A basic camping area along side Lake Pearson very popular with bird watching and fishing. Camp nestled underneath the mature willow trees, a huge gravel turning area good for large vehicles. Picnic tables scattered throughout the site.
There is a large 'Rest area' sign on the main road leading the way.
48 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 4.
Brilliant view of lake surrounded by the hills. Can park right next to the water. Lots of ducks. Make sure you get there early since the good spots fill up fast. Good drop toilet. Popular place so expect neighbours. This is the best free camp site in NZ!
Very nice free campsite by a lake on the way to Arthur's Pass. Lots of space, can be a bit windy but hey we're in the mountains. Clean long drop toilets. Good camping.
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This is one of the most beautiful free camp sites we’ve stayed! Great spot at the lake and surrounded by mountains. Be sure to arrive early as it fills up pretty quickly. The camp site’s description says that there should be a water point but we couldn’t find it?!
April 2017 This was the first night of our 2 week road trip around the South Island.Having clambered around the rocks at Castle Hill until late afternoon, Lake Pearson was just a short 20 mins up the road. The wind picked up a bit through the night but we were relatively sheltered amongst the trees right on the lake's edge. We woke to a fresh dusting of snow on the peaks and were greeted by a spectacular view and friendly ducks ... and yes hoppy was a keen visitor with us, too. The site was beautiful; there were a handful of other vans and all was quiet. The long drop was clean and the hand sanitizer was a nice touch. It was the best free campsite of our trip and rated in our top 3 of all sites we stayed at.
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What a great find for free! Stayed here about 12 times over 2 months as climbing in the area. Exceptionally busy over Easter but quieter after, though always at least 10 vehicles, even when - 5°c! However, DOC do a great job with the toilet (long drop) - always stocked with toilet paper and hand sanitiser! The ducks are super friendly too, especially 'Hoppy', the one-legged mallard.
For a free DOC campsite, this is a great option. The long drop toilet was pretty dirty and smelly, but does the job! The lakeside setting is nice, with ducks wandering around and the chance to spot some rarer species. Sandflies not so bad here as on the west coast. Willow trees provide fairly good privacy, but the site is clearly popular so get there early for a good spot.
This was our first night in an RV and what a place to begin! The ability to camp right on the lakeside was great - not withstanding the various bugs, spray essential. The weather was perfect so the views and the colours magical. The long drop toilet had no paper but it did have sanitiser. A great place to start.
This was the very first campground we tented at in New Zealand. It was freezing cold in early January, the snow nearly fell all the way down to the lake. But the scenery with the white peaks and the lake with the blue ducks was just amazing. The toilet was fine. Free DOC site, very cool.
Big campsite but very popular and crowded. Only one long-drop toilet that comes with toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It stays rather clean considering the number of people here in summer (February). Not much sandflies when we arrived around 8pm but they were there in the morning when we woke. You can camp right by the lake if you come early enough!
An awesome spot next to a lake. Drop toilet onsite, plenty of room on grass or gravel. The local ducklings were very tame, eating from our hands.
We at Rankers NZ, love to meet travellers on the road and share in some of the freedom. That's why Rankers NZ invites you to come and stay for free at our chill riverside overnight parking area in the Motueka Valley at the top of the South Island.
Went in the middle of September. We arrived late in the evening and had the place by ourselves. We were stuck in the mud going down to the willow tree. Luckily, in the morning the ground was frozen and we were able to get out. In the evening, with a bright moon, the lake is very calm. In the early morning, the view is stunning!
Absolutely stunning freedom campsite. Great walking trails close by. Good for before or after Arthurs pass. Right on the Lake. Saw a few people feeding the ducks. Please to not feed the wildlife!! They become dependent on human food. Clean long drop toilet.
Lovely, peaceful spot by the lake. We stayed in May and it was pretty chilly, with the advantage of having the place to ourselves. No sandflies either. We thought the scenery was bleak - dark, bare hills with dark, overhanging clouds - but beautiful.