Are you looking for the best campsites in Queenstown?
If so, you’ve come to the right place!
As a keen camper and Queenstown local, I’m here to share all of the best places to go camping in and around Queenstown.
From holiday parks with all the perks to beautiful, back-to-basics DOC campgrounds, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to campsites in Queenstown!
I’ve noticed that some of the other Queenstown camping guides online suggest campgrounds that aren’t actually in Queenstown (like campsites in Wanaka, or near Milford Sound or the West Coast—sometimes 2-3 hours away!).
There is also some outdated and confusing advice online about where you can go freedom camping in Queenstown, so I’ll clear that up in this article.
In this guide, I’ve included all of the best campsites that are actually in Queenstown, along with some campsites that are close to Queenstown.
So let’s get to it…read on to discover the best Queenstown camping spots!
*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the link provided, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate your support!
Table of Contents
🚐 Thinking of Hiring a Campervan for your Queenstown Camping Trip?
I recommend checking out Motorhome Republic to find the best deals on campervan rentals in New Zealand.
There are several awesome campervan companies with depots in Queenstown, making it super convenient to set out on a Queenstown campervan trip!
Don’t have time to read this whole guide? No worries. Here are my 🌟 top 3 🌟 camping spots in and around Queenstown:
⛺️ All-around best campground in Queenstown: Driftaway Campground
🚐 Best campervan site in Queenstown town centre: Creeksyde Holiday Park
🏕 Most scenic DOC campsite near Queenstown: Moke Lake
Holiday Parks in Queenstown
At a Queenstown holiday park, you can expect to find campsites for tents, campervans caravans, and motorhomes, along with camping cabins and/or motel-style units. Holiday parks offer powered campsites, and most have unpowered campsites, too.
You can go tent camping at any of these holiday parks around Queenstown, although I personally prefer the DOC campsites near Queenstown for camping in a tent.
As to be expected from holiday parks around New Zealand, these camping grounds in Queenstown also offer facilities like camp kitchens, drinking water, BBQs, bathroom blocks with toilets and hot showers, and laundry facilities.
Note that while all of these Queenstown holiday parks have communal camp kitchens with essentials like toasters, cooking hobs, and water boilers, you’ll need to supply your own cookware and plates, cutlery, etc.
You can sometimes hire cooking gear from camp reception, but it’s best to arrive prepared with your own.
1. Driftaway Campground
📍Distance from Queenstown town centre: 6km
⛺️ Facilities: Modern kitchen, dining & BBQ areas; laundry & ski drying room; free WiFi; games room & TV lounge; jumping pillow & playground; private hot tubs for hire.
🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, but only at campsites and with restrictions. Discuss with reception staff when you book your campsite.
Driftaway is, hands down, the nicest campground in Queenstown.
In fact, I rate this campground as one of the best holiday parks in New Zealand!
As the newest campground in Queenstown, the facilities at Driftaway are sleek, modern and, quite frankly, world-class when it comes to camping.
The kitchen is gorgeous, the BBQs have lakefront views, and the bathrooms are even equipped with good hairdryers and a GHD straightener (I’m not kidding!).
Located on the sunny Frankton arm, this Frankton camping ground is only a 10-minute drive away from Queenstown’s town centre. Alternatively, you can easily take the bus or water taxi into town, or walk along the lakeside Frankton Track (which takes about an hour each way).
Driftaway is also convenient to the Queenstown airport and makes a good base for exploring the area.
When you camp here, you’ll also be just steps away from Frankton Beach, which is a great place to hang out for an afternoon while BBQ’ing and soaking up the sun.
For a treat, book one of the campground’s private hot tubs, which look out over the lake and mountains!
2. Creeksyde Holiday Park
📍Distance from Queenstown town centre: <1km
⛺️ Facilities: Camp kitchens; BBQ area; bathroom blocks with free solar-powered showers; cosy lounge areas; ski storage and drying room; dump station and car wash; coin-operated laundry facilities; sauna and spa tub for hire.
🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, but not during peak season around Christmas/New Years—check with the campground hosts before bringing your dog(s).
➜ Note: This campground only has powered campsites available, so if you’re looking for unpowered tent sites in Queenstown, you may want to head to one of the other campgrounds on this list. Otherwise, you’ll just need to pay for a powered site here.
The Creeksyde Holiday Park is an excellent place to camp when you want to be right in the heart of Queenstown.
This campground’s location couldn’t be better. You can simply park up your campervan here and easily walk to the main town centre for activities, dining, and nightlife.
The grounds at the Creeksyde campground are quirky and eclectic, and they pride themselves on being an eco-friendly campground.
Another nice feature at this campground is that the campsites have hedges for privacy dividers between sites, so you won’t feel like you’re camping in a parking lot.
If you don’t feel like going out to eat for every meal, there are two of Queenstown’s best supermarkets within close walking distance to camp: Raeward Fresh (my favourite shop for fresh produce!) and Fresh Choice (which has all the groceries you’ll need for your camping trip).
3. Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: 7km
⛺️ Facilities: Free WiFi; free shuttle to town; large & well-equipped kitchen; modern bathrooms with underfloor heating; 24-hour coin-operated laundry room; gas BBQs; heaps of activities for kids (they’ve got a jumping pillow, playground, climbing wall, and movie room); spa tub for hire.
🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, sometimes, but with restrictions and only with prior approval from the campground managers (so check with them beforehand).
Located in Queenstown’s Arthur’s Point neighbourhood, the Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park is set in a peaceful spot in a pretty alpine setting.
It’s under a 10-minute drive from this Arthur’s Point camping ground to the Queenstown town centre, and they offer free shuttle busses throughout the day so you don’t have to drive yourself and deal with parking in town.
The campground is also within walking distance to some of Queenstown’s top attractions, including the Shotover Jet and Onsen Hot Pools.
You’ll also be right near one of my favourite Queenstown breweries: Canyon Brewing, which is just an 8-minute walk from camp.
This is the closest campground to the Coronet Peak ski field, so if you’re campervanning in winter, it’s a convenient spot to stay for skiing!
As to be expected from a Top 10 Holiday Park, this campground is extremely tidy, clean, and well-run. The grounds are green and leafy, and it’s a relaxed and family-friendly Queenstown camp ground.
4. Hampshire Holiday Park (formerly known as Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park)
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: <1km
⛺️ Facilities: Camp kitchen; BBQ area; token-operated laundry facilities; 1GB free WiFi for campers; bike & ski storage; playground.
🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, with some restrictions—check with camp reception at the time of booking.
The spacious Hampshire Holiday Park is in an excellent location in the Queenstown town centre.
When you camp here, you’ll be just steps away from the Skyline Gondola and also within close walking distance of Queenstown’s shops, eateries, and main attractions.
It’s so nice to be able to park up your campervan and walk to everything in town without a worry.
The campsites here are quite close together and don’t have much privacy, but the location is hard to beat! For those of you searching for convenient campervan sites in Queenstown, this campground is a great choice.
Personally, I think this campground is best suited for campervans and motorhomes rather than tents, but I’ve seen plenty of people tent camp here, too. I prefer one of the DOC campsites for tent camping in Queenstown (see more on Queenstown DOC campsites below!).
DOC Campsites Near Queenstown
The DOC Campsites around Queenstown are where to head if you want a back-to-basics camping experience amongst nature.
Unlike the holiday parks in Queenstown, these DOC campsites are located outside of town in remote settings. However, this means that they’re in beautiful locations and if you’re after a peaceful, scenic camping experience, then these campsites are for you.
Before heading out to one of these DOC camping grounds, make sure you have everything you need for your camping trip, including food, drinking water, a camp stove, and plates/cutlery/cooking gear.
You won’t find many amenities at a Queenstown DOC campsite besides water taps (with water you need to boil before drinking) and non-flush toilets, so it’s best to be prepared. There are no showers or camp kitchens at these campsites, nor are there powered campsites.
5. 12 Mile Delta Campsite
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: 12 km
⛺️ Facilities: non-flush toilets; water taps (boil or treat water before drinking).
🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, on lead only.
The 12 Mile Delta Campsite is the closest DOC campground to Queenstown, and what a great spot it is!
Located along the scenic drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy, the 12 Mile Delta campground is just a 15-minute drive from the Queenstown town centre.
When you camp at the 12 Mile Delta Campsite, you’ll be right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. From camp, you can walk down to the lake for a refreshing swim.
12 Mile Delta was actually used as a filming site for the Lord of the Rings movies—it’s where Ithilien camp was filmed. So if you’re a LOTR buff, you’ll definitely want to camp here.
If you’re a hiker, you’ll absolutely love the fact that there are two excellent hiking trails starting right from camp! The Mt Crighton Loop track and 12 Mile to Bob’s Cove track both begin at the 12 Mile Delta Campsite.
These hiking trails are some of the best walks around Queenstown, and it’s so convenient to be able to access them from your campsite.
6. Moke Lake Campsite
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: 14km
⛺️ Facilities: Non-flush toilets; water taps (boil or treat water before drinking); covered cooking shelters.
🐶 Dogs allowed? No.
This scenic campsite is only a 20-minute drive from Queenstown and is a worthy destination in itself.
Moke Lake is a small, peaceful lake surrounded by mountains. The Moke Lake campground is perched right along the shores of the lake, making it super convenient to enjoy the area.
When you camp at Moke Lake, you’ll feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown. The night skies are clear here, and the stargazing is amazing.
From the campground, you’ll be able to easily access the excellent walking trail around Moke Lake, an easy 6km loop walk that takes around 2 hours to complete.
It’s worth noting that the road into Moke Lake is gravel, and it’s narrow and winding in parts. Please take care when driving in and out of here. Bring everything you need with you so you don’t have to drive in and out of camp multiple times.
You should be able to access the campground in a 2WD vehicle most of the year, but I’d avoid camping here in winter as the road can become challenging and it’s best for 4WD only in the winter months.
More Campgrounds Near Queenstown
Want a camping ground near Queenstown, rather than in Queenstown itself?
Whether the campsites in Queenstown are all booked, or you simply want to stay a bit out of town, you’ve got some great options.
I recommend heading to the super-scenic towns of Glenorchy or Arrowtown to stay at one of the campsites below.
7. Mrs Woolley’s Campground, Glenorchy
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: 45km
⛺️ Facilities: Camp kitchen; BBQs; fresh drinking water; picnic benches; laundry facilities; toilets; hot showers ($2 coin-operated); playground.
🐶 Dogs allowed? No.
Mrs Wolley’s Campground is located in beautiful Glenorchy, about a 45-minute drive from Queenstown.
This is the only private campground in Glenorchy, and it’s set in a convenient spot right off the Queenstown-Glenorchy Highway. The setting is gorgeous—there are mountain views every way you look!
Next to the campground is Mrs. Woolley’s General Store, a cheery shop and cafe featuring locally-sourced goods and delicious food. They have great cabinet food, hot pies, and good coffee. If you forgot something for your camp dinner, the shop also sells some basic food items.
From Mrs Woolley’s Campground, you can walk to the cute little township of Glenorchy, where you’ll find just a couple of shops and eateries. It’s not much farther to walk to the waterfront, which is home to Glenorchy’s historic red shed.
While here, you should head over to the Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway, which is one of the best short walks in Glenorchy.
This campground is a good base for exploring the area around Glenorchy. If you’re a keen hiker, I highly recommend driving out to the start of the Routeburn Track to do a day hike on the Routeburn. It’s one of the best hikes on the South Island and you’ll be so close to it when you camp here!
8. Hampshire Holiday Park, Arrowtown (formerly known as Arrowtown Holiday Park)
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: 20km
⛺️ Facilities: Well-equipped camp kitchen; BBQs; token-operated laundry facilities; bathrooms with hot showers; bike hire; tennis court; playground; 1GB free WiFi for campers.
🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, with some restrictions—check with camp reception at the time of booking.
The Hampshire Holiday Park in Arrowtown is a great place for camping near Queenstown.
Located just 20 minutes from Queenstown, Arrowtown is a charming historic town filled with beautiful scenery and an awesome selection of local shops and eateries.
Formerly known as the Arrowtown Holiday Park, this is the only camping ground in Arrowtown. It’s in a convenient location within walking distance of the cute town centre.
From the campground, you can embark on a number of activities, including hiking trails, cycle trails, and great dining and drinking options, too.
My favourite thing to do in Arrowtown is to bike along the Arrow River Trail to go wine tasting in the nearby Gibbston wine region. Hire e-bikes and spend the whole day biking, wine tasting, and relishing the gorgeous scenery!
For a half-day hike, consider tackling the Sawpit Gully Trail. If you’re after an easier walk, you can walk along the Arrow River Trail, which is mostly flat and houses some secret swimming holes up the trail.
Every season has its charms, but the best time to camp at the Arrowtown Holiday Park is in late April when Arrowtown’s autumn colours are at their full peak.
After a day of exploring Arrowtown, enjoy a drink and snack at the Fork & Tap pub, or indulge in a local craft beer and delicious burger at Slow Cuts.
Queenstown Freedom Camping
First things first: I need to mention that there are no freedom camping sites in Queenstown itself.
If you try to freedom camp overnight in Queenstown, it’s highly likely that you’ll wake up to a $200+ ticket attached to your campervan. So don’t risk it!
If you’re keen to go freedom camping around Queenstown, you’ll need to camp quite far away from town, and only in a designated freedom campsite. You’ll also need to ensure you’re in a certified self-contained campervan.
Freedom campsites can’t be booked ahead, so they operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. It’s good to have a backup plan in case you arrive at a site and it’s full.
There is some outdated advice online about freedom camping in Queenstown.
The truth is, a lot of places around Queenstown that once were freedom campsites are no longer allowed.
Instead of freedom camping in Queenstown, I really do recommend booking into one of the campsites mentioned above. It’ll give you peace of mind to have a site all booked, and then you can simply enjoy Queenstown without worrying about where you’re going to stay for the night.
That being said, if you choose to freedom camp, here are the best freedom camping sites near Queenstown:
9. Kingston Lake Camp
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: 40km
🚻 Toilet? Yes; there are long-drop (non-flush) toilets onsite.
The Kingston Lake Camp freedom campsite is located 40 minutes south of Queenstown along the “Devil’s Staircase” Highway.
This is the best free campsite near Queenstown, and it’s a convenient place to stay if you’re driving from Queenstown to Milford Sound (or vice versa).
This campsite is perched right along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, so while you’re close to the highway, it’s also quite scenic.
I do recommend getting here in the afternoon, because spots fill up quickly by evening during peak season, especially level/flat sites. If you arrive here and can’t get a suitable site, the nearby Kingston Top 10 Holiday Park could be a backup (paid) option.
10. Kawarau Bridge Historic Reserve
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: 23km
🚻 Toilet? Yes; there is usually a portaloo onsite.
The Kawarau Bridge freedom camping spot is located along the drive from Cromwell to Queenstown, in the carpark for the AJ Hackett Bungy Jump.
In the parking area, you’ll find signs for a small designated area where self-contained campervans can park overnight, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. Spots are limited, so have a backup plan in case you arrive and they’re all full.
From the carpark, you can walk right over to the famous Kawarau Bridge to watch bungy jumpers in action—it’s a lot of fun to see, and the area is super scenic.
When you camp here, do note that you’ll be right off a main highway, so nighttime noise can be an issue. Earplugs could come in handy if you’re a light sleeper.
11. Crown Range Road Summit
📍 Distance from Queenstown town centre: 30km
🚻 Toilet? No.
At the summit of the Crown Range Road (the scenic, steep road that connects Queenstown to Wanaka), you’ll find a large parking area with some seriously epic views.
This parking area is also available for freedom campers in self-contained vehicles.
While this campsite is incredibly scenic, it does have a few caveats.
For starters, there are absolutely no facilities at this freedom campsite—there’s no toilet, and no running water. So you really do need to be completely self-sufficient and use your campervan’s toilet and sink at this campsite.
Second, this campsite is in a remote location and there’s not much to do around this spot. As you’ll want to get there in afternoon to secure a spot before nightfall, I’d have a good book on hand or something else to stay entertained.
It can get really gusty up at the Crown Range Road Summit, so be prepared for potentially windy weather. Combined with the high elevation at this location, this means that it can get quite cold at night. Make sure you pack warm layers!
One more thing: some campervan rental companies prohibit driving their vans on the Crown Range Road, so check the fine print on your campervan hire before embarking on this drive.
All of that being said, sunsets from this spot are truly magnificent.
Things to Know Before Camping in Queenstown
- Make sure to book your Queenstown campsites in advance, especially if you’re staying in one of the holiday parks or if you plan to camp in peak season (summer, holiday weekends, and school holidays in particular).
- There are no fires allowed at any of the campsites around Queenstown. If you’re planning to do some camp cooking, a portable camp stove is the way to go!
- If you’re camping at a freedom campsite or DOC campsite, there may not be rubbish facilities available, so please ensure you pack out any rubbish when you leave.
- Planning to camp at lots of DOC campsites in New Zealand? Consider getting a DOC campsite pass to save some money on campsites!
- It’s worth reiterating that Queenstown is super strict about freedom camping, so don’t risk a hefty fine or upset locals by camping where you shouldn’t.
- Last but not least: please leave no trace when camping in and around Queenstown. This includes using toilets provided at campsites or using your campervan’s toilet. Please don’t use the outdoors as your toilet, and don’t wash dishes or bathe with soap in Lake Wakatipu or in the other lakes and rivers around Queenstown.
Where to Buy Camping Gear in Queenstown
If you need to stock up on gear like a camp stove, pots and pans, or a chilly bin (cooler), there are plenty of places to shop for gear around Queenstown.
For the cheapest prices, head to Kmart or the Warehouse in Frankton. (If you’re coming from the USA, I’d equate these stores to New Zealand’s versions of Target or Walmart).
There are also some excellent higher-end camping/hiking stores around Queenstown, including Bivouac, Outside Sports, and Small Planet Sports.
Where to Buy Groceries for Camping in Queenstown
For the best supermarkets in Queenstown, head to Frankton for grocery shopping. I recommend Pak ‘n Save for the largest and cheapest selection.
If you’re after a supermarket right in the town centre, Fresh Choice is the best option, and nearby Raeward Fresh has an excellent fresh produce section (although the rest of their groceries can be expensive, albeit high-quality).
Thanks for Reading my Guide to the Best Campsites in Queenstown!
I hope this guide has helped you plan your Queenstown camping trip.
As always, feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions about camping in Queenstown, or about New Zealand travel in general. I’m always happy to help my readers plan their NZ adventures!
Where to Go After Your Queenstown Camping Trip?
There are so many options for road trips from Queenstown.
To get you started, here are a couple of my favourite road trip itineraries from Queenstown:
- You could head north and drive from Queenstown to Christchurch, stopping in Wanaka, Aoraki Mount Cook, and Lake Tekapo along the way. This route will be packed with stunning mountain scenery and alpine lakes, and plenty of great campsites, too!
- Or head south to Te Anau and Milford Sound, where you’ll find some beautiful campsites along the road to Milford Sound. Then go beach camping in the Catlins before driving from the Catlins to Dunedin. After spending some time in Dunedin, drive back to Queenstown from Dunedin.