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12 Best Camping Spots for Families in New Zealand

Regardless of the season, camping is perhaps the best way for you to go off-grid and spend some quality time with your family. Especially if you’re planning to visit New Zealand, a camping getaway is a must-have on your family’s itinerary as it’s one of the most beautiful places in the entire world.

Camping for families in New Zealand is an exciting venture for locals and tourists alike.

You can either rent a campervan on-site or set up your own tent to spend your weekend under the starry skies.

Top Camping Spots for Families in New Zealand

Most of these camping spots provide impeccable security along with all the amenities you’ll need.

So if you want to reconnect with nature by taking your family along, here’s a list of camping sites you can choose from.

Motuora Island

If your idea of a perfect vacation includes hiking and picnicking along with the beach by day and relaxing next to a bonfire at night, Motuora Island is the ideal site for you. It is a naturally scenic site loved by locals and tourists alike with multiple amenities and on-site activities for families.

Located in Auckland, North Island, Motoura island is home to many exotic wildlife such as seals and kiwis. You can enjoy the tranquil breeze of the ocean waves and watch these animals enjoy their natural habitat.

Matauri Bay

Matauri Bay in Northland is another site that facilitates camping for families in New Zealand. The popular camping ground near the beachfront is 30 kilometers away from the Bay of Islands in Kerikeri. This means you can easily arrange transportation and incorporate it into your weekend plan when the camping mood strikes.

Besides the beautiful coastal view, the Matauri Bay Park offers other tourist attractions such as fishing and hiking. Similarly, you can indulge in water sports like scuba diving, swimming, and snorkeling. You can enjoy these activities by day and set camp with your family by night.

Most importantly, the site is well-protected and has all the amenities you need. These include convenient cold showers, restrooms, and food carts. Meaning, you can be concern-free while camping with young kids.

>> Read more: The ultimate guide to New Zealand

Urupukapuka Bay Campsite

Another beachside location ideal for camping for families in New Zealand, Urupukapuka Bay, is only a short ferry ride away from Russel and Paihia. You can even take a water taxi to enjoy the ride while reaching the campsite.

Once there, you can hire a campervan on the site, set up your camp, or even rent a luxury seaside vista. However, you will need to finalize your bookings for this site beforehand, as it is usually crowded around the peak season.

Apart from the crystal clear blue coast, the location lets you enjoy thrilling walking and hiking tracks in the nearby forests. If your kids are excited about having fun in the water, you can enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, and surfing on the luxurious beach.

By night, the Urupukapuka Bay displays mesmerizing natural colors that you can feast your eyes on with your loved ones.

Robin Hood Bay

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly camping site with all the basic amenities available, you should check Robin Hood Bay in New Zealand. Located near South Island, this camp spot lets you rent camping gear on the site or hire a campervan to spend your weekend.

The site is popular for dolphin spotting along with the fun water adventures like surfing, kayaking, and scuba diving. You can hire a kayak or boat to move across the water during the daytime and observe the dolphins in their natural habitat with your kids.

Poukaraka Flats

Moreover, the Poukaraka Flats, located on the Waiheke island, is another picturesque location ideal for camping for families in New Zealand.

The camping ground is discrete and secluded right in the middle of the Whakanewha Regional Park. This makes it the ultimate location if you’re trying to avoid crowds during your vacation.

Bordered by the mesmerizing clear beach, the location is surrounded by wetlands and forests where you can conduct adventurous activities with your kids. However, you will only find basic amenities like showers and toilets on the campground.

This means you should pack ample food and other necessities such as extra clothes and medicine when planning your trip to this location.

Similarly, if you want to set up your camp old-school style, you will have to carry your own tent. But, other facilities like rental huts and campervans are available in the area.

>> Read more: Planning a trip to New Zealand

Fantail Bay

A trip to New Zealand is all about appreciating nature to the optimal level. If you’re targeting that while looking for sites that provide camping for families in New Zealand, Fantail Bay is the ideal location to go for.

Surrounded by the lush vegetation of local Pohutukawa trees accentuated by the ebb and flow of the serene waters, this is the ultimate campsite for nature lovers. You can have fun swimming with your kids at the beach or walking along the well-maintained tracks to observe nature at its best.

Located in Northern Coromandel, the location offers adventure activities, including guided hikes and trekking trips. In addition, you can easily rent camping gear from nearby spots by night and set up your site with a bonfire to create cherishable family memories.

Spirits Bay

Spirits Bay, also known as Kapwairuais, is a popular camping location in New Zealand for locals and tourists alike. With dense, lush forests surrounding the beautiful sandy beaches, the site is ideal for a relaxing weekend getaway.

You can either carry your own tent or rent the required gear from the many spots available in the area. Apart from camping under the starry skies, you can indulge in mind-blowing activities with your kids.

These include spotting wildlife, birdwatching, fishing, trekking, and swimming. However, there are few shops selling hiking or swimming gear in the area. That’s why you should check the list of available activities beforehand and carry the necessary equipment.

Matai Bay

The Matai Bay Park, located in the North Island of New Zealand, is a popular camping spot with sheltered accommodation for around 100 campers. It is a well-maintained, elevated campground built on the white sand beach, perfect for camping with your family.

The only downside to visiting this site is that it requires pre-booking. If you’re planning to walk right into the campsite, you will have to face a long waiting list or a camp with huge crowds.

Furthermore, snorkeling is one of the most attractive tourist activities in the area. The beach is filled with exotic marine life, which you can view with your kids. You can also opt for guided snorkeling sessions, but you’ll have to pre-book your spots if you’re traveling during summer.

Even if you don’t reserve your tickets for the activities and tourist attractions, you can still set camp and enjoy reclining on the beach with your family. Around summer, the waves are ideal for surfing and swimming.

Besides that, there are various well-maintained walking and biking tracks in the area that go through culturally significant locations. You can book a tour or set off by yourself and enjoy wildlife and lush vegetation up close.

Opoutere Coastal Camping

The Opoutere Coastal Camping site near the Wharekawa Harbour offers camping for families in New Zealand. It has the ideal combination of the signature white sand beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula, dotted with regional Pohutukawa trees.

You can set camp with your family amidst the trees and enjoy the mesmerizing tranquility of the beach at night. However, if you’re looking for some thrill and adventure simultaneously, you can take up activities like surfing, swimming, and hiking in the area as well.

If you don’t want to deal with mosquitos and public restrooms while camping, the Opoutere campsite has various luxury camping retreats and all-equipped tents for rent. This way, you can plan your trip concern-free, even if you’re traveling with fussy kids.

Remember, the campsite is quite popular so you might face higher rates while traveling during the peak season.

That’s why it is ideal to plan your trip strategically. This way, you can to enjoy the best weather and ambiance without stretching your budget at the Opoutere camping site.

Totaranui Campground

For those interested in rustic, old-school camping trips, the Totaranui Campground near Golden Bay is a great location. It is an enormous campsite that boasts of accommodating more than 800 families at once.

Apart from basic amenities like public restrooms and food spots, the site offers other attractive facilities. These include campfire set-ups, barbeque stations, and drinking water stations.

It is located near the golden sand Totaranui beach, where you can spend your day swimming, surfing, and boating. The beachfront is surrounded by lush mountainous terrains where you can go hiking, trekking, or biking with your family.

But, since this campsite is in close vicinity to the Abel Tasman Coastal Walk, it has many people swarming in to crash in for the night. That’s why make sure to book your trip beforehand to avoid any inconveniences.

Te Araroa Holiday Park

Located at the East Cape, the Te Araroa Holiday Park is an enjoyable classic Kiwi camping ground in New Zealand. Famous for its majestic sunrise, the East Cape is the perfect location for families planning a serene weekend getaway.

The park has a natural freshwater stream surrounded by trees and greenery to cleanse your soul and relax your mind. Unfortunately, there are limited activities to keep you busy in the area. Although, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll or recline lazily under the clear skies during summer.

The campsite has basic facilities to make your trip hassle-free. However, you might have trouble finding any specific equipment, luxury food items, and medicines. So make sure to pack them along while planning for your trip.

Pohara Beach Holiday Park

Like the popular Totaranui Campground, the Pohara Beach Holiday Park is a well-known camping ground near the Abel Tasman National Park. Set alongside the stunning Golden Bay at South Island, the Pohara Beach attracts enormous crowds during summer every year.

You can enjoy relaxing near the sun-kissed blue waters or conduct thrilling water activities with your kids. The multiple options include surfing, swimming, boating, fishing, and even snorkeling.

You can explore the surrounding forests on foot and observe the exotic wildlife in the area. The park is equipped with basic amenities like drinking water, restrooms, and showers. Additionally, you can find rental camping gear and campervans to crash in for the night with your family.

Tips for Camping for Families in New Zealand

All the New Zealand campsites mentioned above are great options for family campers. But, here are some tips you should keep in mind to ensure a flawless trip at any location.

  • Practice setting up your tent beforehand. Learn how to use the gear to avoid any inconvenience and extra expenses on the site.
  • Consider the size of your family and the essential items you’ll carry along to buy the perfectly sized tent and travel backpack.
  • Try to reach campsites early before the crowds strike to get the best deals and camping areas. Consider using a platform like Tentrr if you want to find a campsite in advance.
  • Plan every meal beforehand and only shop for necessities and emergencies while you’re on the campsite.
  • No matter what, follow the rules of every campsite you visit to avoid unpleasant situations.

About the Author

Kyle Kroeger is a travel blogger for his site ViaTravelers.com. ViaTravelers is a modern travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to ensure you have an amazing adventure. Follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube to get our latest travel updates in real-time.