Gillespies Beach Campsite

Gillespies Beach Campsite

Gillespies Beach


99 Rankers Reviews

47 Face-to-Face

4 Fox Glacier


Online Maps

FREE Header

Camping NZ NEW

Welcome to New Zealand's most comprehensive database of freely available camping information. This is the only travel map of its kind in NZ.


The campsite
The carpark
The warning signs leading into Gillespies


A primo spot next to the beach. The campsite is quite small and is very popular so getting a good spot may be a bit challenging, there is a good sized carpark though if you have a car or van to sleep in.

On a clear day you can catch glimpses of Mt Cook poking up from behind the bush. The beach itself is also amazing, it seems to go on forever with massive piles of driftwood to congregate around.

There are a couple of short walks around the area to a seal colony and an old gold mining bits and pieces.

Access to this site is windy and narrow and is not suitable for large vehicles.


Feature Value Info


DOC West Coast

Central government organisation


South IslandWest CoastFox Glacier


  • Basic Camping


Showing 13 reviews of 98.

The Gillies's avatar

The Gillies

Ranking: 10/10

Super remote spot on glorious beach. Down good gravel track. Despite the signs, we easily managed it in a 7m camper van. Clean toilet. Well worth getting up early to walk around lake Matheson to catch the reflection.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Niven's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Really good spot. Nice toilets/dishwashing facility. Short walk to the beach, and you get amazing views of the Glacier. Stop at lake Mathison on the way

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in February 2020

Boardwalk Blss's avatar

Boardwalk Blss

United States

Ranking: 9/10

Despite the road warnings our 6 meter Fiat Ducato camper handled it fine tho road can be narrow in places. If you want to experience some West Coast isolation this could be it (we were there July 2020). Flush toilets w/paper. Bring your own water; pack out rubbish. Learning the history of the area made it even more interesting ... visit the old graveyard nearby.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

John's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

The dirt road shouldn't put anyone off. It is in good condition and no extra steep sections. We took a medium sized camper (Mercedes sprinter) down there no problems. Beach was pretty amazing just the power of the surf and the sun position. But warmer here than inland areas if camping in the shoulder season or winter. Windy. Flush toilets. No cell reception.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Avoid Camping Fines!

Each camping location is approved by a regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Sandy's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Gravel road through dense rainforest is very scenic and suitable for big vans if you drive slowly. It is a parking lot with toilet facilities and some sinks. Fire pit and short walk to the beach. Great for a sunset. The driftwood makes the beach very special. Nice walks starts from DOC camping. We have seen 3 hector dolphins in the morning.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Anonymous (117919)'s avatar

Anonymous (117919)

Ranking: 10/10

After picking up our 6 berth campervan from Queenstown our first stop was Gillespie's Beach, naturally I wanted to go there because I'm also a Gillespie, arrived about 10.30pm that night, grabbed a bite to eat and got the kids into bed, was about midnight that my partner and I decided to go stretch our legs down to the stony beach, the moon was up and the stony beach was glistening in the moonlight, the air was fresh due to the snowy mountains of mount cook standing directly behind us, it was an absolutely an amazing site to know that one side we had the ocean and the other were the mountains.the sunrise also made a spectacular view, found the doc camping ground really clean and tidy, even the flushing toilets were in good order, would of been great to have a walk around and learn the history of the site, but we sadly had to leave this part of paradise to continue our journey north. We will be back to stay a few more nights and to explore the rich history of Gillespie's beach. Golden rule always have a can of insect repellent handy... the sandflies come in there 100s. But definitely a spot to come back to.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in October 2019

RYAN's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Nice quiet camp, close enough to beach so you can hear as you fall asleep but far enough so your sheltered from the sea breeze. Beautiful sunset, sandflies are present so take your repellent. Clean flushing toilets with basic wash basin. Take your own drinking water. Great walks down the beach. Secure your stuff, Kia’s were there in the morning and relocated out footwear and wrecked another campers shoes. Shoutout to Bridget and Brett from Australia for the good yarns.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Vanessa's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

The place is lovely. starting point of great walks along the beach to the lagoon. Way to seal colony still closed. Facilities okay for doc camp site. Payed 8$ per person. Wonderful views over the mountains...

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

John's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Great little place... Beware the crazy sand flies though! Also the bridge to the seal colony was closed so the main walk was not possible.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Helena Wong's avatar

Helena Wong

United States

Ranking: 9/10

Drive on dirt road was fine. Few sandflies. Beach access right off the parking lot. Clean facilities.

Recommend getting there before 5pm for some choice of a spot. Seems popular and the lot isn't really that big.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Shaun's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Way cheaper then most other DOC Campsites and facilities are great

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Connor's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Great campsite, very tidy. Sleeping with the sounds of the ocean was nice, and we were visited by several kea in the evening.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Michael's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great location 25 min drive from Fox Clacier.
A lot of Spaces for Campers. We drove there with our 7m van and the street was no problem, only dusty.
The stony beach with high waves is absolutely amazing.
You dont have a view of the beach from the parking lot or the campsites, therefore you have to cross the dunes.
Lots of wood at the beach, do easy to light a fire.
The only big minus: Sandflies everyehere. We git in our van quite early. Othereise it would have been perfect.

Reviewed over 3 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 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner