Where to Camp in Rotorua© NZPocketGuide.com
Where to Camp in Rotorua

Where to Camp in Rotorua + 5 BEST Campsites ⛺ [2024]

© NZPocketGuide.com

The Guide to Camping in Rotorua

With so many geothermal parks, Māori cultural experiences and adventure activities on offer in Rotorua, no wonder you want to save cash on accommodation for more exciting things. Camping in Rotorua is a great way to save money for the things that matter when you’re travelling while being a great outdoor experience in itself. Whether you’re in your tent or campervan or you have a self-contained vehicle, we’ll help you find where to camp in Rotorua.

There are four types of campgrounds in the Rotorua district: holiday parks, Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites, park-over properties and freedom camping. Needless to say, Rotorua is a camper-friendly place with plenty of options for tent-dwellers in the DOC campsites scattered across the lakeside. Plus, there are multiple options for self-contained campervans from the facility-filled holiday parks to freedom camping options.

So take a look at the directory below to find your ideal places to camp in the Rotorua district.

5 Best Places to Camp in Rotorua

Before we list all of the holiday parks, campsites and freedom camping areas in Rotorua, here are some of the best places in Rotorua to sleep under the stars:

  1. Tasman Holiday Parks – Rotorua – Modernly renovated facilities including geothermal hot pools in the city centre
  2. Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park – Recreational fun with a wealth of facilities by Lake Tikitapu
  3. Holdens Bay Holiday Park – Swimming pool, indoor hot pools, fish-cleaning and more on the eastern skirts of town
  4. Lake Okareka Campsite – Lakeside camping just 15 mins drive from the city. Suitable for tents, car camping and motorhomes
  5. Hamurana Reserve – Free camping for camping vehicles on the shores of Lake Rotorua – Hamarana Road (opposite Turner Road on the lakefront).

Where to Camp in Rotorua© NZPocketGuide.com

Holiday Parks in Rotorua

Holiday parks in Rotorua have a range of facilities of a high standard. Unsurprisingly, this comes at a higher price. They also offer a variety of accommodation types, but campers can always rely on holiday parks to have powered sites for campervans/motorhomes and tent sites (providing there is availability).

Expect to pay between NZ$22-$55 per person per night for a site in a holiday park in Rotorua. Some holiday parks have cheaper off-season rates.

For more on what to expect from a holiday park, check out The Accommodation Guide to Holiday Parks in New Zealand.

Rotorua City

Ngongotaha

  • Willowhaven Holiday Park – Some lakefront sites with free WiFi – 31 Beaumont Road.
  • Waiteti Trout Stream Holiday Park – Popular long-established holiday park with trout stream and kayaks – 14 Okona Crescent.
  • Rotorua Family Holiday Park – Spa pool, swimming pool, BBQ and playground facilities – 22 Beaumont Road.

Rotorua Lakes

  • Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park – Recreational fun with a wealth of facilities by Lake Tikitapu – 723 Tarawera Road.
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Campground – Far from town but close to Rotorua’s top geothermal and hot pool attractions – 648 Waikite Valley Road.
Where to Camp in Rotorua© NZPocketGuide.com

DOC Campsites in Rotorua

The Department of Conservation (DOC) maintains six campsites around the Rotorua Lakes District. Facilities are basic in these low-cost campsites but always include toilets. Other facilities may include a water supply that will need treating before use, a gas barbecue, picnic benches and a cooking shelter.

All DOC campsites in Rotorua are approximately NZ$10-$15 per adult and NZ$0-$7.50 per child depending on age.

Rotorua Lakes

Where to Camp in Rotorua© NZPocketGuide.com

Council Campsites in Rotorua

Rotorua Lakes

The Rotorua Lakes Council manages a small number of campsites around the Rotorua area. Facilities typically include a toilet, picnic tables and sometimes BBQ facilities. Note that most council-run campsites only allow camping vehicles, such as campervans, motorhomes and caravans, although they don’t always need to be certified self-contained. Check the links below for the latest camping restrictions, if any.

Camping fees are around NZ$8-$20 per person per night.

  • Boyes Beach Campsite – Stay by Lake Okareka for a maximum of two nights. Camping vehicles only (no cars or tents) – 73 Millar Road.
  • Lake Okaro Campsite – Small fee for lakeside camping in a self-contained vehicle – 699/859 Okaro Road.
  • Guy Roe Reserve Campsite – Camping along Lake Rerewhakaaitu with BBQs, tables, toilets and a boat ramp – Brett Road.
  • Trout Pool Road – Free camping with toilet facilities for camping vehicles (no tents allowed) near Okere Falls – 103 Trout Pool Road.

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Freedom Camping in Rotorua

There are very limited options for freedom camping in Rotorua. Only certified self-contained vehicles can park in the spots listed below with the exception of the Trout Pool Reserve and Hamurana Reserve, although tents are not permitted. Make sure you respect the rules of freedom camping stated in the 10 Golden Rules of Camping in New Zealand and check the Rotorua Lakes Council website for any updates on freedom camping restrictions.

Rotorua City

  • Hinemoa Street Car Park – In the Government Gardens at the eastern end of Hinemoa Street just before the Polynesian Spa – 1029 Hinemoa Street.
  • Lakefront Drive Car Park – Only three spots available near the lakefront – 4 Mataiawhea Street.

Rotorua Lakes

  • Trout Pool Road – Free camping with toilet facilities for camping vehicles (no tents allowed) near Okere Falls – 103 Trout Pool Road.
  • Hamurana Reserve – Free camping for camping vehicles on the shores of Lake Rotorua – Hamarana Road (opposite Turner Road on the lakefront).

Check out 5 Free Camp Spots in Rotorua for more details on each. For more information about freedom camping across the country, check out Freedom Camping Rules in New Zealand: Region by Region.

More About Camping and Rotorua

That’s it for our guide on where to camp in Rotorua and the best campsites. For more about camping and Rotura, check out more of our insightful guides:

Where to after Rotorua? Check out our North Island in 2 Weeks: New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary or The Best Day Trips from Rotorua.

Author

Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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