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Lake Tennyson conservation campsite, New Zealand @Doc
Guide to Department of Conservation camping grounds and information about freedom camping in Hurunui

Largely classic camping grounds with basic shared facilities from bathrooms, toilets and communal cooking. For motorhome RV enthusiasts check before departing whether your proposed site has a dump facility and powered sites. There are quirky railway sleepers or rustic cabins among remote river valleys or popular summer favourite beaches to camp by. In the peak summer months book beforehand before departing. For skiers Mt Lyford and Hanmer ski field budget trippers could fill spaces between July and September.

 

1
HANMER SPRINGS FOREST CAMP

Location

Address: 243 Jollies Pass Road, Hanmer Springs 7334

Beautifully converted forestry camp into a contemporary holiday park Hanmer Springs Forest Camp ground is located 2.5 kms from the village of Hanmer Springs. An ideal place for a family holiday, school camp or campervan stay. The picturesque location is spacious with plenty of space between sites. There are a number of shared kitchen and bathroom facilities catering for parties up to 40 people. Powered and non-powered sites.

DOUBLE FORESTRY HUTS have been restored from the time of the single men’s camp to offer double budget accommodation. Each hut has lighting, power, 1 double bed, tea coffee making facilities, bedding and a heater. There are up to three motel style units.

What to do nearby

  • Alpine Crazy Putt, family focused fun
  • Hanmer springs kids slides and jumps
  • Hanmer springs forestry walks
2
WAIAU MOTOR CAMP

Location

Address: 9 Highfield Street, Waiau 7332

A classic motor camp with 25 non powered sites and 20 powered sites are separated by hedges. Together with one rustic standard motel style unit and six cabins. Communal kitchen and bathroom facilities for cabins and sites. The motor camp is located on the banks of North Canterbury’s Waiau River and located on the Inland Scenic Route SH70 between Kaikoura (60mins) and Hanmer Springs (35mins).

The site is part of the historic accommodation for the North Canterbury Tussock Board used to accommodate workers known as Grubbers.

What to do nearby

  • Riverside heritage walk
  • Stargazing with minimal night pollution
  • Fishing Waiau & Mason Rivers
3
GORE BAY AND BUXTON CAMPING GROUNDS

A classic summer camping ground with regular summer visitors from the South Island returning annually. Powered and unpowered campsites, Direct beach access, SHARED Toilets, Hot showers. Kitchen featuring three sinks with hot and cold taps, on-demand boiling water heater (Zip), fridge freezer, toaster, stove top. Token-operated washing machines, Laundry tub, Outdoor wetsuit shower (surfing in all weathers!)

Buxton Camp

Powered and unpowered campsites, Direct beach access, SHARED Toilets, Hot showers

Kitchen with hot and cold water

DOES NOT HAVE EFTPOS OR ELECTRONIC FEE PAYING FACILITIES

What to do nearby

  • Cliff Top walks
  • Amberley Farmers Market
  • Surf
4
LEITHFIELD HOLIDAY PARK

Location

Address: 18 Lucas Drive, Leithfield Beach, Leithfield 7481

Cute gypsy wagon complete with a double bed, seating area, fridge and deck – all small but perfectly formed. Two onsite caravans, powered and non-powered sites, with one site fenced for dog owners. Glamping sites complete with bedding and seating located near the beach. Guests can pre-order a cheese board.

What to do nearby

  • Local cafe offers free hot drinks on Saturday night Better Half Kitchen & Bar is one of our favourite local cafe and restaurant, just a five-minute drive from the camp
  • Leithfield beach fairy land is painted rocks decorating the beach walkways
  • Kowai River Walk, We have a beautiful Kowai track, leading from Leithfield down the Kowai River to the coastal lagoon and beach spit with plenty of bird life. A track for everyone to use especially to walk their dogs or take a leisurely bike ride.
5
ALPINE ADVENTURE HOLIDAY PARK

Location

200 Jacks Pass Road, Hanmer Springs

Located in 20 acres of park-like settings, nestled amongst native and exotic forest at the base of Jacks Pass, clean, family environment.Hanmer Springs

Accommodation available: self contained tourist flats, kitchen cabins, spacious powered sites and tent sites. Our 40 bed Bellbird Lodge is ideal for family reunions, church, school and sports groups. KIDS Adventure playground.

6
CHEVIOT MOTEL AND HOLIDAY PARK – THE QUIET ONE

The five star (trip advisor)  landscaped, award winning grounds and gardens. Sunny location, 700 meters off main highway (SH1)  and easy walking distance to  town center, restaurants, cafes and shopping. The accommodation set on 5 acres, includes 6 newly renovated motel units, four new spacious cabins,  abundant camping sites, powered sites and the original Jailhouse of Cheviot, built in 1901. The two cells have been customized into separate bedrooms. Swimming pool and large trampoline with safety net sides

Pets allowed: conditions apply.

What to do nearby

  • Hamuri Bluff Walkway
  • Motunau Beach
  • St Anne’s Lagoon
7
WAITOHI RESERVE CAMPGROUND

Location

Hawarden district

Email d_s_board@xtra.co.nz for details.

A remote beautiful camping ground next to the Waitohi River with two rustic log cabins. Location: 14 kms from Hawarden, up Lake Sumner Road. Basic campsite, no powered sites, required to boil water before drinking, non-flush toilets,

Booking first come, first served

8
GRETA VALLEY CAMPING GROUND

Location

Greta Valley Camping Ground, 7 Valley Rd, Greta Valley, 7387,

Basic classic campsite plenty of shade from mature trees,  20 power sites and numerous tenting areas, as well as a tavern and cafe close by. Facilities include shared showers,laundry and the kitchen doubles as a lounge and dining area.

What to do nearby

  • Visit well known Fossil Fuel cafe
9
WAIPARA SLEEPERS

Location

12 Glenmark Drive, Waipara 7447

Unique Budget Accommodation. Waipara Sleepers delivers a unique experience, providing accommodation in a selection of converted historic railway wagons. Each retains its original period features and sits on it’s own piece of track, wheels and all.  Nestled within a country garden environment, we also have a converted Railway Hut, Cottage and a selection of powered and unpowered sites for campervans and tents.

What to do nearby

  • Hot spot for wine and food trail
  • Foraging for truffles with Rosie truffle dog hunter
  • Visiting local farmers markets

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION CAMPSITES (DOC)

Check DOC online resources for up to date information and online booking. DOC is a government funded environmental / conservation agency whose work is supported by volunteers. Check our article about DOC volunteers to see what you can do.

 

MARBLE HILL CAMPSITE

Located in Lewis Pass Scenic Reserve in the West Coast region

Explore this valley’s alpine beauty and native birds in amazing red beech forests. Maruia Hot Springs are nearby.

Access

  • Campervan
  • Car
  • Caravan

Landscape

  • Forest

Category Standard

Bookings required

Facilities

  • BBQ
  • Toilets – non-flush
  • Water from tap – not treated, boil before use
  • Wheelchair accessible with assistance

20 non-powered/tent sites

Activities

  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Fishing
  • Scenic driving
  • Walking and tramping

Seasonal restrictions Fires are not permitted at any time. See fire rules on conservation land.

Dog access No dogs

DEER VALLEY CAMPSITE

Camp in beech forest next to the Lewis River.

Access

  • Campervan
  • Car
  • Caravan

Landscape

  • Forest

Category Standard

Bookings not required – first come, first served

Facilities

  • Toilets – non-flush
  • Water from stream
  • Wheelchair accessible with assistance

10 non-powered/tent sites

Seasonal restrictions Fires are not permitted at any time. See fire rules on conservation land.

No dogs

MOLESWORTH RECREATIONAL RESERVE

Molesworth is a land of extremes. This vast landscape contains scree-scarred mountains, wide river valleys and tussock slopes. Check the Acheron Road is open if you intend to drive through

LAKE TENNYSON DOC RESERVE

This isolated campsite beside Lake Tennyson offers trout fishing, kayaking, boating and walking opportunities.

Access, Car,  4WD,  Mountain bike

Landscape

  • Rivers and lakes

Category Basic

Bookings not required – first come, first served

Facilities

  • Toilets – non-flush
  • Water from stream
  • Wheelchair accessible with assistance

10 non-powered/tent sites

Seasonal restrictions Rainbow Road provides access to the campsite. This is a toll road with access restrictions – see Rainbow Station for details.Fires are not permitted at any time. See fire rules on conservation land.

LAKE TAYLOR CAMPSITE

Access

  • Campervan
  • Car
  • Caravan

Landscape

  • Rivers and lakes

Category Standard

Bookings required

Facilities

  • Shelter for cooking
  • Toilets – non-flush
  • Water from tap – not treated, boil before use
  • Wheelchair accessible with assistance

15 non-powered/tent sites

Seasonal restrictions Fires are not permitted at any time. See fire rules on conservation land. Dog access Dogs on a leash only

ST JAMES HOMESTEAD

DOC managed reserve, check travel pack information for up to date information on huts, campsites and getting around St James Cycle Trail.

LEWIS PASS RESERVE CAMPSITE, DEER VALLEY

Located in Lewis Pass Scenic Reserve in the Canterbury region

Camp in beech forest next to the Lewis River.

Access

  • Campervan
  • Car
  • Caravan

Landscape

  • Forest

Category Standard

Bookings not required – first come, first served

Facilities

  • Toilets – non-flush
  • Water from stream
  • Wheelchair accessible with assistance

10 non-powered/tent sites

Seasonal restrictions Fires are not permitted at any time. See fire rules on conservation land.

Dog access No dogs

Council Camping Grounds:

  • Amberley Beach Camping Ground
    1 Chamberlain Ave, Amberley Beach
  • Balmoral Recreation Reserve Camping Ground
    Corner of Culverden Road and Balmoral Station Road (turn left after Hurunui bridge)
  • Culverden Domain, Culverden
    Mountainview Road, Culverden
  • Gore Bay & Buxton Camp, Gore Bay
    Gore Bay Road, Gore Bay
  • Hurunui River Mouth Reserve Camping Ground
    Hurunui Mouth Road, Domett
  • Leithfield Beach Holiday Park
    Lucas Drive, Leithfield Beach
  • Motunau Beach Camping Ground
    Lyndsay Terrace, Motunau Beach
  • Pines Holiday Camp, Hanmer Springs
    Argelins Road, Hanmer Springs
  • Waikari Reserve Camping Ground
    Princes Street, Waikari

Freedom Camping

Freedom camping (staying overnight out of campgrounds) is only permitted in some parts of the Hurunui.  Please read the Hurunui District Council Freedom Camping Bylaw for further details in TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION SECTION

Welcome to Hurunui! This beautiful district hosts unique wildlife and stunning scenery – from the sea to the mighty mountains. The Hurunui is perfect for exploring, adventuring and getting back to nature. We’re proud of our charismatic small towns, vast landscapes and rich history – and we are so happy to welcome you here!

Visitors to the Hurunui play as much of a part in keeping this area beautiful as we do. Thank you so much for taking good care of this district while you visit and following our ‘fundamentals’ for camping.

Find out where you can freedom camp in the Hurunui on the app CamperMate

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Nine Hurunui campsites & budget accommodation ideas
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