Freedom Camping in Taupo
When there are so many adventure activities to pay for, why would you want to pay for accommodation? Luckily, there are plenty of free camping spots in Taupo, especially for those with a certified self-contained vehicle. Whether you’re kipping in a tent, sleeping in the back of your car, or all kitted up in a self-contained campervan, you’ll find somewhere to camp for free in Taupo. Just make sure it is the correct location for your vehicle-type, which is explained in the points below.
Most of the freedom camping sites in Taupo area for self-contained vehicles only so make sure your self-contained sticker is clearly visible. When freedom camping in Taupo, be sure to camp responsibly using the 11 Golden Rules of Camping in New Zealand so people can enjoy these freedom camping spots in the future.
For more camping options in Taupo, check out Where to Camp in Taupo.
1. Reids Farm
A popular free campsite by the scenic Waikato River. Any vehicle, whether it’s self-contained or not, can camp here, as well as tent camping. There are basic toilet facilities.
Location: Signposted along Huka Falls Road
2. Council Land
If you are travelling in a certified self-contained vehicle, you can camp anywhere in the Taupo district for a maximum of three nights/four days that is controlled or managed by the council. This is with the exception of Ferry Road and reserves. Where freedom camping is banned, there are obvious signs. However, should you want inspiration on where to park up in Taupo, take a look at the three locations below.
3. Whakaipo Bay Recreation Reserve
Although a 15-minute drive out of Taupo town centre, Whakaipo Bay is a slightly quieter area to camp the night. Enjoy unspoiled views in this freedom camping area for self-contained vehicles only. Self-contained vehicles can stay here for a maximum of 4 nights per month.
Location: 10km from Taupo just off Mapara Road on the way to Kinloch.
4. Five Mile Bay
Update: A rāhui (temporary closure) has been put in place at Five Mile Bay by the local iwi (Maori tribe). See the Department of Conservation website for updates on when the rāhui will be lifted.
Freedom camp in the Five Mile Bay Amenity area only with a certified self-contained vehicle. Soak in the Lake Taupo views and make use of the facilities, such as the picnic tables and drop toilets. This area is managed by the Department of Conservation. Park up here for a maximum of four nights.
Location: Signposted off State Highway 1 inWaitahanui
5. Huka-Aratiatia Dam Car Park
Situated 10 minutes out of Taupo, the Huka-Aratiatia Dam Car Park is a good option for walks along the Waikato River and watching the dam release. For more things to do along the Waikato River, take a look at 12 Free or Cheap Activities in Taupo). Overnight camping is only for certified self-contained vehicles for a maximum of four nights. Although there are toilet facilities, these may be locked in an evening.
Location: Aratiatia Road, Rotokawa