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Camping in Taupo, Turangi & Tongariro


The Lake Taupo region is a beautiful part of the Central North Island, and offers several freedom camping areas, all situated close to water and with various facilities.

While we support the principles of freedom camping in the Lake Taupo region, we do encourage the use of designated camping grounds including Department of Conservation sites. 

Key information on the freedom camping areas is listed below.

Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve

This reserve is located on the banks of the Waikato River on Huka Falls Road. It has basic toilet facilities and a large number of campsites. There is no power or potable water supply. Water can be taken from the river but should be boiled before drinking. There is no charge for camping, and campers may stay a maximum of seven nights in any fortnight. Dogs are permitted, but must be kept under control and cleaned up after.

Mangakino Recreation Reserve

 The shoreline of Lake Maraetai, near Mangakino

This reserve is located in Mangakino township on the edge of Lake Maraetai at the end of Lake Road. The main camping area is close to the toilet block, and a limited number of power outlets are available here. Self-contained vehicles with their own toilet facilities can camp further around the lake shore. There is no charge for camping here. Campers may stay a maximum of 2 nights, but this is reduced to 1 night between Christmas day and 10 January.

There is a campervan Dump station at the Mangakino United Rugby Club, Wairenga Road, Mangakino.


Whakamaru Domain

This reserve is located between Mangakino and Whakamaru on the edge of Lake Maraetai. The camping area is in the paddock near the toilet block.  No power is available. This reserve does get used for events so check to make sure it is available for camping. There is no charge for camping here, and campers may stay a maximum of 2 nights.

Please note the Motocross Park is adjacent to the camping area, and is open during daylight hours.

Whakamaru Recreation Reserve

This reserve is located near Whakamaru Village on Pokuru Road on the edge of Lake Whakamaru. The camping area is adjacent to the Whakamaru Ski Club building.  Toilets are available but no power. Only members of the Whakamaru Ski Club are able to use the reserve for camping between Christmas and 10 January. At other times of the year campers may stay for free for up to 2 nights.

'Where can we Camp' brochure for the Lake Taupo Region

For further information on things to do in and around the Mangakino area click here.

For further information about camping grounds and holiday parks in the Lake Taupo region click here.


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