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 is 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.
1. Picton TOP 10 Holiday Park
A short 10mins walk to Picton cafes and supermarkets. The ferry terminal is less than 10 minutes. The holiday park is standard TOP 10 with 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, enjoy our delicious, takeaway espresso coffee – available to buy fresh from reception between 8am and midday daily.
What to do nearby Picton TOP 10 Holiday Park:
- Picton scenic walks
- Marina is directly opposite, bring your boat and go fishing in the sounds
- Visit the heritage museum a short fifteen minute stroll from the park
Pet friendly conditions apply
2. Blenheim TOP 10 Holiday Park
Blenheim TOP 10 Holiday Park is standard TOP 10 with an extensive range of accommodation options including Powered Campervan Sites, Comfortable Cabins & spacious Self Contained Units & Park Motels. Pet friendly conditions apply.
Park facilities include:
- Children’s playground with new trampoline, slide
- BBQ area next to the playground where you can cook and keep an eye on the kids
- Swimming pool & Indoor spa available
- Two dump stations and car wash facilities available for all guests.
To book check for details Blenheim TOP 10 Holiday Park Accommodation.
What to do nearby Blenheim TOP 10 Holiday Park:
- Visit Aviation Museum
- Visit Wairau lagoon in search of a rusting shipwreck
- Join a wine tour
3. 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 our Pet Policy before booking. There is a one off extra cleaning fee of $15 applicable to each stay that includes a pet.
To book check details out Havelock Holiday Park Marlborough Sounds accommodation.
What to do nearby:
- Volcanview flying fox
- Try your hand at Mammoet Karts
- Kick a ball around the extensive grounds
4. 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 SH at Rai Valley. The road is sealed. For families looking for accommodation close to supermarkets and cafes this is not suitable.
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. Also Homestay Lodge & 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 details check out Okiwi Bay Holiday Park & Lodge.
What to do nearby Okiwi Bay Holiday Park and Lodge:
- Soak up the rays at the local beach and finish the day with mussels
5. Waikawa Bay Holiday Park (Picton)
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 and for details check out Picton’s Waikawa Bay Holiday Park.
What to do nearby Waikawa Bay Holiday Park:
- Waterways Boating Safaris
- Sawcut Gorge trail – 3 hr return ( Turn off 10 mins south of Ward )The marked route starts from the riverbed. From here, look out for the orange triangles directing walkers in and out of the riverbed. After 45 minutes to an hour walking and crossing the river several times, you arrive at the reserve boundary. From here the route leaves the riverbed for a short while then meets Isolated Creek. After 30 minutes you reach the spectacular Sawcut Gorge. The stream flows through this chasm, which is 150 metres deep, but in places, is only 2 metres wide
6. Smiths Farm Holiday Park
Smiths is a rural location for holiday makers looking for a farm stay experience. The Holiday Park is between Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sound.Situated on a working beef farm, the Park is a base from which to relax, explore the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. The Park, constructed in 1997, is spacious and quiet. Numbers are limited as this STAY is not a purpose built holiday park. There are four standard cabins, two self-contained units, two motels and a self-contained cottage. The Park also offers flat, powered and non powered sites which are ideal for campers, caravans and campervans. Forward bookings are recommended. Pets are welcome however inquire first before booking online. To book and for details check out Smiths Farm Holiday Park.
Eating out The Linkwater Country Inn, 2km away has a restaurant and bar. The Captain’s Daughter, The Slip Inn and the Mussel Pot restaurant, specialising in delicious green lip mussel meals are just 15 minutes drive away in Havelock. For those wanting a little extra dining adventure, drive to Te Mahia, catch the water taxi to Raetihi Lodge. Dairy/ Service Station: This is situated 2km away and holds most daily requirements. It is the only local service station selling petrol/diesel.
What to do nearby Smiths Farm Holiday Park:
- Queen Charlotte Track is 4km away
- Waikakaho Track, 4km away, has been recently redeveloped and follows the old goldminers trail.
- A farm and bush walk through beautiful farmland and regenerating bush to an impressive waterfall and glow worms. This walk is only available to guests staying at the park.
7. Spring Creek Holiday Park
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), 5min north of Blenheim and 20min 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.
What to do nearby Spring Creek Holiday Park:
- Feed the pet eels living in the park stream
- Marlborough wine tours will collect guests from the park
- Indulge in exploring Blenheim’s heritage past
8. Parklands Marina Holiday Park (Picton)
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.
What to do nearby Parklands Marina Holiday Park:
- Mail boat Queen Charlotte Sounds cruise
- BBQ with new friends at the park
- Dinner in Picton at the cafes dotted throughout the town
9. Freedom Camping Marlborough
Freedom camping regulations for Marlborough 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 Marlborough District Council site for up to date information. Check freedom camping sites for more details.
10. 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.
- Number of tent sites – 36
- Number of powered sites – 100
- Number of cabins – 2
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.
- 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 for details check out Momorangi conservation campsite.
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: Our work for a brief outline.