Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation...

Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve Free Campsite



233 Rankers Reviews

130 Face-to-Face


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Photo taken from a campsite
Plenty of nooks and crannies.
New toilets


Free Campsite on the Waikato River just out of Taupo.

**UPDATE 27 MAY 2022: The main lower camping area at Hipapatua Recreational Reserve (Reid’s Farm) is closed for annual maintenance work. Signage at the reserve will direct campers to the smaller, upper camping area, which remains open. Day use of the lower reserve, as well as river access, will not be affected by these works. The reserve will reopen on 1 October 2022.**

Free camping is permitted on this recreation reserve. All campers, including those in certified self-contained vehicles, can stay for a maximum of three nights and/or four days in any 14 night period before they need to move on.

This campsite is close to town, and can be a popular party venue, especially on New Year's Eve. It's used a lot by travellers and sometimes by school groups. It can be a bit boggy after lots of rain. Quite a few sandflys as it is right on the river.

There is a permanent fire ban on this campsite (NO FIRES), and a complete liquor ban between noon on 27 December and 7am on 4 January.

This is a very popular spot for people learning how to white water kayak, and is the end point for guided kayak tours on the Waikato River.

Facilities are basic - the only water supply is the Waikato River, so we suggest that all drinking water is boiled first. There are no showers or cooking facilities.

Campers must take all their rubbish with them as a 'pack it in, pack it out' arrangement is in place to help protect the land and river. Campers should take their rubbish to the nearest refuse location - find out more about refuse locations and prices at www.taupo.govt.nz/rubbish.

Three older toilets have been removed and replaced with a lovely new triple unit, one cubicle of which has disability access. Two other toilets have also been refurbished making the whole experience much more pleasant. During busy periods, there can be queues for the best toilets so it pays to get up early.


Feature Value Info


Taupo District Council

Local government organisation


North IslandTaupo RegionTaupo


  • Basic Camping
  • Free

Operating Season And Hours

The main lower camping area at Hipapatua Recreational Reserve (Reid’s Farm) closes for annual maintenance work between May and September every year. Signage at the reserve will direct campers to the smaller, upper camping area, which remains open during these months. Day use of the lower reserve, as well as river access, will not be affected by these works.


Showing 13 reviews of 228.

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Klaas's avatar


Ranking: 1/10

We came late afternoon and saw that the lower area was closed for maintenance and for the upper area there was a sign that told us that overnight stay was not allowed and the gates were going to be closed at 6 pm. Very confusing as their website did not tell you that.

Reviewed 7 days ago

Mo's avatar


Ranking: 7/10


Reviewed 2 months ago

Jackson's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great free camping by the start of the Waikato river. Perfect spot for a cool swim in the morning. Clean porterloos with soap. Busy spot but a reasonable amount of flat space space

Reviewed 3 months ago

Kevin's avatar


Ranking: 1/10

Are they now open

Reviewed 4 months ago

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Alan Bate's avatar

Alan Bate

Ranking: 2/10

We recently stayed on a Friday night and had a horrible experience with a car load of young men abusing all the campers between midnight and 1am. Did not feel safe and would not return

Reviewed 5 months ago

Tori and James 's avatar

Tori and James

Ranking: 8/10

Such a awesome safe swimming awa, clear waters, very popular spot for camping so find a spot early in the day, not sure what it’s like during the rest of the year could be a lot quieter. Highly recommended

Reviewed 6 months ago

Sharlene's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great camp ground, lots of space for tents and motorhomes, lots of shade for tents, portable toilets spaced out around the grounds, lovely places to swim at the day parking next door.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Max's avatar


Ranking: 1/10

Still closed 08.10.21

Reviewed 9 months ago

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Maevath's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

The place has been closed for maintenance since the beginning of may, however, this place is magical!
You can not park next to the river but it’s a few seconds walk to it, and waaw what a treat !

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Jenny's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

We did our first freedom camping night in this spot and it was incredible. Arrived quite late on the Thursday before Easter and there were a lot of vehicles and tents of all shapes and sizes but still heaps of room. Portaloos had been placed at the far end of the camp which were most appreciated. It was quiet enough to enjoy the stay and in the morning we walked our dog around the extensive park like grounds which were stunning. Would definitely recommend and will be back.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Anita's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

You can no longer park by the river unfortunately. Toilets in the camping area are portaloos, and while the triple block of toilets is within walking distance, at night it is full of flies, and they are all long drops.
Appears to be quite popular.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

James's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Good place, has toilet no drinking water. Right near huka falls with good river for paddling in.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Kirsty B's avatar

Kirsty B

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Huge grassy area. Not so many flat areas, but fine in a van. Portaloos were clean. A few noisy campers with loud music but went quiet by 8pm. No drinking water so bring your own.

Reviewed over 1 year ago