When travelling in New Zealand you have a number of accommodation options to choose from – hotels, hostels or B&B’s but for us there is no doubt that camping is the best way to explore and see the real New Zealand. It allows you to go where others can only dream of, off the beaten track and into nature, whilst still giving you the opportunity to try those once in a lifetime activities.
Here at Flying Kiwi we pride ourselves in selecting the best campsites to fit your needs and aim to make these as stunning as possible. Here are our top 5 camping locations in New Zealand, shown in no particular order.
Waitangi Holiday Park
The Bay of Island's is well known for being one of the warmest places in New Zealand, with stunning scenery, where you can be as active or relaxed as you like. This picturesque campsite is located on the banks of the Waitangi River and the area is steeped in history of the first settlers to our shores. Located a short walk from the Paihia township ensures you have the best of both worlds where you can meander and look at the boutique shops or walk along the white sandy beaches. Paihia is one of our favourite North Island destinations and one we believe is a must see. Tours with Flying Kiwi spend 2 nights at this great camp and with the multitude of activities to choose from in the area, time here will be well spent.
Hot Water Beach Holiday Park
Situated on the Coromandel Peninsula, just South of Auckland is the Hot Water Beach Top 10. In this region you will find incredible rock formations, tantalizing water, beautiful golden sands and geothermal features. Our chosen campsite is located just 700 metres from one of the Worlds top surf beaches and when the tide is right you can literally dig a hole in the sand to make your own hot pool - a must do on your New Zealand excursion. Hot Water beach has been voted in the top 10 beaches in the World by Lonely Planet Travel Guide and with all of the above plus great swimming, kayaking and walk options we can see why!
Rangitata Shearers Quarters
This campsite ranks second to none for its uniqueness being the Shearers Quarters in Rangitata, just out of Christchurch near the Southern Alps. Due to its remoteness you will not hear one townie whisper from this location and on clear nights for those of you into star gazing you will be in your element. In fact Rangitata means 'close sky' in the native Maori language. The primary activity here is white water rating and with a Grade 5 listing (the highest you can get) you can be sure to get a thrill for your money. However if thrill-seeking is not for you, you can always explore the region by horseback, foot or cycle. If you are a 'Lord of the Rings' fan you will feel a sense of de ja vu as a lot of the filming was made in this area.
Okarito Camp Ground
The gem of the South Islands West Coast, located on an idyllic sand spit adjacent to the Tasman sea you will find the Okarito Camp Ground. Sheltered by native trees, the towering Southern Alps and rainforest what more could you ask for. Watch the sunset while having a beach fire and roasting marsh mellows then fall to sleep to the sound of the crashing ocean waves. We feel especially privileged to be able to offer this rugged West Coast experience to those travelling with us as it's a night you won't forget. Just when you think things couldn't get any better there are Kiwi tours in the area for spotting our New Zealand native bird in the wild and amazing walk options.
Old MacDonalds Farm
It is very hard to pick a top five as they are all unique however we round out this top five with one of our close to home favourites, Old MacDonalds Farm. This campsite is situated right next to the Abel Tasman National Park, you couldn't get any closer to nature if you tried, especially considering the local animals that wander around the property (hence the name Old MacDonald!). Located alongside the Marahau river, and hidden amongst exotic and native plantings this outstanding campsite was built and still is owned by the MacDonald family (for over 25 years). Here you can enjoy many of the activities the Abel Tasman has offer, such as canyoning, sailing, kayaking, skydiving to name a few or one of our favourites, a walk in the stunningly scenic National Park followed by a cooling swim in the refreshing river. Join us for open mic night at the local cafe (Park Cafe) where you might spot the next big singing sensation, which is only a short hop away from our campsite area. This is a must visit place when in New Zealand and for many of our Flying Kiwi-ites holds many lasting fun memories.