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Camping in Queenstown: our favourite holiday parks and campgrounds (+ Extra Suggestions!)

Are you trying to figure out where to go camping in Queenstown? We’ve picked out the very best spots for a relaxed and affordable experience in New Zealand’s iconic Adventure Capital!

Queenstown is one of the most expensive places in Aotearoa NZ.

Although you might be partial to a plush hotel room normally, camping in Queenstown could save you significant money.

Plus, it’s one of the best ways to experience the area…

Not only will you get incredible views of your surroundings, but you’ll be well-placed to access the Adventure Capital’s adrenaline-inducing activities.

Hiking, biking, paragliding, jet boating?

You name it, you’ll be just minutes away from it if you’re camping in Queenstown!

But if you’re not entirely sure where to start (or which sites offer decent facilities), we’ve got you covered.

We’ve handpicked the best camping spots in the area along with cheaper alternatives for adventurous wilderness explorers.

Yep, we’re talking about Department of Conservation locations and Freedom Camping opportunities.

So, however you prefer to camp, let’s find you a spot…

A couple standing in front of a lake with mountains in the background. The back of their campervan is open.
Photo: Miles Holden.

Where to Go Camping in Queenstown

1. Driftaway

If you want to be close to action while still enjoying stunning views, Driftaway is a dream location.

You’ll find it right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, just 10 minutes from central Queenstown (6 km).

They welcome people staying in motorhomes/campervans and tents. Or, if you don’t have your own portable accommodation, book into one of their well-appointed (and incredibly modern) cabins.

However you choose to stay, the camping facilities and shared amenities here are seriously impressive!

All site fees include access to unlimited Wi-Fi (which isn’t offered in all campgrounds), BBQ areas, and even a playground.

We also highly recommend booking into the private spa to watch the sunset over Queenstown.

There’s no shortage of things you can get up to after a full day in Queenstown.

If you’re travelling with children, you’re also bound to appreciate the TV and entertainment rooms and the laundry facilities.

After all, it’s always incredible to see just how much laundry the average family accumulates on vacation!

Overall, Driftaway excels at pairing modern creature comforts with an idyllic lakeside setting that’ll make camping in Queenstown an event in itself.

11 Lake Avenue, Frankton, Queenstown 9300

2. Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde

When you’re camping in Queenstown, a quiet, peaceful, and convenient base can be tricky to find.

But the Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde manages to nail all three.

After Hampshire Holiday Parks (which is next on this list), it’s the closest on this list to central Queenstown but despite its incredible location, it somehow feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Creeksyde offers several accommodation options for visitors ranging from self-contained units and motel rooms to tented sites.

Oh, and did we mention that this is a pet-friendly site? That’s right, you’ll be able to bring Fido along without fuss!

In terms of facilities, you can expect several bathrooms with free showers, BBQ areas, vehicle storage, washers, and dryers.

Plus, you’ll have access to reliable Wi-Fi coverage throughout the entire park for keeping connected and accessing Google Maps (a must-have app when travelling!).

And if you want to unwind, you can relax in a private sauna or bath for an additional charge.

Talk about a touch of glamour if you’re planning on camping in Queenstown!

54 Robins Road, Queenstown 9300

Photo: Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde.

3. Hampshire Holiday Parks – Queenstown Lakeview

Hampshire Holiday Parks Queenstown is extremely close to the action as it’s just 400 metres from central Queenstown.

Believe it or not, this holiday park has been perched in Queenstown City since 1862 and has been steadily upgraded over the years.

You’ll find a selection of powered and unpowered sites here. And to make things even more appealing, you can book tented sites that offer next-level views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.

Along with clean showers, toilets, and coin-operated BBQs, you’ll find a laundry area, a well-equipped TV room and a playground.

If you’d like to cook a few meals between visiting Queenstown’s best restaurants, you’ll also have access to spacious kitchens.

As is the closest campground to the city centre, Queenstown Lakeview is perfect for people travelling without a rental car.

4 Cemetery Road, Queenstown 9300

Did you know? Hampshire Holiday Parks was formerly known as Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park.

Photo: Hampshire Holiday Parks – Queenstown Lakeview.

4. Mrs. Woolly’s Campground

If you’re on the hunt for a back-to-basics spot for camping near Queenstown, Mrs. Woolly’s is the way to go.

It’s surrounded by towering mountains and epic scenery and is run as a non-profit for the Glenorchy community. You’ll find this campground a 45-minute drive from Queenstown, along Lake Wakatipu.

It has limited but excellent modern facilities including toilets, laundry facilities and a great children’s playground.

If you’re looking to cook your own food, there’s also an excellent shared kitchen with fridges, basic utensils, and stoves.

So, you can save a lot of money by heading to local Queenstown supermarkets and meal-prepping for the week!

This campground is on the smaller side with 33 unpowered sites, 9 tented sites and 5 powered sites.

But the slightly more intimate feel makes for a lovely relaxing vacation.

Just be aware that you’ll need to pay $2 for the coin-operated showers here.

You’ll also want to empty your waste tank before arriving as they don’t have a dump tank.

60 Oban Street, Glenorchy 9372

Did you know? The name “Mrs. Woolly’s” comes from the shop across the road – Mrs. Woolly’s General Store (which sells the famous Fairlie pies – yum!)

5. Hampshire Holiday Parks – Arrowtown

If you’re keen to stay a little out of Queenstown, you can’t go wrong with Hampshire Holiday Parks – Arrowtown (formerly known as Arrowtown Holiday Park).

This campground is about a 20-minute drive from central Queenstown, through beautiful scenery.

It is a stellar choice for camping near Queenstown if you’d rather visit the local wineries or go hiking.

Not only are you right amidst the area’s natural beauty, but you’ll benefit from quality facilities too.

As well as offering 140 powered sites (for campervans, motorhomes, caravans and tents) and a handful of cabins and lodges, the shower and toilet facilities are excellent.

To keep you comfortable, there’s also a guest laundry room and a shared kitchen – perfect if you’re looking to save money on dining out.

You’ll also be able to visit the nearby Millbrook Resort which is home to one of the best golf clubs in Queenstown.

We’re sure you’ll agree, this campground is a great all-rounder.

12 Centennial Avenue, Arrowtown 9302

6. Queenstown TOP 10 Holiday Park

To round off our list of dedicated spots for camping in and around Queenstown, we have Queenstown TOP 10 Holiday Park.

It’s tucked away just 6 minutes from downtown Queenstown in Arthurs Point, making it perfectly placed for easy access to the centre, without being too close.

It offers cabins, motel rooms, and campervan sites, along with tented spots, of course.

You’ll also find a range of classic facilities there, like shared kitchens, laundry rooms, and free Wi-Fi.

The kids will be stoked to find the huge bouncy pillow (a common feature at TOP 10s), a life-sized chess board, a playground and pedal-powered carts.

Plus they have a few luxury extras for the adults too.

That’s right folks, there’s a spa and sauna that you can visit for an additional fee.

And to make things even sweeter, you can even get a free shuttle bus directly into town to save on petrol and cab costs.

70 Arthurs Point Road, Arthurs Point, Queenstown 9371

Two girls riding buggies on the gravel at the Queenstown TOP 10 holiday park.
Photo: Queenstown TOP 10 Holiday Park.

Alternatives to Campsites

Now that we’ve covered a few standalone and facility-heavy spots for camping in Queenstown, let’s look at a few alternatives.

We completely understand that holiday parks won’t be within everyone’s budget – or everyone’s personal preference.

So, join us as we take a look at Department of Conservation sites and freedom camping opportunities in Queenstown!

Department of Conservation sites in Queenstown

If you’re interested in camping in Queenstown but don’t fancy any of the options we’ve listed above, don’t stress!

There are several Department of Conservation (DOC) sites with room for vehicles and tents, and they’re typically very affordable. Perfect if you’re on a budget.

The only downside here is that there are very limited facilities on offer.

Some campsites offer more amenities than others. Moke Lake, for example, is one of the better ones with flush toilets and a cooking shelter.

But others offer just tap water and expect you to fend for yourself on the restroom front – for these locations you will need to be self-contained.

Green and blue tents pitched on the brown grasslands, and a car parked at a distance which is also very close to Moke Lake.
Moke Lake is an awesome place to camp.

Because these sites are so cheap and cheerful for tourists (and locals!) who want to go camping in Queenstown, they book out fast.

For this reason, you’ll want to book as far ahead in advance as possible with the Department of Conservation.

If you don’t fancy Moke Lake, Pleasant Flat Campsite is an extremely popular pick that you can book for a bargain price.

It offers toilets, drinkable water and plenty of shelter.

But what makes it a real winner are the incredible views of Mount Hooker and the surrounding vegetation.

Oh, and a bunch of popular local tracks that lead to the gorgeous Thunder Creek Falls, of course!

Freedom Camping

If you’re happy to go virtually facility-free, freedom camping can be a great alternative to holiday parks. Plus, there’s no need to book ahead (not that you could, even if you wanted to).

You’ll need to be responsible if you’re camping on public land in New Zealand for obvious reasons.

It’s also important to mention that the length of time you’ll be allowed to stay will vary from location to location.

In some areas, it’s a maximum of 2 days. In others, you’ll be able to stay for 4 days or longer.

For this reason, we always recommend checking specific freedom camping spots for their rules and regulations.

A couple of reliable options are the Kawarau Bridge Car Park and the Twenty-Five Mile Stream.

The latter lets you camp for up to 4 nights in a self-contained campervan, but again, you’ll need to use your own toilet, shower and kitchen facilities.

Keen to hire a motorhome in New Zealand?

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We hope that this guide on camping in Queenstown has helped you plan your next trip to glorious New Zealand!

If you have any other questions about camping in Queenstown, feel free to check in with the team in our Facebook group.

We’ll be more than happy to help you figure out your itinerary and offer local guidance for your next trip.

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