Raetea North Side Campsite

Raetea North Side Campsite

Raetea Forest



16 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face

291 Basic Camping

33 Kaitaia



Raetea North Side - Raetea Forest


Free, primo, done!

Apparently the Raetea Camping Ground is situated in one of the last remaining lowland coastal forests. There is a bit of native bat and bird listening/ watching opportunities to be had.


Feature Value Info


North IslandNorthlandKaitaia


  • Basic Camping
  • Free





  • Unpowered Campsite

    Number of tent sites - multiple (not marked out).


Showing 13 reviews of 16.

Rikki's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful scenery, plenty of space easy found.. quiet and enjoyable stay good for heading north next morning as we done..

Reviewed 7 days ago

Juliane's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Not so easy to drive with a huge mobilhome.

Reviewed 9 months ago

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Birte's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

We arrived late in the evening and left early so we probably didn’t get to appreciate the surrounding. We struggled to find the toilets which are a bit away and had to fight with all the mosquitos at night.

Reviewed 11 months ago

365plusx's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Best place around cause it's the only one. Try to park on the gravel, the lawn is muddy and can get stuck. Toilet is a bit of a walk and you possibly get wet feed. Sandflies and mosquitoes around

Reviewed 11 months ago

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richard maguire's avatar

richard maguire


Ranking: 7/10

Cool spot but vehicle access to the more picturesque area was blocked. Felt very safe and quiet. Zero light pollution so the stars were amazing. There is a composting toilet but be prepared to get your feet wet crossing the weir to get to it.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Raven's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great spot! A little tricky to find at night but still not difficult. Just be ready to turn right (if heading south) immediately after the bridge. Once you do arrive the field is large and lovely with massive trees and a little stream wrapping around. They have placed a giant boulder in front of the small bridge crossing the stream, I imagine because they were tired of getting people unstuck from that area. But the field before then is on higher ground and if you aren't right by the water I reckon the chances of getting stuck are pretty slim. Beautiful composting toilets just a couple minutes away, across the aforementioned boulder blocked stream. All around loved this place. 9/10 instead of 10/10 just cause it was a little tricky to find at night, drove past it once and had to turn around. Great spot tho, would definitely stay here again!

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Eric Pollard's avatar

Eric Pollard


Ranking: 7/10

Could have been an amazing spot! Main grass area was shut. Probably for the winter for it was quite wet. Bridge to the toilet was overflowing with water. People had left a bunch of rubbish on a pile. Nice friendly chicken walking around. Lots of sand flies.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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Loz & Jake Masters's avatar

Loz & Jake Masters

United Kingdom

Ranking: 3/10

We stayed here at the end of May and didn't manage to get there until dark. It was a VERY difficult place to find. You have to take a hidden turning just past the bridge. We drove in and parked but couldn't see much, it wasn't until the morning that we (and all the other campers) realised we were completely stuck! The ground can't handle even a small amount of rain, the mud is thick and there is only one "safe" spot on shorter grass. There is no phone signal available here and it's quite a walk to find help. Yes, the views are amazing and it's off the beaten track, which is why I've given it 3 stars, but there is nothing here and you have to keep your fingers crossed it doesn't rain!!

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in May 2016

Tatiana Rochereau's avatar

Tatiana Rochereau

Ranking: 7/10

Many places to park. Shade. Cross the stream. Don't worry all the cars can cross. We prefer to stayed before because we woke up at 5amfor the sunrise at Cape Reinga. Cool. Just after the hill if you come from the south.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Mark Lawson's avatar

Mark Lawson

Ranking: 9/10

Great spot especially since it's a free camping site. Nice open spaces and heaps of access to the stream.
We had no reason too feel unsafe but agree that if rain is imminent then best not to go over the weir.
Thanks to DOC for providing such a great place.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

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Michelle Rushton's avatar

Michelle Rushton

Ranking: 7/10

Well it all started out lovely. Pitched the tent next to the babbling brook and even had an evening dip in it. Sandflies were severe there though. WARNING: if rain is imminent don't camp on the other side of the weir. The water rose about 500mm and was very fast moving carrying dead trees overnight. Four vehicles got stuck there for the day until Kevin who looks after the site came and removed the tree and helped us to escape! Thank you Kevin!

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Marcy Bast's avatar

Marcy Bast


Ranking: 9/10

We loved this spot - I agree that it could be a bit tricky knowing if you have found the right location if you arrive in the dark, but we found everything ok. If you just see the gravel area with large boulders, you haven't gone far enough.....cross the concrete bridge and find a spot along the creek on the grass. Site was spacious, composting toilets (nice touch for enviro-conscious) were very clean and it was in our top 3 for FREE DOC sites this trip. Heard one truck in the morning, but still more quiet here than most free sites we found. On my list for next time.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Justin globalgauthiers.blogspot.com's avatar

Justin globalgauthiers.blogspot.com


Ranking: 5/10

Very free. We went to the place on the rankers app that marked this campsite, but we dont think it was the right place. It was night, and was creepy like jacqueline said it might be. Didn't find find the toilets, but it was a beautiful and secluded spot by a stream south of kaitaia. If memory serves me right, the sign did say Raetea Forest, but didn't look like the pictures. Id stay there again though.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner