Fantastic DOC Campsites Perfect For An April 2021 Holiday

Created in partnership with Tourism New Zealand

Make the most of the Easter and April school holidays and plan a camping trip to one of the fantastic DOC conservation campsites. Reasonably priced and located in beautiful settings, they’re a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors before winter sets in.

There are more than 200 conservation campsites dotted in scenic locations throughout New Zealand and we’ve picked some of our favourites for you to check out.

What you need to know about DOC campsites

Some of the most popular campsites get booked out quickly and online bookings are essential. Click on the links below to find out each campsite’s available facilities, water quality for drinking, how to pay, accessibility (some are boat access only for example), activities, etc.

There are different types of DOC campsites: Serviced, Scenic, Standard, and Basic.

Serviced campsites

Serviced sites generally includes flush toilets, tap water (treated or untreated), kitchen/cooking bench, hot showers, rubbish collection and road access for all types of vehicles. Prices range from $20/night for adults and $10 for children 5-17 years while under 5 are free for an unpowered/tent site. Powered are a little more.

Scenic and Standard campsites

These campsites offer toilets, a water supply (either treated or untreated tap water), and vehicle or boat access. Some may have a wood BBQ, fireplace, cold showers, picnic tables, cooking shelter and rubbish bins. The ‘Scenic’ sites are priced higher than ‘Standard’ because of their location and popularity. Adults are $15/night for unpowered (powered also available) and children (5-17 years) $7.50 where as standard are just $8 and $4 respectively.

Basic campsites

If you are heading to a basic campsite you will need to be fully self-sufficient. Access may be by boat or road and any water supply will need to be boiled to ensure it’s safe. There may be basic toilets.

So now it’s time to dig out the camping gear and explore!

Northland

Urupukapuka Island

Urupukapuka Bay Campsite

  • “Scenic” category

  • Boat access only

  • 60 non-powered/tent sites

A stunning coastal campsite located in the Urupukapuka Island Recreation Reserve and perfect for beach activities, swimming, fishing, kayaking and exploring walking tracks. The island is accessible by water taxi, passenger ferry, or private boat.

Visit Urupukapuka Bay Campsite

Puriri Bay

Puriri Bay (Whangaruru North Head) Campsite

  • “Scenic” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 90 non-powered/tent sites

Overlooking the mouth of Whangaruru Harbour, this campsite has sheltered waters for swimming and boating activities, and a series of interconnected walks.

Visit Puriri Bay Campsite

Uretiti Beach Campsite

Uretiti Beach Campsite

  • “Scenic” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 300 non-powered/tent sites

Tucked in behind the Uretiti Beach sand dunes this campsite is ideally located for making the most of the sandy beach which is suitable for fishing, surfing and swimming. Hot showers, non-flush toilets, treated drinking water, and wheelchair accessible.

Visit Uretiti Beach Campsite

Auckland

Great Barrier Island/Aotea Campsites

  • 6 “Scenic” category campsites

  • Island accessible by passenger or car ferry, or by air. Campsite access by gravel roads.

  • A range of non-powered/tent sites

Dotted around Great Barrier Island/Aotea are 6 “Scenic” category campsites and so if you prefer sheltered water or a surf beach, isolated or accessible by road, you will be able to find the perfect holiday spot. Surfing, snorkeling, walking, swimming, kayaking, SUP, are all popular activities.

Visit The Green Campsite (access by foot or boat only)

Visit Whangapoua Campsite

 Motutapu Island Campsite, Home Bay

Home Bay, Motutapu Island Campsite

  • “Standard” category

  • Boat access only

  • 152 non-powered/tent sites

Located at Home Bay on Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf, this idyllic campsite right by the beach is ideal to explore the island’s walkways, stunning coastline, replanted native bush and ever-increasing wildlife. Fishing, diving and snorkelling are also popular activities.

Visit Home Bay, Motutapu Island Campsite

Waikato

Kauaeranga Valley Campsites, Coromandel

  • 8 “Standard” campsites accessible by vehicle

  • 3 campsites accessible only by foot

  • A range of non-powered/tent sites

Kauaeranga River in Coromandel Forest Park is a popular holiday and tramping destination. This area is known for panoramic views of the bush, mountains and coastline of the southern Coromandel. If you are tramping there are 3 campsites only accessible by foot – the other sites listed here are accessible by car/campervan.

Visit Totora Flat Campsite

Visit Wainora Campsite

Visit Whangaiterenga Campsite

Arohena Campsite

Arohena Campsite

  • “Standard” category

  • Gravel access road, care to be taken by vehicles, also by boat

  • 50 non-powered/tent sites

Located on the western shores of the Waikato River, Arohena Campsite is perfect for swimming, picnics, fishing and water sports.

Visit Arohena Campsite Campsite

Bay of Plenty

Rerewhakaaitu, Ash Pit Road Campsite

Rerewhakaaitu, Ash Pit Road Campsite

  • “Standard” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 51 non-powered/tent sites

Tucked away at the head of a bay in Lake Rerewhakaaitu, this quiet campsite is ideal for watching water birds from. You can also launch your boat and explore the bay from here.

Visit Rerewhakaaitu, Ash Pit Road Campsite 

Rerewhakaaitu, Brett Road Campsite

Rerewhakaaitu, Brett Road Campsite

  • “Standard” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 25 non-powered/tent sites

Also located on the shores of Lake Rerewhakaaitu, this campsite has good fishing, swimming and walking nearby. You can launch your boat from here too.

Visit Rerewhakaaitu, Brett Road Campsite

Wellington / Kapiti

Catchpool Valley Campsite

Catchpool Valley Campsite

  • “Scenic” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 150 non-powered/tent sites

Located in the Remutaka Forest Park and beside the Catchpool Stream, this campsite is ideally located for walks in the Orongorongo Valley. Hot showers and flush loos plus a BBQ and shelter for cooking.

Visit Catchpool Valley Campsite

Marlborough

Momorangi Bay Campground

Momorangi Bay Campground, Queen Charlotte Sound

  • “Serviced” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles and by boat

  • 100 powered, 36 non-powered/tent sites & 2 cabins

A popular north-facing serviced family campsite beside a sheltered bay, popular for swimming, boating and fishing. There is a glow-worm grotto on site as well as hot showers, flush toilets, a jetty and treated drinking water.

Visit Momorangi Bay Campground

Pelorus Bridge (Kahikatea Flat) Campground

Pelorus Bridge (Kahikatea Flat) Campground

  • “Serviced” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 14 powered & 40 non-powered/tent sites

Picturesque camp on the banks of the Te Hoiere/Pelorus River amongst towering kahikatea, beech and rimu trees. Walk, swim in the beautiful clean river, fish, kayak, relax and also enjoy the hot showers, flush toilets, treated drinking water and cooking facilities.

Visit Pelorus Bridge (Kahikatea Flat) Campground

Nelson Lakes

kerr bay

Kerr Bay Campsite

  • “Serviced” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 10 powered & 15 non-powered/tent sites

This small campground is next to Lake Rotoiti, surrounded by beech forest, with a boat launching ramp nearby. Enjoy walks, fishing, swimming, hot showers, toilets and cooking facilities.

Visit Kerr Bay Campsite

west bay

West Bay Campsite

  • “Scenic” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 40 non-powered/tent sites

Open from mid-December to the end of April each year, this Lake Rotoiti campsite is handily located for walking, fishing , boating, and swimming.

Visit West Bay Campsite

Canterbury

Whitehorse Hill campsite

White Horse Hill Campground

  • “Scenic” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 60 non-powered/tent sites

Just a couple of kilometres from Aoraki/Mt Cook Village at the end of Hooker Valley Rd, this peaceful campsite is surrounded by stunning scenery including Mount Sefton and Aoraki/Mount Cook.

Visit White Horse Hill Campground 

Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

Peel Forest Campground

  • “Serviced” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 34 powered, 47 non-powered/tent sites, 4 cabins

This large campground is tucked away in Peel Forest, a remnant of a magnificent podocarp forest that once covered this area. Good hot showers, large communal kitchen with a shared fridge/freezer. Campground is closed from May to mid-Sep each year. Adjoining Clarke Flat is opened as a Standard campsite during this period.

Visit Peel Forest Campground

Godley Head

Awaroa/Godley Head Campsite

  • “Scenic” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles via a narrow windy road

  • 25 non-powered/tent sites

Perched on the top of Awaroa/Godley Head, in the middle of a WWII defence battery site, this campsite has great ocean views and a range of scenic walks. Your booking confirmation will include a gate code for entry to the site.

Visit Awaroa/Godley Head Campsite

West Coast

Lake Mahinapua

Lake Mahinapua Campsite

  • “Scenic” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 100 non-powered/tent sites

Beside a lake and hugging a forest, boating, water sports, walks, and fishing are popular activities here. Historically, Lake Mahināpua was a main access waterway up and down the coast using paddle steamers. Flush toilets and communal covered areas for cooking.

Visit Lake Mahinapua Campsite

Otago / Southland

Boundary Creek

Boundary Creek Campsite, Wānaka

  • “Standard” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 23 non-powered/tent sites

On the eastern side of Lake Wānaka lies this small and popular campsite. Flush toilet and a shelter for cooking under. Perfect location for boating, water sports, and fishing. Dogs on a leash welcome. Book ahead!

Visit Boundary Creek Campsite

Cascade Creek Campsite

Cascade Creek Campsite, Fiordland

  • “Scenic” category

  • Gravel road access, suitable for all vehicles

  • 120 non-powered/tent sites

If you like to fly-fish or take a nature walk, this is a great spot for you.  There is a lovely swimming hole, toilets, and nice spots to camp in.

Visit Cascade Creek Campsite

henry creek

Henry Creek Campsite, Fiordland

  • “Scenic” category

  • Gravel road access, suitable for all vehicles

  • 50 non-powered/tent sites

On the road to Milford Sound and beside the picturesque Lake Te Anau. Private tent sites tucked away next to regnerating beech forest and also good parking spots for campervans,

Visit Henry Creek Campsite

piano flat

Piano Flat Campsite, Southland 

  • “Standard” category

  • Access suitable for all vehicles

  • 50 non-powered/tent sites

Relaxed riverside site in farmland area. Walks, horse riding, biking, hunting and 4WD trips are all popular from this site. Dogs on a leash welcome.

Visit Piano Flat Campsite

Save these school holidays

With the April school holidays on the horizon, there’s no better time to pack up the kids, the bikes and the dog, and hit the road on your own campervan family holiday.

Having been around for over 30 years, Britz Campervans know what it takes to support Kiwi families with having an unforgettable holiday.

Until the end of April 2021, you can save a massive 15% on Britz Campervan hires, using their promo code 150FF.

There is limited availability so be sure to get in quick so that you don’t miss your opportunity to do something new with your family these school holidays.

Book a Britz campervan
New Finder

Looking for more ideas?

Try the handy New Finder game that helps you find NEW things to do around New Zealand.

Play The Game

Leave A Comment