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10 awesome places for families to camp in Marlborough

  • 7 minutes

Havelock Holiday Park @Pelorus

Marlborough is a perfect family holiday location with its consistently warm summer temperatures. Ok, it’s New Zealand, and similar to Tasmania the weather is changeable (this is an excuse for a cool brisk shower) yet Marlborough in January and February is an excellent outdoor activities destination. Choose between a rural farm stay, river camping grounds, iconic beach locations and camps near to the vineyards and the local cafe. Picton is a hot spot for holiday accommodation largely driven by the ever popular Queen Charlotte Sounds Track and the water based activities in the area.

Camping with family is fun, exciting and exhausting all at once. The places selected meet the criteria of a reasonably good shopping area with the essential supermarket and cafes present to take the pressure off catering in a tent. Some parks have unfenced water either beaches or rivers, supervision of small children will be required.

Pet-friendly (conditions apply), telephone and email before booking and paying a deposit. There are often regulations about where you can stay in the camping grounds as well as additional cleaning fees.


Piction, New Zealand @tasmanholidayparks
Tasman Holiday Park, Piction @tasmanholidayparks

Location says it all with the Tasman Holiday Park, Piction a short 10 mins walk to Picton cafes and supermarkets. The ferry terminal is less than 10 minutes away. The holiday park is an extensive  range of accommodation options including Powered Campervan Sites, Comfortable Cabins & spacious Self Contained Units & Park Motels. The best bit is the ESPRESSO COFFEE in reception.

Tasman Holiday Park Picton is well maintained and very popular due to its ideal location to key Marlborough attractions forward bookings are essential in the peak summer season between mid-December to mid-February.

What to do nearby Tasman Holiday Park, Picton?

To book or check details check out Tasman Holiday Park, Picton.

Marlborough Sounds as viewed from the Queen Charlotte Track hiking trail through lush tropical greenery in South Island of New Zealand
Marlborough Sounds as viewed from the Queen Charlotte Track

@Waikawa Bay Holiday Park
@Waikawa Bay Holiday Park

Offers the usual range from non-powered, powered sites, cabins, chalets and ensuite motel style units. It is functional with mature trees in its extensive property and due to its location 4.2 km from Picton has reasonable rates which make a great choice for those on a tight holiday budget.

To book or check details click here Picton’s Waikawa Bay Holiday Park.

What to do nearby Waikawa Bay Holiday Park, Marlborough, NZ?

Royal Spoonbill New Zealand bird resident Wairau Lagoon
Royal Spoonbill New Zealand bird resident Wairau Lagoon
  1. Parklands Marina Holiday Park (Picton)

@Parklands Marina Holiday Park
@Parklands Marina Holiday Park

Parklands is a spacious, popular family camp located close to the Picton ferry terminal & the closest camp to Waikawa Marina & boat launch. Accommodation ranges from non-powered tent Sites, Powered Sites, Standard Cabins, Kitchen Cabins, Studio Units and Family Unit. Children’s play area with trampoline and mega jumping pillow, swimming pool, baby bathroom, all units are modern, with TV.

To book and check details click here Parklands Marina Holiday Park.

What to do nearby Parklands Marina Holiday Park?

Pelorus Mail Boat, New Zealand @Discover Pelorus
Pelorus Mail Boat @Discover Pelorus
  1. Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park

@Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park
@Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park

A classic camping ground, Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park offers non-powered, powered sites, chalets and standard motel style accommodation. The budget holiday park is clean and well maintained with an unfenced Ōpaoa (Opawa) River part of the park’s boundary. There is an eleven bedded lodge for group visits.

While there is a pool on site it is surrounded by concrete with minimal landscaping. Recommended is an exploration of the Opaoa River and Taylor River Reserve for picnic spots, swimming holes and places to launch a kayak.

To book or check details click here, Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park.

What to do nearby Blenheim Blanheim Holiday Parks, NZ?

Kiwi Guardians at Taylor River Reserve

Run like a river through the heart of Blenheim. The Taylor River is home to many freshwater plants and creatures – what can you see?

  • Find the poetry boulders along its banks, or the foundations of an old building.
  • Find the sculpture that moves.
  • Read some cool poetry written by young locals.
  • Watch the character of the river change as you head upstream

What to do nearby Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park?

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
  1. Havelock Holiday Park

@Havelock Holiday Park
@Havelock Holiday Park

Havelock is a buzzing small community with cafes and a local supermarket. The Holiday Park is just off the main street of Havelock township towards the Marina, The accommodation is clean and well maintained. Amenities including laundry, BBQ area, children’s playground, trampoline, petanque, tennis courts, outdoor gym and skate park. Wireless internet is available at all sites. Choose from a range of tent and caravan sites or book into one of our basic but comfy cabins, and settle into finding out what there is to see and do in Havelock. This family owned independent holiday park offers budget accommodation to suit parties who need to consider expenditure while on holiday.

Please check the Pet Policy before booking. There is a one off extra cleaning fee of $15 applicable to each stay that includes a pet.

To book or check details click here Havelock Holiday Park Marlborough Sounds accommodation.

What to do nearby Havelock Holiday Park?

Pelorus river @Kayak New Zealand
Pelorus river @Kayak New Zealand
  1. Okiwi Bay Holiday Park & Lodge

The Lodge has featured on the TV series “Gone Fishin”. Okiwi Bay Holiday Park & Lodge is a small & friendly holiday park on the scenic route to historic French Pass. Access is half hour from SH6 at Rai Valley. The road is sealed. The location is not suitable for families looking for accommodation close to supermarkets and cafes.

@Okiwi Bay Holiday Park & Convenience Store
@Okiwi Bay Holiday Park & Convenience Store

The Holiday Park is ideal for fishing fans, beach lovers and holiday makers who wish to go diving, fishing, scalloping ( when in season), walking tracks, scenic drives, kayaking, mountain biking, bird-watching. There is a convenience store with Fuel.  Boats and pets Okiwi Bay area is renowned for the excellent fishing & diving opportunities – snapper, Moki, blue cod, kingfish, scallops, crays, and scenery.Fish and dive from your own boat. If you don’t have your own boat we can put you in touch with charter operators in the area

The Park can hire scuba tanks, weight belts, Scuba Air fills, and lots of advice! Plus we can arrange fishing and scenic charter trips with other operators, and kayak hire.

This small and friendly holiday park has everything you might need, with 10 powered sites, 3 unpowered sites, 2 x Cabins. Pet friendly.  To book and check details click here Okiwi Bay Holiday Park & Lodge.

What to do nearby Okiwi Bay Holiday Park and Lodge?

  1. Smiths Farm Holiday Park

@Smiths Farm Holliday Park
@Smiths Farm Holiday Park

What a great place, Smiths Farm Holiday Park for visitors to the Marlborough Sounds & Queen Charlotte Track…

A working beef farm is the location for a holiday park offering standard motel units, chalets, powered and non-powered sites. The owners / managers are veteran hospitality providers with an extensive network of operators at their fingertips to organise sea kayaking, guided bush walks, wine tours and there is even a mini-golf course on site. The park practices active eco-management with low flush toilets, tap flow limiters and more. It is an outstanding facility worthy of the awards it has garnered over the years.

  1. Spring Creek Holiday Park

Spring Creek Holiday Park @Marlborough
Spring Creek Holiday Park @Marlborough

Spring Creek Holiday Park offers good clean facilities at an affordable price. The park is located adjacent to the township of Spring Creek on State Highway 62 (1199 Rapaura Rd), 5 min north of Blenheim and 20 min south of Picton. A traditional New Zealand camp, family orientated, swimming pool, TV room, Barbeques, children’s play-ground, WiFi, pet friendly in the park and pet eels waiting to be fed. Rustic charm, well maintained facilities, not up to date modern, functional and a great budget choice. The park is adjacent to Spring Creek close to a superette and 5 minutes drive from Blenheim with its extensive retail options.

To book or check details click here Spring Creek Holiday Park.

What to do nearby Spring Creek Holiday Park?

  • Feed the pet eels living in the park stream (note the stream is unfenced)
  • Marlborough wine tours will collect guests from the park
  • Indulge in exploring Blenheim’s heritage past
Misty morning at Sedgemere Lakes, Molesworth Station, South Island, New Zealand
Molesworth Station
  1. Freedom Camping Marlborough

Robin Hood Bay Campground, Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand @MarlboroughNZ

Freedom camping regulations for Marlborough are f you are freedom camping in a self-contained campervan, you can park up at one of the Marlborough District Council’s designated spots, including Double Bay and Ohingaroa Bay in the Mahau Sound, Ohauparuparu Bay in Kenepuru Sound, Wairau Diversion Reserve in Blenheim and Taylor Dam Reserve, Blenheim. Those without loos on board can go to the following designated freedom camping sites: Elterwater, Blairich Reserve in the Awatere Valley or Collins Memorial at Koromiko. There are some restrictions on these campsites, so for more information, go to the Marlborough District Council site.  Remember to check the Marlborough District Council site for up to date information. To check freedom camping sites click HERE for more details.

  1. Momorangi Conservation Campsite (Queen Charlotte Sounds)

The Department of Conservation has a beach side treat serviced campground In Marlborough. It is very popular and forward bookings are essential. Momorangi Bay Campground Located in Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui area. A north-facing serviced family campsite beside a sheltered bay, popular for swimming, boating and fishing; short walk and glow-worm grotto on site. Momorangi Bay Campground has become the quintessential kiwi holiday for many, with families returning year after year. No pets allowed.

Accommodation options:

  • Number of tent sites – 36
  • Number of powered sites – 100
  • Number of cabins – 2
Momorangi Conservation Campsite, New Zealand @MarlboroughNZ
Momorangi Conservation Campsite @MarlboroughNZ
Momorangi Conservation Campsite, New Zealand @MarlboroughNZ
Momorangi Conservation Campsite @MarlboroughNZ

Facilities and services:

  • Hot showers (campers only) $1 coin
  • Wheelchair accessible shower and toilet blocks.
  • Communal kitchen with jug, toaster, microwave, electric hob, fridge, freezer. Bring your own BBQ, pots, pans, crockery and cutlery.
  • Cabins that sleep 3 people in a bunk with double bed at the bottom and a single bed above. Power and oil heater in room. Use communal shower/toilets and kitchen facilities. Bring your own linen, pillow, towel, cooking and eating utensils. $60 per night for up to 3 people.
  • Public card phone on site. Mobile phone coverage variable.
  • On-site shop open daily from Labour weekend to Easter for icecream, coffee, cake, newspapers, bread, milk, ice, meat, fish bait, fishing tackle, and fish and chips.
  • Playground on the foreshore.
  • Boats can be launched from beach. The nearest boat ramp is 4 km at Ngakuta Bay.

Seasonal restrictions:

  • 26 December – 5 January: Minimum 5 night stay.
  • 1 December – 10 February: Minimum fee per site is 2 adults regardless of ages.

Fires are not permitted at any time.

To book and check details click here Momorangi conservation campsite: Queen Charlotte Sound area, Marlborough region.

Momorangi Conservation Campsite, New Zealand @MarlboroughNZ
Momorangi Conservation Campsite @MarlboroughNZ
Cyclists on the Link Pathway, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Marlborough Sounds

What to do nearby Momorangi Conservation Campsite?

  • The beach is at your doorstep (tent site), chill out and relax in the Marlborough Sounds
  • Explore the Queen Charlotte Sounds day walks
  • The Momorangi conservation project aims to restore the missing canopy tree species of Momorangi Bay. The project also has a strong education focus. Campers at Momorangi Bay campground, along with local community and day visitors, can learn more about conservation through fun activities and interactive resources. There are opportunities to volunteer to help restore forest in the reserve behind the campground, such as helping with trapping, sponsoring a tree, planting and assisting in weed control.
  • For ideas about what to do and the history of the reserve check Experience Momorangi for a brief outline.



Getting around: Where to stay in Marlborough and what to do nearby?

Check out Where to stay in Marlborough – Best Bits for tips on bucket list attractions and the best places to stay nearby.

MARLBOROUGH Location, location, location says it all. The area you stay influences your ease of getting around an area that you are not familiar with. Check out itineraries, touring routes for tips on deciding where to stay. Transport is a key factor as precious holiday time can easily be wasted trying to get to a bucket list attraction. A breakdown of where to stay and why you should stay in this area of Marlborough is provided

View over French Pass, Marlborough Sounds
View over French Pass, Marlborough Sounds

When is the best time to visit Marlborough, NZ to go camping?

Undoubtedly Marlborough, NZ is a summer destination with Marlborough Sounds waterway cruises, wine trails and walks bathed in the Marlborough sunshine. The camping season in Marlborough is extensive, from mid-December to mid-April camping conditions are comfortable.

Weather in Marlborough, NZ

Marlborough Weather Forecasts and Observations – MetService New Zealand

Summer (December to early March) has consistent sunny weather with temperatures between 20°C to 28°C. The coldest month is July with an average temperature of 12°C. May is the month recording the most rain.


Marlborough is a region of New Zealand, at the north-eastern tip of the South Island.

For more information about Marlborough check out Marlborough things to do, attractions, places to go




Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

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