Purakaunui Bay Campsite

Purakaunui Bay Campsite - Catlins Coast

Purakaunui Bay Campsite

Catlins Coast

Reviews

Rod K's avatar

Rod K

Ranking: 10/10

I'm giving this campsite a 10 because it was near deserted when we stayed there and made this an awesome quiet spot for the night.
Its such a beautiful area I imagine during peak times this place would be heaving and noisy so pick your moment to come stay here.
We have a small 4x4 so drove along the beach for two minutes and scored one of the flat grassy sites against the cliff and away from everyone. You are literally on the mouth to the stream/ocean intersection and the sunrise is amazing. Just have to remember you'll lose the sun earlier in the evening compared to the rest of the campground because of the cliffs.
Toilets are pretty standard DOC, they'll do.
There's a tap with clean water which is free. You'll have to treat it first if you want to drink it.
So when your planning your Catlins tour, make this a must stop destination.

Reviewed 2 months ago

Ellie Richards's avatar

Ellie Richards

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful campsite, really back to basics, able to park overlooking the beach for stunning views. Great surfing beach, nice chilled out vibes even though was fairly busy on easter monday and saw a sea lion on the beach. Basic long drop toilet, no locks on 2 out of 3 but did have toilet paper. Untreated water good enough for cooking but not nice to drink so advise bringing some fresh water.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Ambili's avatar

Ambili

Ranking: 9/10

The most stunning scenery of any campsite we’ve been to! We got a flat site right on the beach (you have to drive down on to the beach, and around the corner then up again to find these) and got amazing sunset and sunrises right through the door of our tent. Lots of beach space, ok surf, cool exposed reef to explore and plenty of space for everyone to spread out. There was even a resident sea lion sleeping on the beach on our first two days! The road there is gravel and narrow and the sandy paths to the beach became increasingly rugged as cars drive up and down them but there were no bugs to worry about and the toilets were relatively clean and odor free. BYO Toilet paper to be safe tho. No sinks to wash dishes (only a few taps) and no cooking areas but that wasn’t an issue for us. Loved it!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Campingwithmable's avatar

Campingwithmable

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing spot, stayed two nights. Very busy with 30 other camping groups but enough room to spread out. Lots of mozzies and nightly show from the sea lions coming in to rest. Bring everything you need including drinking water. Paradise.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Monkeyalan's avatar

Monkeyalan

Ranking: 8/10

Great spot after a 10 minute drive from the turn off. Great scenery but limited parking if the ground is wet. Easy access to the water and the surf. Big shame to see most people who stayed didn't pay the DOC fees or show any pass. Note there is likely to be sheep grazing nearby.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Ross's avatar

Ross

Ranking: 6/10

Incredible location, the cliffs are stunning. The road in is fine for larger campervans. Early winter and it was still busy. There are very few flat areas for campervans, the grass is a no go at this time of year or after rain. Toilets are smelly but I gather this is a popular site.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Lauren's avatar

Lauren

Ranking: 9/10

Probably our most favourite camping spot to date, which we’ve been to several times throughout the year. Standard DOC campsite with a block of drop toilets at the entrance to the campground. Plenty of flat campsites at sea level with a few spots up the top on the hill for those with smaller vans.
Great surf spot with easy access. Usually a few seals on the beach and a big sea lion or two!

Reviewed almost 2 years ago and experienced in February 2020

Rebecka's avatar

Rebecka

Ranking: 10/10

Stunning view! Majestic cliffs and ruff sea. Camping area is very big, was quit a few vehicles here, 20-25. But still lots of space. Saw 2 sea lions hanging out in the sand dunes.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Andrea's avatar

Andrea

Ranking: 10/10

At the end of a gravel road, plenty of space for everyone, drop toilets, everyone was super friendly, our pooches loved it just as much as we did. Amazing spot for the sunrise and playing at the beach! Definitely coming back here.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

RYAN's avatar

RYAN

Ranking: 10/10

Best campsite in the Catlins ! Sheltered from the southerly winds and first to see the sun ! Nice to watch the seals play on the beach!

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Sally Sargeant-Hu's avatar

Sally Sargeant-Hu

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Spectacular location! It was dreamy to wake up next to the beach and the gorgeous ocean. The site was a little busy, but everyone was respectful and outside having a great time! Facilities were simple, but well kept.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Lisa Greenfield's avatar

Lisa Greenfield

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Loads of space. Right by the beach. Excellent toilets. Water supply (not drinking water). Lots of very happy dogs around. Seems to be a haven for pets. Totally recommend.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Karo's avatar

Karo

Ranking: 8/10

It's directly at the beach, clean long drop toilets and water supply. Don't park on the grass after lots of rain, it can get very muddy. No service at all and a long gravel road to the campsite but it's worth the view.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Stephen  Lindsay 's avatar

Stephen Lindsay

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Quite a narrow unsealed drive approaching the Bay. Lovely views of the bay but difficult to find a flat spot.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Elizabeth Gilbert's avatar

Elizabeth Gilbert

Ranking: 5/10

Great coastal view. Unfortunately sheep may safely graze, and the ground was thick with fresh evidence. Several morons on dirts bikes raced on the beach all through the evening. Very clean toilets.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Hannah's avatar

Hannah

Ranking: 10/10

Great spot right on the beach! They have basic public toilets that were pretty clean. I loved staying here, the view was breathtaking.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Nathalie Gobin's avatar

Nathalie Gobin

Ranking: 9/10

Worth getting there. Beautiful beach. Toilets OK. A small sink. Good spot to stop on the coast.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Linda Livett's avatar

Linda Livett

Australia

Ranking: 7/10

The beach here was magnificent and deserves a 10/10. There is a lot of room for camping but we found it a bit too open and busy. A lot of people meant that the toilets were less than clean.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Mark's avatar

Mark

Ranking: 10/10

This is a stunning site. Beautiful beach, plenty of room for campers of all sorts, clean toilet facilities. All you could wish for.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Mick Williams's avatar

Mick Williams

Ranking: 10/10

If your a freedom camping ready surfer this place bangs! Doc site with heaps of room with on off beach access to other pitches. Beautiful location with sea lions and pumping surf. We did New Year's Eve here. Busy but still lots of space. Great vibe.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Pritpal Singh's avatar

Pritpal Singh

Ranking: 9/10

Lovely campsite. Managed to find a sheltered spot in the sun. Basic but clean facilities. Saw a sea lion chasing another one around the beach in the morning.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Matthiew Rey's avatar

Matthiew Rey

France

Ranking: 8/10

One of the best campsites we have been to in New Zealand. Stunning view, big campsite, not too busy, gravel road to access but it is not a big deal.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Kath Dawson's avatar

Kath Dawson

Ranking: 9/10

Towed an 8m caravan here - take care on the last 1 - 2 kms spacious grassy area, rubbishy bins, toilets were clean views are awesome, sea lions were on the beach short distances to other beaches walks and falls.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Arthur's avatar

Arthur

Ranking: 10/10

Just a superb place to stay. Right by the beach, fires allowed and spectacular white cliffs are there see too. You might even see a sea lion on the beach. Don't be fazed by the drive in. Sure, it is a bit narrow for the last km or so but any vehicle can drive in with ease given awareness of other road users. We loved this place.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

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Howard Kestrel's avatar

Howard Kestrel

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful campsite. A fair way off the main road so nice and quiet. Plenty of space and great spots so it didn't feel cramped even with lots of other people. Incredible views over a gorgeous beach. Drop toilets, no shower, wifi or phone service.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

Lena Wesselink's avatar

Lena Wesselink

Netherlands

Ranking: 10/10

Most beautiful campsite we have been to. Next to a nice beach with sea lions!! Such an amazing view! The toilets were clean but no toilet paper. The drive is long and on gravel but it is really worth it! Doesn't have a shower or WiFi as said in the app of course.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

R Taylor's avatar

R Taylor

Ranking: 9/10

Great overnight spot! Bit of snow on the road on the way down but it is the middle of winter! Watched the seals come to shore in the evening and back out to sea the next morning. Amazing!

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Simeon W's avatar

Simeon W

Germany

Ranking: 6/10

Not many facilities but nice beach and nice view, swimming in the ocean may involve swimming with sea lions.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Marine Pesce's avatar

Marine Pesce

Ranking: 7/10

Impressive surroundings, we appreciated the tap in one of the toilets so you can wash yourself. Very quiet, because it's far from the road.

Reviewed about 7 years ago

Alex Goddard's avatar

Alex Goddard

Ranking: 9/10

Large campsite with stunning views overlooking a beach and cliffs in the distance. Long drop toilet and no camp shower or free wifi as the description suggests.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Ron Clarke's avatar

Ron Clarke

Czech Republic

Ranking: 8/10

Basic DOC site. Isolated, fantastic views of cliffs, beach with the added bonus of sea lions on the beach. Super stop for self contained vehicles.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Andrea's avatar

Andrea

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

It's a long dirt road, and you might have to wait for the farmer to move his cattle, but it's worth the drive. There is a stunning bay with seals on it. Unfortunately there was no shelter to cook under, which is a bit tricky in the rain.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Sue H's avatar

Sue H

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

What a location! Very beautiful. Last part of the road is unsealed but fine. We were the only van there - just us, the seals and the sheep.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Steffen's avatar

Steffen

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome views from a cool cliff and in the night there are sea lions on the beach.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Natalie Boehm's avatar

Natalie Boehm

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful view, in the middle of nowhere directly located at the beach (saw a sea lion the next morning), but kind of crowded, toilets and water, $6 per person, per night.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Arthur Langlume's avatar

Arthur Langlume

France

Ranking: 9/10

Great view on the high cliff. Beautiful beach.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Vuillermet's avatar

Vuillermet

France

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful beach and campground, good spot for fishing.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Charlotte's avatar

Charlotte

France

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful spot on the beach, very peaceful. Toilets and water.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Karen Garvin's avatar

Karen Garvin

Canada

Ranking: 10/10

So beautiful! Stunning location on the ocean with nearby cliffs, fascinating forest and a small river flowing to the sea. Informal site - just random but worth it. Slightly sketchy road in.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Kathrin Deichmann's avatar

Kathrin Deichmann

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful campsite in a bay with cliffs and beach, good facilities, unfortunately no tracks nearby.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Vera Kreipe's avatar

Vera Kreipe

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

BEAUTIFUL!!! Great for just relaxing on the beautiful spot but unfortunately no hiking opportunities or other things to do.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Sophie Wolters's avatar

Sophie Wolters

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Very cool spot for a camping place directly by the beach, very cool view. $6 per day, toilets, drinking water. To get there you have to drive a gravel road for about 15 minutes and the ground is very uneven so you have to think about where to park your car.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Marine's avatar

Marine

France

Ranking: 10/10

Great place in the middle of nowhere, amazing beach, with toilets and water.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Stuart Wilson's avatar

Stuart Wilson

England

Ranking: 9/10

Parking camping and location is impeccable. The DOC have not affected the landscape. Perfect.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Jean Batiste Le  meur's avatar

Jean Batiste Le meur

France

Ranking: 8/10

Scenic views ! wonderful beach. Quiet ! Self registration system with envelopes,$5 per person.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Derek Knight's avatar

Derek Knight

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Its a bit of a drive to get there but worth it. Lovely views and we caught fish !

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in January 2014

arnaud paquet's avatar

arnaud paquet

Belgium

Ranking: 8/10

First night in the Catlins. Just 6$ each but basic facilities. Quite a long gravel road but nice beach, very beautiful :)

Reviewed about 8 years ago

Daniel McAlpine's avatar

Daniel McAlpine

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Excellent beach side camping. Already stayed a second time.Doc $6, fires allowed, neat petrified forest and Lost Gypsy Gallery. 4WD needed for beach camping.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in December 2013

Helene & Peter's avatar

Helene & Peter

Belgium

Ranking: 7/10

Relatively long gravel road to reach the camping ground so everything will be dusty, but you get a beautiful quiet beach in return.
Basic DOC facilities for basic DOC tariff.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

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ozelmer's avatar

ozelmer

Australia

Ranking: 6/10

Nice views. Perhaps not as suited to larger motorhomes when wet as limited hard stand spots. Pity the local surfers are the ones leaving the rubbish and stubbies all around whilst the tourist use the recycling facilities for their rubbish.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Karina Gratz's avatar

Karina Gratz

Germany

Ranking: 6/10

No shadow whatsoever. Very hot. Hard to relax.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in February 2013

Jacob Bernhardt's avatar

Jacob Bernhardt

Germany

Ranking: 6/10

Really beautiful place. Nice campgrounds, nearly no sandflies. BUT no drinking water. $6 campsite.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Zefgangsta's avatar

Zefgangsta

Ranking: 10/10

This campground is poes cool. There was a totally zef campsite wit lazers and beats and fire and a pet seagull.
Best campsite ever. word to my nine.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Phil   & Laura's avatar

Phil & Laura

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

The DOC paradox; the harder you look for off the beaten track, you realise lots of others are too. Basic facilities, but....outstanding views, wildlife (sea lions) and a fantastic beach. Quite crowded though, and we struggled to find a slot. Long gravel roads on the approach, but with beautiful flora.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Lucie's avatar

Lucie

France

Ranking: 10/10

Best DOC campground in New Zealand!! Wonderful scenery and wildlife (sealions)

Reviewed over 9 years ago

jule's avatar

jule

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Right on the beach, great location. Sea Lions! Simple but clean toilets. How often at DOC campsites without showers and hot water - no problem.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in November 2011

Hanna Clement's avatar

Hanna Clement

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

DOC campsite, $6pp, next to the beach, really beautiful landscape!

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in March 2012

Nathanael Boehm's avatar

Nathanael Boehm

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Lovely spot; thankfully we got a site up on the hill amongst the grass away from the rabble down on the flats with their music, ATVs, fireworks and partying. The cliffs on the far side of the Bay are magnificent at both dawn and sunset. We did see one sea lion on the beach, although were appalled to see a car full of hooligans doing burnouts up and down the beach right in front of the sea lion. Disappointing behaviour from other campers and this site seemed to attract such.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Mariette Salden's avatar

Mariette Salden

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Most impressive, inspiring landscape you will ever see.

Reviewed over 10 years ago and experienced in March 2011

DJohnson's avatar

DJohnson

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Great site overlooking beach with sea lions and cubs coming and going. Facilites clean. If it is damp, do not go off the gravel onto grass, you will get bogged. Sign post to Purakaunui Bay was pointing to uphill road when should have pointed to lower road

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Andrea Fuchs's avatar

Andrea Fuchs

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Nice setting directly on the beach.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago and experienced in March 2011

noname's avatar

noname

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Absolutely stunning location, the best so far. However toilets were disgraceful!

Reviewed almost 11 years ago and experienced in March 2011

Claire Colquhoun's avatar

Claire Colquhoun

England

Ranking: 9/10

Very picturesque, big site so not too cramped, get there early to get the best beach view, but awesome place to wake up right on the beach.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

David Mellard's avatar

David Mellard

England

Ranking: 10/10

Right on the beach so able to chart the rise of sun over breakfast.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Ann-Kathrin Auditor's avatar

Ann-Kathrin Auditor

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

A beautiful surfing beach some kilometres south of Owaka. Only $7 PP but without showers or kitchen.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

K & J Overton's avatar

K & J Overton

Canada

Ranking: 9/10

DOC sites have best locations and mostly excellent facilities.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

henriket's avatar

henriket

Ranking: 9/10

Great scenery, quite remote.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Hendrik Behrens's avatar

Hendrik Behrens

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome scenery.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

C P  Lawrence's avatar

C P Lawrence

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful situation, dreadful sandflies.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Anne & Robert's avatar

Anne & Robert

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Very beautiful place to put up your tent. The facilities basic but really OK.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Stanna's avatar

Stanna

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Great location.

Reviewed over 11 years ago and experienced in February 2010

Horst's avatar

Horst

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Breathtaking location, toilets clean, cheap.

Reviewed about 12 years ago

Loleit's avatar

Loleit

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Standard DOC campground camping directly on the beach, beautiful place.

Reviewed about 12 years ago

Louis Duhaime's avatar

Louis Duhaime

Canada

Ranking: 9/10

Awesome view and tramping on a bay- saw some surfers there - very peaceful too - a great way to get as close as possible to NZ's nature (this comment applies to other DOC's too.)

Reviewed about 12 years ago and experienced in November 2009