New Zealand is a wonderful place for camping, so naturally it has some great campsites and holiday parks. The sheer diversity is all part of the appeal: If you want minimalist facilities in spectacular wild landscapes, you’ll find them in New Zealand. And if you need family-friendly accommodation and features, then you’ll find that too.
Before you travel, and especially before a camping trip, you should find the right place to stay. And it’s also important to bring along the things you need. But remember, just like a mobile blackjack game where it’s important not to ‘overload’ your cards by scoring more than 21, you should not travel with too much baggage. Just take the essentials.
So here’s a look at the Top 5 Campsites near me to give your planning for a great holiday under canvas a head start.
1. Waihi Beach Holiday Park
Located on North Island in the Bay of Plenty region not far from Auckland, the Waihi Beach Holiday Park is described as the park ‘where bush meets beach’. It’s set in five acres of stunning native bush, and has some mature Pohutuakawas which line the track and provide natural shade running down to the picturesque Waihi Beach itself.
Things to do: This area is a fantastic place for hiking and outdoor activities as well as beach and water sports.
What to see: This is a coastal campsite which has the magnificent Bay of Plenty on its doorstep. A traditional Maori area with much Maori culture to see, the region also has some old gold and silver mines which can be explored – organised tours are available.
Park highlights: Family-friendly features include a playground, heated swimming pool, games room and a family play room for the under-fives, and a jumping pillow. In addition, there are also spa, sauna and gym facilities and a TV room, as well as pedal go-cart hire and DVD hire. During standard holiday periods, the park also runs a Kid’s Club with various featured activities.
Food: BBQ’s and a pizza oven.
2. Timaru Holiday Park
Situated within Canterbury, South Island’s largest region, Timaru Holiday Park is spacious, modern and affordable campsite near me with everything you need to enjoy a perfect camping holiday. Open all year, Timaru combines the ready accessibility of a holiday park in an urban location with the peace and seclusion you would expect of a prime country setting. For instance, there’s a supermarket only five minutes walk away, and both the town centre and Caroline Bay on the Pacific Ocean can be comfortably reached on foot.
Things to do: Nearby Caroline Bay is a wonderful sheltered sandy beach for swimming and water sports. Timaru is also a great place to see Little Blue Penguins and other wildlife. The town has cafes, museums and an art gallery, and there are also local walking and cycling tracks.
What to see: Timaru is a convenient centre for exploring Maori artefacts and culture, especially the rock art of the Aoraki district.
Park highlights: Timaru offers family-friendly facilities such as a family bathroom as well as cot and high-chair hire. There’s also a playground and jumping pillow, plus a TV room, library, free Wi-Fi and DVD hire. Bikes can also be hired on-site, and pets are welcome by arrangement.
Food: BBQ area and communal kitchen facilities.
3. Red Beach Holiday Park
Around 25 minutes north of Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Red Beach Holiday Park is a North Island gem situated on the lovely Hibiscus Coast. The iconic Red Beach itself is a wonderful sandy beach which is two kilometres long. In addition, the park owns ‘Jacobs Ladder’ – a private beach which offers safe swimming and the chance to do a little sea fishing.
Things to do: Waiwera Hot Pools offers a choice of activities: wild rides down the slides or a chance to relax and enjoy the sensual luxury of a thermal pool. Snowplanet is the only indoor snow dome in New Zealand where skiers can enjoy fun on the slopes throughout the year.
What to see: Shakespear Regional Park, one of Auckland’s finest parks, is close by. For those who enjoy wildlife, a visit to the Island bird sanctuary of Tititiri Matangi in the Hauraki Gulf is an absolute must. There’s also an adventure park and a 7.5-kilometre cycle track with scenic views of the estuary.
Park highlights: With a Kid’s Playground, trampoline, basketball and table tennis, there’s plenty of on-site activities. There’s also an organised Kid’s Cub, plus free Wi-Fi and a TV room with Sky TV.
Food: BBQ area and communal kitchen.
4. Motueka Holiday Park
The town of Motueka is the South Island gateway to the magnificent Abel Tasman National Park, a real tropical paradise. Motueka Holiday Park is near Motueka town centre, yet can offer peaceful parkland with mature trees and birds.
Things to do: In town, there’s a great range of holiday activities available including pony trekking, hiking, skydiving, paragliding as well as helicopter rides or aeroplane flights. And for those who enjoy water sports, there’s also swimming and sea kayaking.
What to see: Don’t miss Nelson Market, held each Saturday, for its fresh produce and local crafts. Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles provide far more than local transport – for instance, hiking and seal viewing tours. But they are also a great way to relax as you take in the stunning views.
Park highlights: Family-friendly facilities include an adventure playground, a heated swimming pool and a jumping pillow. There’s also wireless Internet, a movie room and a private spa. In addition, the park provides mountain bike and pedal go-cart hire.
Food: BBQ area and communal kitchen facilities.
5. Te Anau Holiday Park
Discover the family-owned and family friendly atmosphere of Te Anau Holiday Park set amid the lush scenic landscapes of the historic Southland region. If you want quiet spacious accommodation, you’ll certainly find it here.
Things to do: There is mini golf and a BMX track close by, plus plenty of nature and wildlife options. The area also provides stunning walks and cycle trails, as well as water activities.
What to see: The park is only a short walk away from the magnificent Lake Te Anua and South Island’s Fiordland National Park.
Park highlights: Kid’s playground, Giant Connect 4 and Kangaroo Jumper. There’s also a TV/ Recreation room equipped with Sky TV.
Food: BBQ area and communal kitchen facilities – also shops and restaurants nearby.