Did you know that some of the North Island’s most beautiful camping spots are within an hour’s drive of Auckland’s CBD?
It’s one of Auckland’s best kept secrets!
There are camp sites close to rugged surf as well as safe swimming beaches, most set against a back drop of lush native bush.
Our favourite Auckland campgrounds are managed by the Auckland Council. Over the years, they have acquired vast tracts of private land that have been turned into parks for everyone to enjoy.
South East: Tapapakanga Regional Park
If you’re considering visiting the Miranda Seabird Coast, this park is a great place to stay on route.
Tapapakanga is located on the East Coast, south of Auckland, at the entrance to the Firth of Thames.
There are two camp grounds to choose from – one on the ridge top overlooking the ocean and the other, absolute beachfront.
Tapapakanga has significance for both Maori and Pakeha – there are two large Pa sites in the area and a wonderful Kauri homestead built by an early colonial family.
The beach is safe for swimming and there are many mountain bike and walking tracks to explore during your stay.
North: Wenderholm Regional Park
This easily accessible park is great for day trips as well as overnight camping if you’re thinking of heading north.
Wenderholm is surrounded by water, making it very popular with kayakers and swimmers in the summer months.
If you’re visiting the park in December, you’ll get to enjoy the New Zealand Christmas tree – the Pohutakawa - in full bloom on a scale not seen in many parts of the country. A truly magnificent sight!
After dark, glow worms and weta’s come alive along the many walking tracks throughout the park – take a night bush walk if you dare and experience these unique New Zealand creatures up close.
The camp ground is located near an estuary and a short walk from the overnight car park. Although this park is busy during daylight hours, it’s normally a lovely quiet spot to spend the night.
West: Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
Karekare is a coastal community within this park and is one of the most spectacular beaches in New Zealand. It was the stage for one of our most well known films, The Piano.
At the entrance to the beach are two campsites – one easily accessible next to the roadside, the other a short walk from the carpark on route to the beach.
Karekare is not as easy to find as Piha which partly accounts for its low profile – most people “discover” Karekare either by accident or through the recommendation of friends.
It’s reached by turning off the main route to Piha onto a narrow descending road that leads to Karekare and eventually loops back to the main road.
An overnight stay at Karekare is an experience you’ll never forget – a wild surf beach on one side with native bush all around. Bliss!
What sort of facilities will I find in these parks?
The facilities at all Auckland Regional Parks are basic so you’ll need to be self sufficient.
While many parks have coin operated barbeques, we recommend you take your own gas cooker if you don’t want to miss out on a hot meal – over the summer months, large groups can book out the picnic areas in advance (Wenderholm is a very popular spot for day time picnics and early evening barbeques).
There are public toilets available at all parks and some – but not all – have shower facilities (of course, there’s always the beach!).
You can hire an Adventure Camp Package from NZ Camp Site and make the most of your time in Auckland’s regional campgrounds – visit www.nzcampsite.co.nz or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our latest deals.
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