Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation...

Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve Free Campsite




203 Rankers Reviews

130 Face-to-Face

296 Basic Camping

48 Taupo



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


Free Campsite on the Waikato River just out of Taupo.

Please note: Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve is closed to campers between May 1 and October 1 for site maintenance, in line with its reserve management plan.

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


North IslandTaupo RegionTaupo


  • Basic Camping
  • Free

Operating Season And Hours

Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve is closed to campers between May 1 and October 1 for site maintenance, in line with its reserve management plan.



  • Unpowered Campsites

    FREE. Basic toilet facilities and a large number of campsites. There is no power or potable water supply. Water can be taken from the river but should be boiled before drinking.


Showing 13 reviews of 198.

Tills's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Amazing location by the river with 3 brand news toilets.

Reviewed 11 days ago

Mike Sc's avatar

Mike Sc

Ranking: 8/10

6 minutes from Taupo. 4 portaloos. No dump. No water. its proximity to town it's only advantage.

Reviewed 26 days ago

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Kate's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

This spot is great if you want to be close to Taupo town centre. There is a supermarket within a 5 minute drive. The Huka Falls are also just a short drive up the road. We arrived at about 3pm and there was plenty of space but the area was very busy by around 7pm- some vehicles were still arriving late in the evening and struggled to find adequate space. The portaloos are close to the camp spaces and the public toilets are a very short walk away but these were long drop rather than flush. A good spot but if you would prefer a more scenic view, then aim to find a spot closer towards the lake.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

CC's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Crowded but nice and close to town.

Reviewed 7 months ago

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Yohanis's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful free campsite. Very busy at night, dishwashing sink and portaloos..there is rangers coming and going during the day

Reviewed 7 months ago

Juan's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Es gratis y tiene mucho espacio, dos cosas importantes. De todas maneras, se llena a la noche. A pocos minutos de Taupo, la ubicación a metros del río no está mal tampoco. Canilla para lavar platos. Algunos baños tenían el peor olor.

Reviewed 8 months ago

JT's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

lots of space and close to the town and huka falls. take a swim in the river if you want. good alternative to the expensive holiday parks in this area.

Reviewed 8 months ago

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Housi's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

There is plenty of space so you can arrive late and you will find a place. But in the evening there are drug dealers who try to sell weed to you.

Reviewed 8 months ago

Philip's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Like everyone says, it gets CROWDED despite the site being rather large. That being said, 4 portaloos did not seem sufficient (1 of which was not accessible). There were the new 3 long drops a bit further down, went at night with a flashlight and the smell was abhorrent/lots of flies. Maybe it was bad timing with the scheduled bathroom clean? Who knows..

Reviewed 9 months ago

Caro Del's avatar

Caro Del

Ranking: 7/10

Lovely settings and facilities, however the site was cramped (early February) so not our idea of freedom camping. We ended up leaving. Might be great off season.

Reviewed 9 months ago

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Trudy Worboys's avatar

Trudy Worboys


Ranking: 10/10

Very busy, we got here late 10pm and were lucky to get a spot. Very quiet only portoloos, we left early but it was a nice sleep nonetheless. Thanks for having this spot available

Reviewed 10 months ago

Tinker traveler's avatar

Tinker traveler

Ranking: 5/10

Main camp site is closed at night but another site with portaloos has been set up which was still nice to camp, with access to the main site and facilities open in the day time.
Main site is beautiful :)

Reviewed 10 months ago

Hanna's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

First experience of free camping with the kids. Loved it! Lots of lots of people, but quiet after 22:00 (in the period we were there :)
Close to Huka falls, Taupo and the hot pool.

Reviewed 11 months ago