Freedom Camping in Taupo
There are several freedom camping sites in the Great Lake Taupo region where you can pull up or pitch a tent.
We support responsible camping and encourage the use of our many commercial camping grounds, so if you would prefer to have amenities close at hand or are traveling in a non-self-contained vehicle, contact one of our fantastic local holiday parks. Most holiday parks offer superb facilities including bicycle hire, swimming pools and the all important hot shower. However, if you do decide to freedom camp you can find some important information listed below.
Download the Where Can We Camp? brochure below
Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve
Reid’s Farm is a popular freedom camping spot located on the banks of the Waikato River on Huka Falls Road, five minutes north of Taupo. Here you'll find basic toilet facilities, showers and a large number of campsites, but no power or potable water supply. You can tent here or park your non-self-contained vehicle and stay up to seven nights in any fortnight for free. Dogs are permitted, but please keep them under control and clean up after them. The Waikato River that runs alongside the site is perfect for swimming in the summer.
The airport is also a designated freedom camping spot for self-contained vehicles only, as there are no amenities nearby. Set up camp and watch the skydivers land from the comfort of your camping chair.
Ferry Road is the most popular freedom camping site in Taupo, located just past the traffic lights towards the lake. There are no amenities here, but if your vehicle is self-contained you can park here for up to two nights for free between 5pm and 10am daily. Ferry Road is very central, Taupo’s town centre and the SuperLoo; with paid showers and toilets are just a couple of minutes walk. The library is also walking distance, located behind the i-SITE with toilets and free Wi-Fi facilities.
Towards the marina on Ferry Road is another freedom camping spot. The rules here are the same as Ferry Road, but here you will find toilets and clean drinking water. While you are camping in town please be a tidy kiwi and clean up after yourself and be sure to abide by the liquor ban regulations in place on Ferry Road on all Public Holidays and between 4pm Thursdays to 7am Monday year-round.
Turangi also has a free camping spot at the marina on Kaiwaka Street where you can tent, van or campervan for up to two nights. There are toilet facilities and water nearby. As always with responsible camping, please be sure to clean up after yourself when you leave.
Mangakino Recreation Reserve
The Mangakino Reserve is located on the edge of Lake Maraetai at the end of Lake Road in Mangakino. The main camping area is close to the toilet block with a limited number of power outlets available. Campers may stay a maximum of two nights, or one night between Christmas Day and the 10th of January. Self-contained vehicles with their own toilet facilities can camp further around the lakeshore and should take advantage of the campervan Dump Station at the Mangakino United Rugby Club on Wairenga Road.
Located between Mangakino and Whakamaru on the edge of Lake Maraetai, this camping area is in the paddock near the toilet block with no power available. Campers may stay a maximum of two nights here, but this reserve is often used for events so please check the events page to make sure it is available for camping. The Motocross Park is adjacent to the camping area and is open during daylight hours.
Whakamaru Recreation Reserve
The Whakamaru Reserve is located on Pokuru Road on the edge of Lake Whakamaru, adjacent to the Whakamaru Ski Club building. There are toilets onsite but no power available. Campers can set up camp for up to two nights year round except between Christmas Day and the 10th of January when the site is reserved for members of the Whakamaru Ski Club only.