Kerr Bay Campsite

Kerr Bay Campsite - Lake Rotoiti

Kerr Bay Campsite

Lake Rotoiti


44 Rankers Reviews

23 Face-to-Face

7 St Arnaud

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Kerr Bay - can be busy!!
Great campervan sites
Cooking shelter - gas stove, hot water - choice!
Choice view from the jetty


Kerr Bay Campsite is next to Lake Rotoiti, surrounded by beech forest, with a boat launching ramp nearby.

Kerr Bay Campsite is 500 metres from the St Arnaud village shop.

The campground is open all year around. During the summer months bookings are essential. Bookings are not available during the winter.

A $10 service fee applies to all phone, email and in-person bookings.
Your booking will be for a site, which will be allocated or selected on arrival.

Bookings are required 1 December to 30 April. Book well in advance for the Christmas holiday period, classic boat show and powerboat regatta weekends, and Easter.

Campsite zones:
There are five camping zones, each with varying numbers of sites.

Powered Sites with hardened surfaces:
- Bellbird
- Fantail
- Robin and Tui zone.

Grassy zone suitable for tents:
-Kaka zone

Kiwi sites are suitable for campervans and provide a gravel surface with some grass around the sites.

Facilities and services:
- A day shelter provides kitchen and cooking facilities – no pots, pans, cutlery.

The ablution block has:
- hot showers that are token operated. You can get tokens from the Visitor Centre.
- toilets
- full access shower/toilet, and washing machine and clothes dryer.
- There is a sewage dump station opposite the cooking shelter.


Feature Value Info


South IslandNelson RegionSt Arnaud


  • Basic Camping
  • Dump Station

Operating Season And Hours

Bookings not required from Easter (mid April) to mid December.
During winter, showers and washing facilities are closed to prevent any damage from freezing.


Showing 13 reviews of 41.

Sandy Bao's avatar

Sandy Bao

Ranking: 10/10

the best campsite I have ever been, brand new shower, toilet facilities, etc.

Reviewed 8 months ago

Valg's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

This is a beautiful campsite with all the trimmings, powered sites, new toilets,laundry,kitchen area with hot water , hot showers ($1)and dump station.we stayed the long weekend so had to book on line and got the last space. A beautiful lake with walks or bike tracks to choose from.
Only problem was the sandflies and masses of bumblebees! Take plenty of insect repellent!

Reviewed 9 months ago

Kerr Bay Campsite - Lake Rotoiti is open for business… Visit Website …now's your chance to take a closer look.

Pablo Boris's avatar

Pablo Boris

Ranking: 9/10

Great place to stay! Showers 2 dollars, powered and non pwrd places. Great place to cook and eat, hot (boiling) and fresh water. Hose to water up your campervan, washing machines and hand/hair dryers. Highly recommended, check in 10 am and out 11/12am. Sandflies level: 4/10.

Reviewed 10 months ago

Ying's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

A fantastic campsite near beautiful Lake Rotoiti, we were very impressed with the cooking and paid hot shower facilities (didn't expect it at a DOC site). There are lots of sites spaced out and it was nearly empty when we were there, so quiet and peaceful. Great spot for nature walks - we spotted lots of birds and even a pair of wild deer

Reviewed about 1 year ago and experienced in September 2020

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Kysha's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful location right by Lake Rotoiti. Campsite well set up with kitchen facilities, toilets and hot showers (token system, $1 per token for 6 mins of hot water). We stayed in a powered site for $23 per adult. Non powered sites were $20 pp.

If arriving before 4.30pm, register at the DOC office about 200m before the lake on the right-hand side. You can buy tokens for the showers there too. If coming after hours, there's an onsite host (but they can't give you a campsite until after the DOC office closes).

As others have said, plenty of sandflys about so bring repellent.

Lake 100m away from campsite, where you can swim, hire canoes, get a water taxi and there's a playground for kids.

Campsite has rubbish and recycling bins and a dump station.

Saw some American tourists feeding eels off the jetty.. which I'm glad I only saw after I'd had a swim!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

lisa's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Fantastic facilities at this I've experienced.
And a beautiful setting on the lake with a lovely walk around the lake and the option of boat ride to lake head and walk back to camp.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Sophi's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

A great DOC site, lake Rotoiti is just beautiful. We were delayed arriving due to bad weather so missed checking in at the visitor center. The camp hosts were then not around until later & had no shower tokens on them. We managed to park up in the right area with our tent as per our booking email though.
The new toilets are fab, didn’t use the showers due to no tokens.
Be warned, the sand flies are a pain!!

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

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Vanessa's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Stayed for 2 nights because of the beautiful lake surrounding. Nice camp hosts. Payed 35 $ for 2 persons and a campervan on a non powered site. Facilities were old but clean, not very welcoming. Showers run by tokens. Starting point for several great walks. Register in visitor centre if arriving before 4.30pm. If later present to the hosts at the site.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Geoff Steele's avatar

Geoff Steele


Ranking: 10/10

Our favourite DoC campsite from our NZ visit. This was a surprise find, so near the town of St Arnaud. Flat campsites, with power. Kitchen with a great lake view. Clean modern toilets. We visited in September and found the showers locked, and a laundry with no machines but the DoC ranger explained these are available in high season. Some easy walks start from the camp, including one that leads back to the town. Shine a torch from the jetty in the lake after dark to bring out the long finned eels. Crystal clear water you can see the trout! Lots of birdsong in the morning, and an owl at night. While it didn't snow while we were here there was a good cover on the mountains that surround the lake, and clouds rolled in after dark that made the whole scene surreal. Check out the displays at the DoC office - lots of info there on walks, wildlife, history and the management plan for the area. The DoC ranger was incredibly helpful. We were fortunate enough to find a water taxi active on the day we arrived, and took a tour up to see Whiskey falls and the head of the lake which we recommend.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Silvia Romeiro's avatar

Silvia Romeiro

Ranking: 7/10

The location is great, easy to find, even if you arrive at night like we did. Bathrooms were clean but had no showers open. Kitchen had no doors, so it was a bit cold.
The view when you wake up is priceless.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Kerr Bay Campsite - Lake Rotoiti is open for business… Visit Website …now's your chance to take a closer look.

Adam Yates's avatar

Adam Yates

Ranking: 9/10

Arrived late and got a little lost in the dark, didn't get a chance to use all the facilities but seemed very well maintained.
BUT, the walks and scenery here in the morning are incredible. Worth every penny, make sure you get up early and enjoy the Mirror Lake.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Rosanna Leeming's avatar

Rosanna Leeming

Ranking: 7/10

Stunning location and clean toilets and showers. Hot showers $1 for 5 mins. We got a powered site for our campervan. Was $21 per person, per night. A little expensive, when you have to pay for showers, but the beautiful walks and birds make up for it. Host is lovely and got an overstayer to move from our spot at 1030am when we checked in. Short walk to general store with the best cheese scone I've ever had (I'm quite the connoisseur). No jet skis allowed on the lake, but good visitor centre told us to go to Lake Argyle, which was awesome with hardly anyone there and only 30 min drive.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Kath Tee's avatar

Kath Tee

New Zealand

Ranking: 1/10

Superb location, fantastic facilities - not the usual bare necessities you might expect from DoC.

So one star? Well, that was thanks to appallingly incompetent management. First of all, it states you MUST make bookings. So we did, back in November. When we arrived, however, we found that someone was backed up so far they were blocking off half our site. We raised the issue with the camp host, but he didn't care as that person was there for the week and we were only staying the night. Ok. Fine. We can work around that.

Later that night, we heard an engine outside. The host was arranging with late strivers who didn't have a booking to make themselves at home on the front of our site. Given his earlier belligerence, we knew that any conversation would be unproductive.

It was hugely annoying as this was supposed to be a two site spot... but by the time we woke up, there was another vehicle shoved onto the front of our site. So, to recap, we had one party taking up a big portion of our (booked and paid for) site. Then two more vehicles were shoved onto the site at the camp host's instruction (without asking us, of course).

This sloppy attitude and disregard for the signposted and widely publicised rules was upsetting and ruined our stay. I would discourage anyone from paying $21 per person for a powered site and suggest that they head to a professionally managed campground instead. At least there you know that when you wake up in the morning there won't be random people sprawled out on the site that you thought you paid for to enjoy to yourself.

Shameful stuff, DoC. You do such great work, but you need to get the administration of this place under control. It makes a mockery of the whole system.

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