Nohoanga provides all Ngāi Tahu with an opportunity to experience the landscape as their tipuna did, and to rekindle the traditional practices of gathering food and other natural resources.
The term ‘nohoanga’ (literally meaning a place to sit) traditionally refers to the seasonal occupation sites which were an integral part of the mobile lifestyle of Ngāi Tahu Whānui (tribal members) as they moved around Te Waipounamu (the South Island) in pursuit of food and other natural resources.
This traditional concept has been given contemporary effect as a result of the Settlement of the Ngāi Tahu Claim through the allocation of specific ‘camping’ sites to support mahinga kai activities.
Under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998, nohoanga sites are specific areas of Crown owned land adjacent to lakeshores or riverbanks and are usually one hectare in size. Their management is guided by the 2018 Nohoanga Management Plan.
When you are ready, you can seek authorisation and book here.
There are 72 allocated nohoanga sites within Te Wai Pounamu. Not all of these sites are available for use. The sites that are currently available are shown on the map below. Ngāi Tahu Whānui have temporary, but exclusive rights to occupy these sites for up to 210 days a year between 16 August and 30 April each year.
Please read these sheets in conjunction with our hazard information page.
Under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 nohoanga:
Download the general information sheet that has important information for all nohoanga users.
Nohoanga are for the exclusive use of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. For fairness and environmental reasons, the use of nohoanga sites is by authorisation only, and administered by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. See below for procedure for authorisation.
Nohoanga users are encouraged to submit feedback to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu following their use of a nohoanga site, recording any problems or issues experienced during their visit. Feedback enables Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to fix any issues, identify, minimise or remove hazards and make improvements where possible.
You can use our online form to apply for authorisation to use a nohoanga site
In some cases, toilet facilities are available adjacent to nohoanga sites. Please note that nohoanga users do not have an automatic right to use nearby toilet facilities. Ngāi Tahu Whānui will only be able to have continued use of facilities if each person uses them in a responsible manner and is considerate of other people who are using those facilities.
On sites where toilets are not available, portable toilets will need to be taken to these sites by the holder of the authorisation, and emptied at approved dumping stations after use.
Wastewater includes water used for cooking, washing, and dishes. Where possible, people are urged to keep the quantity of wastewater they use to an absolute minimum and dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner. As a general practice:
It is important to leave nohoanga sites in the best possible condition for other Ngāi Tahu users. As a guide:
See the relevant site information sheet for details of refuse stations or rubbish disposal facilities provided. Please note that for other public camping areas, nohoanga users do not have an automatic right to use rubbish disposal facilities.
Nohoanga site users will need to organise their own camping shelters (tents, caravans, bivouacs, or campervans). For some sites, physical characteristics may limit options (eg poor caravan access), so please check the relevant site information sheets for details. Buildings, structures or tents over 30 square metres in size cannot be erected on nohoanga sites.
It is strongly recommended that nohoanga site users provide their own water supplies where this is not available on site (see the relevant site information sheet for details).
If nohoanga site users are drinking from rivers or lakes, we recommend that either of the following precautions be taken:
Nohoanga site users must comply with fire restrictions relevant to the area, details of which can be found in the relevant site information sheet. Fire permits are required for most sites. For cooking, safe methods such as gas fires or cookers are recommended.
Most sites have two-wheel drive vehicle access onto or at least within close vicinity to the site. Some nohoanga sites, however, only have foot access. Where possible, nohoanga site users should park their vehicles on the nohoanga site. Otherwise people should ensure that vehicles are parked in a safe place and do not inconvenience other people. Please refer to the relevant site information sheet for details.
Pets are not permitted on some nohoanga sites and special conditions may apply to other sites. For details, please refer to the relevant site information sheet. On sites where pets are permitted, owners need to ensure that:
Site users should take care not to disturb stock. Leave gates as you find them. If in doubt shut the gate to stop stock wandering.