Kerr Bay Campsite

Kerr Bay Campsite - Lake Rotoiti

Kerr Bay Campsite

Lake Rotoiti


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Howard Kestrel's avatar

Howard Kestrel

Ranking: 7/10

Nice spot. Lake is absolutely stunning. Paid $10 a head for a non powered site, was a little bit crowded. $1 for a hot shower. Nice facilities. Can also purchase a hot shower here for $3 if not staying at campground.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Job Berk's avatar

Job Berk

Ranking: 5/10

The campsite is great in itself. Great views, great facilities. BUT: can't enjoy the campsite because of thousands of sandflies!

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Agata Jose's avatar

Agata Jose


Ranking: 9/10

Really nice camping, just 2 blocks from town.
$10 per person unpowered, $15 powered. Pay at i-site.
Kitchen and bathrooms excellent. And it's supposed to have hot showers ($1) but they are closed in winter.
The views are amazing. The terrain is not even everywhere, so be careful picking your spot.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

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Harriet Bramley's avatar

Harriet Bramley

Ranking: 6/10

Marked 6 only due to the price and lack of facilities in winter. This site is in a great location, right next to the lake but sheltered by the forest. Stunning location in winter.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Tomáš Bžatek's avatar

Tomáš Bžatek

Czech Republic

Ranking: 7/10

Good spot right by the lakefront, great views. Great spot for stargazing. Not so many tenting places, can get crowded. Met a sleepy possum on the tree on the way to toilets. Beware of mice though, they are active in the night eating food supplies lying on the ground, no matter how packed they are. Caught one of them in the car's trunk, has been hiding there for several days. At the end it was a very expensive stay due to the damage done.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Andrew Strother's avatar

Andrew Strother

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful well appointed, pristine toilet, washing, etc facilities. Lovely clear lake, lots of walks need more time to do it justice....but go with a good supply of repellant, you will have to use it, it's worth it!

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Lorcan Lennon's avatar

Lorcan Lennon

Ranking: 8/10

Location alone makes this place worth a stay. The lake and mountain backdrop is stunning. Facilities are fairly basic and showers require $1 tokens (to be purchased from DOC visitor centre) - slightly frustrating when you arrive after it closes at 5pm, but understandable given the public access to lake / boating facilities. NB: the sandflies are everywhere. Even doused in repellent and with smoke sticks burning, we couldn't sit outside for more than a few minutes.

Reviewed about 7 years ago

Sally Schist's avatar

Sally Schist

New Zealand

Ranking: 6/10

Nice setting although not the tranquil experience we were looking for with motorboats all day on the lake.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Stu Murray's avatar

Stu Murray

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Good but more toilets/showers could be useful in busy times.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Kathy Hart's avatar

Kathy Hart


Ranking: 6/10

Near lakefront, but no direct views of Lake from most sites. Pay at I-site. Visited in early May, all hot water appliances had been removed for winter (therefore no hot water, showers or laundry) but still paid full price for powered site ($18 per person). They should provide a cheaper winter rate to compensate for the lack of these facilities.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Yvonne Horpershoeh's avatar

Yvonne Horpershoeh


Ranking: 8/10

Nice Camp site at Nelson Lake. Good facilities. Many sand-flies.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in December 2013

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Andrew Cattanach's avatar

Andrew Cattanach


Ranking: 8/10

A fairly basic camp ground in beautiful surrounds - but with good, well maintained facilities.

Non-powered sites were of varying degrees of 'levelness' so getting a level one for the motorhome was a bit of a challenge.

Plenty of space for the kids to run around.

PS - we had the best meal (breakfast) of our entire trip around the south island at Clinkers Cafe (behind the service station in St Arnaud).

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

Kate Glover's avatar

Kate Glover

United States

Ranking: 6/10

Nice campground but it gets pretty crowded - they stuff in more vans and tents than there are sites. Lovely location, uber fancy cooking shelter.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in February 2013

Rob Cadmus's avatar

Rob Cadmus

United States

Ranking: 8/10

Expensive but nice.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in February 2013

Ken Richardson's avatar

Ken Richardson

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Great campground. Bumble bees a problem.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Annette May's avatar

Annette May

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Fantastic location. Peaceful, myriad of bush walks from the campsite. Excellent food at the lodge a short walk up the hill. Minus one for sandflies!!

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in February 2012

Mags Adams's avatar

Mags Adams

United Kingdom

Ranking: 2/10

Too many sandflies - we hated it. Kids were really itchy and covered in bites despite being soaked in repellant.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Steve Eley's avatar

Steve Eley

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Location superb, right by the lake, very small site, but good clean facilities.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in November 2011

Lindsey Clough's avatar

Lindsey Clough

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Great spot next to the lakes. Hot showers and facilities at bargain rate. Just need to stock up on mossie repellant.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in March 2011

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

Christoph & Maria's avatar

Christoph & Maria


Ranking: 9/10

Nice place at the lake, hot showers and kitchen, access to many walks, but heaps of sandflies.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Brendan Dunn's avatar

Brendan Dunn

United States

Ranking: 9/10

Good DOC facilities at a good price.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Edwards's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Great setting, spacious and quiet, except for bees and sandflies.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Schubert, Wolfgang & Claudia's avatar

Schubert, Wolfgang & Claudia


Ranking: 8/10

Wonderful, beautiful place at the lake.

Reviewed over 11 years ago and experienced in January 2010

Hugli's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Simple but good.

Reviewed over 11 years ago and experienced in January 2010

Tony  B's avatar

Tony B

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Great views, great location
Huge!!! mosquito's bring repellent!!

Reviewed over 11 years ago

susanl's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful location and good walking. Terrible weather and millions of sandflies.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

richards1's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Great spot with wonderful lake and mountain views. DOC campsite with good facilities.

Reviewed over 12 years ago

RokP's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Small camp, good facilites, clean. One of the nicest places to wake up.

Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in February 2009