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Where to Camp in South Taranaki

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Camping in South Taranaki.

The Taranaki region is an excellent place to hit the road in your campervan! With a wealth of holiday parks, council campgrounds and freedom camping locations, you won’t struggle to find a place to stay for the night no matter whether you’re camping in a tent or in a motorhome. As you may have already figured out, freedom camping rules vary between each district in New Zealand, so this guide will help you understand where you can camp in South Taranaki. South Taranaki is the area of the Taranaki region south of Stratford in the west and Okato in the east. Check out some of the fun towns to visit in 6 Towns You Can’t Miss in South Taranaki.

While you’re here, you might also be interested in the 10 Taranaki Must-Dos.

7 Tips for camping in South Taranaki

  • South Taranaki has an abundance of designated freedom camping sites, so use those instead of camping anywhere
  • Leave where you camp as clean (or cleaner) than you left it – use bins or take rubbish with you
  • Don’t poop in the bush! Use your campervan’s toilet or the public toilets
  • Drive safely and on the left side of the road
  • Freedom camping illegally incurs an instant NZ$200 fine
  • Use holiday parks to recharge, dump your grey waste and top up your water tank
  • Note that some freedom camping areas are only for self-contained vehicles. Find out more about what that means in Self-Contained Campervans in New Zealand.

For more camping tips, take a look at 10 Things You Need to Know About Freedom Camping in New Zealand.

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Holiday Parks in South Taranaki

Holiday parks provide more than the basic facilities of campsites. They usually have communal kitchens, laundry, toilets and more. They have powered sites to run electricity to your campervan, as well as dump stations. See our Accommodation Guide to Holiday Parks in New Zealand for more information.

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Council Campgrounds in South Taranaki

The South Taranaki District Council has five campsites across the district with small fees to use them. Fees can be paid online at the South Taranaki website or by calling the South Taranaki District Council. Get the latest contact details and fees at the South Taranaki District Council website.

  • Te Ngutu o Te Manu, Ahipaipa Road, Kaipuni (pay by donation)
  • Lake Rotorangi/Patea Dam, Ball Road, Patea
  • Wai-inu Beach
  • Waverley Camp, (fees paid to the Waverley Library)
  • Hawera Holiday Park

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Freedom camping in South Taranaki

Freedom camping means parking somewhere to camp for free. There are a number of designated freedom camping sites in South Taranaki with a few simple restrictions. For instance, there should be no more than three tents or vehicles in a freedom camping site at one time. You can stay up to three consecutive nights per site. Tents need to pitched within 100m of the public toilets. See the South Taranaki freedom camping sites below, along with why type of camper can stay there.

Eltham
  • Bridger Park Carpark, High Street (self-contained only)
  • Eltham Library Carpark, Corner of King Edward & Bath Street (self-contained only)
  • Taylor Park Carpark, Talor Street (self-contained only)
  • Lake Rotokare Scenic Reserve, Sangster Road (all camping types with restrictions in certain areas. Make sure you read the signs)
  • Rukumoana Reserve, Rawhitiroa Road (self-contained only)
Normanby
  • Normanby Domain Carpark, Ketemarae Road (self-contained only)
  • Tuke Street Reserve, Fitzroy Street (self-contained only)
Hawera
  • Pukekino Landing, Lake Rotorangi, Tangahoe Valley Road (tents & vehicles)
  • Turuturu Road Cosser Grounds Carpark (self-contained only)
  • TSB Hub Waihi & Camberwell Carpark (self-contained only)
  • Albion Street Carpark (all vehicles)
  • Waihi Beach Reserve, Denby Road (self-contained only)
Surf Highway 45
  • Paora Road (tents & vehicles)
  • Arawhata Road Carpark (self-contained only)
Opunake
  • Opunake Recreation Ground Carpark, Heaphy Road (all vehicles)
  • Halse Place and Middleton Bay Carpark, via Heaphy Road (tents & vehicles)
  • Hurst Park, Gisborne Terrace (self-contained only)
  • Northern Headland Carpark, Wharf Road (self-contained only)
  • Opunake Lake Carpark, Layard Road (tents & vehicles)
Patea
  • Stafford Street Pool Reserve (self-contained only)
  • Bedford Street/Egmont Street Reserve (tents & vehicles)
  • York Street Picnic Area (self-contained only)
  • Bourke’s Lookout, Patea Beach, Egmont Street (self-contained only)
  • Mana Bay, Patea Beach, Beach Road (tents & vehicles)
Waverly
  • Wairoa Reserve, Paipipi Road (self-contained only)
  • Dallison Park Carpark, Chester Street (all vehicles)
  • Aotea Rotary Community Park, Corner of Chester Street and Weraroa Road (tents & vehicles)

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