careful of marine wildlife.