Gillespies Beach Campsite

Gillespies Beach Campsite

Gillespies Beach



95 Rankers Reviews

47 Face-to-Face

125 Basic Camping

6 Fox Glacier



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


South IslandWest CoastFox Glacier


  • Basic Camping






Showing 8 reviews of 94.

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 2 months ago

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Fiona Gillespie's avatar

Fiona Gillespie

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 5 months ago and experienced in October 2019

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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 11 months 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 1 year ago

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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 1 year 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 1 year ago

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Shaun's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Way cheaper then most other DOC Campsites and facilities are great

Reviewed over 1 year 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 1 year 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