Beautiful scenic spot, bay dries to mud at low tides, toilets are good, a wide variety of sites to either nestle into or pitch up at with trees and shrubbery. Probably suffers from being close to Picton, so can get abused, had 6 x of the rooftop-tent-4wd-crew arrive at 1am and wake up the whole site. Scenic spot in the sounds.
Great spot near Picton. Arrived late after the evening ferry. Woke up to rain but very impressed with the spot. Lots of shelter with trees. The toilets were clean. Recommend the 20min drive, it's worth it!
Beautiful spot however I had a similar experience to another reviewer...the DOC lady woke me up at 7am by aggressively slaming her hand on all four windows of my van then started shaking it...for 5 minutes. Never once said anything to identify herself or what she was after. Just slaming violently. Was scared to go outside. Totally unnecessary considering considering I didnt have any change for the $20 and was hoping to catch her anyway in the morning to sort out payment...very rude and no common sense / benefit of the doubt for those who are genuinely trying to pay. Would be useful to have a credit card slip on the payment ticket. Or to come round at a more reasonable hour (ie 8am) and politely introduce herself in order to sort out payment.
Clean bathrooms, nice views over the water, great place to stop and camp near Picton. We stayed two nights and had a great time.
A great site to stay when you arrive of the ferry in picton. Its a 15 min drive from the ferry.
There a lot of places to put up your tent or park your caravan. The view over the lake is nice and there are a lot of Tui's going wild on the plants. Beware to pay your fees because there are frequent check ups.
This looks like it would be a lovely site in the summer. However, when driving into it in October I thought I was the only person until I happened upon a little corner where two startled people exchanging stuff between their car windows were located. Back in the States I would have said I had stumbled across a drug deal. And just like there I promptly left. So very sketchy vibes in the early spring and I would be hesitant to stay there alone.
Nice big campsite with plenty of options to pitch/park. Wasn't too busy on the one night we stayed. Water quality good for drinking, toilets clean (but no lights) and wasn't particularly windy. Lots of native birds about and nice views of the water. Partner noted noise from the road and seabirds but I didn't find these a problem. Great site for the price.
Great for last night stop over as long as you don't mind windy road, though not much traffic.Very quiet when we stayed. Beautiful location next to the Sound. Good bird watching. 8dolls pp was quite expensive for facilities offered - public toilet and water tap. Provision of showers would help a lot. Portakabin would do, gas to power and slot to pay.No power on site, but not a problem.
Rob & Colleen Elwood
Whatamango Bay DOC camp is a big camping area with lots of sheltered corners to park in. It has a good water supply and flush toilets. The DOC overseer did a walk around in the late afternoon and again very early in the morning which explains the absence of freedom camper mess. The road from Waikawa is sealed but it is winding and very narrow in places. The tide goes out a long way and the beach frontage isn't particularly attractive but there's easy water access for kayaks and dinghys. Yes, Whatamango bay is a wind funnel and needs to be treated accordingly.
Stayed 10 nights in a large group, as a base to access the sounds. Very popular as a one night stop for Ferry passengers.
Positives: Cheap & Large campground, Firm ground for anchoring tents, Flush toilet, Bird call from Tui, Bellbird & Morepork, Views.
Negatives: Can get extremely windy as valley funnels wind from South & the Bay funnels wind from the North.
Toilet urinal blocked, no lights in toilet block, water taps around the campground ran dry as fed from tank, portaloos overfull, toilet block not maintained well. Needs more bush planting for shelter.
Overall we enjoyed our stay despite a bit of bad weather.
I disagree that DOC has done a good job here though. They receive a hefty amount of $ from travellers every night yet simple things like lighting in toilets isn’t in place??
We were asked for change from a $20 note ($16 for two) many times by travellers...so my suggestion is make it $10 night per camper and reinvest significantly; Connect the campground taps to the stream pump, tidy the toilets, consider hot water for toilet block sink & taps, do more planting. Perhaps even a small kids area?
What you'd hope for from a low cost DOC site. Nice open area next to the sound with a bit of bush for privacy. Very flat, flush toilets, wonderfully peaceful, close to Picton.
Lukas and Katka
Very spacious campground. Close to the ferry. Well maintained. Clean toilet, drinkable water. One of the best DOC campground for $8pp we have seen so far. Thank you DOC.
Fifi and Jay
DOC site, with 2 flushable toilets. About a 15-20min drive out of Picton. Little alcoves to drive into for shelter from the wind and plenty of space for everyone as this place is huge! Also picnic tables scattered around. The views are amazing and it was hard to find in the dark but just after the bridge on the left hand side turn in. It was definitely worth the drive.
Olev and Sue Harm
Quiet, flat, large area, clean flush toilets, lovely views.
Good spot. Nice and quiet. Only issue is there was a lot of sand flies.
Spacious. Not very busy. Beautiful view.
A beautiful DOC campground. We stayed here for 2 nights. It is only 20 minutes drive to Picton. The campground is at the lake and the view is amazing. It has only toilets (no showers) and they were clean. There is a lot of space near the lake or more shelter places. A great spot!
Great camp spot, beautiful views, tranquil and tucked away off the main road. We had a very unfortunate experience where a group of young boys drove in during the night and were drinking, taking drugs and making lots of noise in their car. It was a bit scary to wake up to at midnight and they left a lot of rubbish. I would hate this to turn anyone off the campsite though, hopefully it was a one-time occurrence only as we reported the number plate to the police.
Quiet location, about 30 minutes away from the ferry terminal. Self-service payment booth at the entrance is easy to miss. Great view. Great place to stop before or after the ferry.
Nice, spacious campsite, only two others there in early July. Flushing clean toilets, no showers. Good starting point off ferry. Lovely views of Marlborough sounds. You can fill water bottles up in Picton centre at water fountain by toilets as no water supply at camp.
Very spacious camp ground with a views of the bay or sheltered spot in the trees available if you prefer. The campsite is pitch black - not a single light. No drinking water available. There are some picnic tables but no shelter for cooking. Flushing toilet was clean. We missed the turn into the site (it's on the right, directly after the bridge). I would not recommend this site for anyone towing a caravan as the road is thin and windy. $6 per adult per night. I recommend this site and would return again.
Very nice place, almost completely empty at the end of April. We had breakfast with the ducks and had access to clean facilities and a beautiful view. Very reasonable price. The road quite tricky for campervans, but it's worth it!
Basic campsite, with flush toilets at one end. Pretty and quiet with nice views of the bay. Lovely, 20 minute drive from Picton.
Nice view but noisy when trucks and cars pass nearby. It was good to have sites protected from the wind. Clean .
What a nice and peaceful campsite, ideal before or after the ferry ride to Wellington as its a short ride from Picton. Be sure to pay before you pitch camp, or the lady in the yellow jacket will find you! Toilet facilities are clean and the site well maintained.
Nothing fancy at this campground, but then again it isn't meant to be and only cost $12 for two. The bathroom facilities were acceptable but not great. There is running water and and the view is very nice. We were able to park our camper van right next to the beach. Wasn't too crowded when we stayed there in late December
Large area with plenty of spots to park, good facilities and not too far from Picton, the road in is pretty winding, do keep left. Also make sure you pay your fees and are certified self contained- DOC ranger comes early morning & late evening to check.
This campsite is around a 15 minute drive from the ferry terminal and is a wonderful start to the South Island. You can camp right next to the sounds and start your day with sunrise over the sounds. Facilities are basic (long drop), but there is lots of space.
Nice place next to the ferry.
Another great location - basic facilities but sufficient. Possible caution with ground becoming soft after heavy rain depending upon your vehicle.
Great location right on the waters edge. Very windy road to the site is well worth it, stop at the top for a great lookout of the amazing Sounds. DOC site, left after the bridge.
Gorgeous!!! The tide goes out in the afternoon and by the time you wake up the Sound is filled!! A quick left turn off the bridge - do not miss it!!
No shower $6 per night per person. Quiet place, toilets but no water point.
Nice campsite in close proximity to Picton. Windy, but sealed road from Waikawa Bay. Beach is stony and tidal, but very pleasant and well maintained. Would definitely return.
Jordan and Marielle
Beautiful, quiet and clean DOC camping site at the Queen Charlotte Sound, just 15 minutes to the ferry in Picton. Nice sunrise. Enough places with toilets and for only 6 NZD p.p.
Brilliant campsite, quiet and beautiful. Very basic facilities but perfect if you have a self contained van
what a bay as good as back home. the doc lady was very helpful and we caught some fish . Be back some day thanks nz
Really nice site, yes as with any DOC site you don't get a lot for your $6 but you do get flushing loos, all be it a little old and tired.
The DOC lady is indeed efficient but very friendly and helpful and advised us where to park to be out of the prevailing wind. I'm sorry but the 'Couldn't find the pay station' line is pretty invalid here. It is right as you drive in the only entrance and is clearly signposted.
We liked this one as it is so easy for coming on or off the ferry and for Picton itself of course, is peaceful and just beautiful. Go to the Pa on the headland just on the side of the road towards Piton, very interesting, free and beautiful views.
good place, beautiful road to get there.
Could be exposed in case of heavy rain because of the stream.
Great view from the bottom of the camp.
15 min from Picton.
Beautiful location. Big. Some part have trees.
Toilet are far if you park at the bottom end of the CG.
Beautiful road to get there.
Previous reviewers weren't kidding about the doc lady! We arrived after very late ferry so couldn't even find the toilets or the pay box. We also had a sick baby that kept us up all night so it wasn't pleasant when stroppy doc banged on the door very very early loosing us what sleep we might have had. Erm, facilities wise, toilets had loo roll that was it.
Nice view, quiet, watch out for sandflies.
What a Mango!...so we needed to find a place close to the ferry and this is only about 10 minute drive away. A DOC place with clean toilet facilities, lots of space on well looked after grounds and super water views..whats not to love? some little secluded spots tucked away and more right on the waters edge...when the tide goes out (which seemed to happen very rapidly and extensively) we walked out on the sand and collected a bucket full of mussels fresh from the sea. We cleaned them up steamed them open with some white wine and grilled them with a tomato salsa and a pumkin and kumara concotion..couple of large glasses of pinto gris what a treat! Make sure you pay the fees ($6 per person) as there is a very determined DOC camp inspector lady who will go out in all weather to make sure you have. Superb!
$6 pp. Toilets ok. Water must be filtered/boiled. Nice huge campground on the grass, close to bay with black swans, black ducks and a little stream. Very quiet.
Be careful if you're going down towards Blenheim, the roads after the campsite are mostly gravel roads on steep hills (but the view is really worth it!).
Pretty, toilets good, lovely location.