Hawdon Shelter Campsite

Hawdon Shelter Campsite

Arthurs Pass



17 Rankers Reviews

4 Face-to-Face

233 Basic Camping

13 Arthur's Pass



Amazing vistas from Hawdon Shelter Camping Ground
The canteen...
Hawdon Shelter


The Hawdon Shelter Camping Ground is a huge camping area on the grassy flats surrounded by mature beech trees. This place could be a bit exposed during high winds, so you would have to tuck in to be sheltered. There is a shelter to sit out of the wind, have lunch or simply chill out. There are several walks that start from here that foloow along the Hawdon River.

To get here turn off on Mt. White Road, turn left at the sign just past the bridge.


Feature Value Info


South IslandCanterburyArthur's Pass


  • Basic Camping






Showing 8 reviews of 17.

M&P's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

We loved this campsite. It is beautiful... The only problem is the sand flies ! A real nuisance.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 78 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Richard & Chris, UK's avatar

Richard & Chris, UK

Ranking: 8/10

As others have said, no longer free, but worth the $8 (if I remember correctly) per person. Plenty of room to park up, under trees or in the open. Nice strolls by the river or into the forest. Long rattly drive in from the main road.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Paul Hubble's avatar

Paul Hubble

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful remote spot but not free.

Reviewed 10 months ago

jrlreyes13's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

this camp site is no longer free. not a bad spot except for sand flies. if you are not so bothered by it

Reviewed over 1 year 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…

Kez's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

No running water, charged camping fees! Supposed to be free! Beautiful nature.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Rachel Mudge's avatar

Rachel Mudge

Ranking: 9/10

We all loved this spot. Beautiful and roomy! Lovely bush to walk through.

Reviewed over 2 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

Katy Coutts's avatar

Katy Coutts

Ranking: 7/10

Great open space. Long drops. Ample parking by the trees. Drive up not too bad at all.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Rawiri johnston's avatar

Rawiri johnston

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

In 2015 we parked up at the DOC camping site in Arthurs pass itself opposite the DOC centre. Great location, flush loos, no power but ok. About the only problem was the constant rumble of trains going right past the camp site up till about mid night and slightly beyond - so not the best nights sleep. This time we stayed at the Hawdon camping ground which is only about 10 minutes prior to Arthurs Pass. So - no shortage of places to park (we had two vans - and the only other vehicles were some mad people who were doing the trek up the river to the hut). Take your pick as to where you want to park - the place is huge. No flush loos (just a couple of long drops) - but clean enough. Be warned - if you are there in mid winter the temperature will go sub zero (it was minus 4.5 the night we stayed) - so you'll need gas heating in your van, and extra blankets for the bed. I would not recommend the site for the smaller hi-top or people mover type vans in winter they have no insulation and its just too cold). Even the larger vans will struggle with the gas on high to be honest (unless its a wilderness or iconic van).

Also - if its that cold then don't expect the water in your camper van to be running the next morning. Best part though - absolutely silent. Next time - we might try a slightly better insulated camper van but I would have no hesitation staying there again.

Reviewed about 4 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