Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation...

Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve Free Campsite



225 Rankers Reviews

130 Face-to-Face


Online Maps

FREE Header

Camping NZ NEW

Welcome to New Zealand's most comprehensive database of freely available camping information. This is the only travel map of its kind in NZ.

Get the best out of it. Here's how…


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


Free Campsite on the Waikato River just out of Taupo.

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


Showing 13 reviews of 220.

Get the best out of it. Here's how…

Max's avatar


Ranking: 1/10

Still closed 08.10.21

Reviewed about 1 month ago

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 6 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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…

James's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

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

Reviewed 11 months 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 11 months ago

Georgia Cox-Wright's avatar

Georgia Cox-Wright

Ranking: 9/10

Great freedom camping spot. Two sets of toilets that are cleaned daily. Not too far from Taupō but you feel like you are away from the city. Great swimming in the river. Small inlets to avoid the current. Easier enough to get a spot if arriving mid afternoon or even evening- very peaceful during the day. Lots of security checks each day from different organisations so it feels very safe. A few short bush and road tracks to make the most of too.

Reviewed 12 months ago

Jay's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Don't judge this place by the picture it is a LOT nicer than shown I wish I'd of taken one while there. Its right on the river for swimming, crystal clear water like a swimming pool. Heaps of space to park and great toilets that are cleaned regularly. You can no longer camp right at the waters edge but you can still park there all day as soon as the barrier is lifted..very safe and picturesque campsite very close to town..yes you do get cars arriving at all hours but is that really an issue? If it is then you're getting old lol

Reviewed 12 months 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

Sue4's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Sign says camping ground is closed 😞 but a free camping area put up a little further in the reserve. The land is not even and hard access for big vehicles, need to be careful. But was quiet and peaceful. Lots of other respectful campers. Feels safe.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Felix's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Great spot! Section A closed due to maintenance but section B is open! Plenty of room, quiet and a compost toilet available. Don’t forget your toilet paper

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Jacob's avatar


Ranking: 1/10

Closed for maintenance

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Kate's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Originally parked up at Reid’s farm with the nice painted public toilets and view of the lake. All campers were asked to move to Hipapatua reserve 100m down the road. This was due to restrictions from covid that hadn’t been lifted even in level 1. This new area had a disgusting long drop toilet with poo everywhere. The parking space was just an uneven patch of grass. Honestly very disappointing but if the original place we parked in was open it would be beautiful.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Emily's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

The place was great ! Such a great spot by the river. So many spots to park, I’d say it got full around 7 but you could easily squish in more. Waikato River was only 200m away, such a nice swim, make sure you don’t float away as the current is pretty fast. There are about 4 portaloos on site and toilet blocks 150m away. All around pretty good for a free camping site :)

Reviewed almost 2 years ago