Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation...

Hipapatua / Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve Free Campsite


Get the best out of it. Here's how…



208 Rankers Reviews

130 Face-to-Face

298 Basic Camping

47 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 203.

Get the best out of it. Here's how…

Gayle's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

The place was fully packed with campers.
Heared growling noise at night. May be wild animals are living in the bush. Some unruly people pointed torch light to the tents sneaking to see what's going on. Which is really a shame.

Reviewed 19 days ago

Jess's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

A good location for Huka Falls (either a 5min drive or 20min walk) the actual camping area has four portatoilets, two at either end, unfortunately during my stay two at one end we’re completely blocked and in need of a clean. The nice toilets shown in the pictures are long drop toilets and located a short walk from the camp ground (in the day parking section), along with the sink for washing your dishes. I have camped here twice, the first time there was plenty of space and people could spread out, however the second time was closer to Christmas and was very busy, by the time I woke up in the morning I was surrounded on all sides by other vehicles, so I recommend you get there early-ish during peak travel times. Overall it is a good place to go for Huka falls and it is free.

Reviewed 29 days ago

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 78 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Lua's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful spot with plenty of space, close to Taupo and also to Huka Falls. Facilities were OK.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Devin's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Fills up fast. Ended up arriving late afternoon and got a spot that was a bit up the hill on uneven ground, but at least we got a spot. The other campers in the flatter area take up a lot of space, perhaps more than they needed. I didn't get the chance to use the toilets pictured here as they are in the recreational area that is closed to vehicles after 8 or so, but still accessible by foot. There were very dirty portapotties as well that seemed like they may not be for the campers, but for workers as the site was under some repair or expansion. The place is still decent in general due to its free status and proximity to attractions along highway 5, just dirtier and more used than other free campsites I stayed at. There's a nice view of the river from this spot too.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Jenny's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Loved this as a free campsite! Lots of people continued to arrive late in the evening hit as long as you don't mind a slightly smaller space to camp/park this place is perfect for an evening or two! It has portaloos and is close proximity to hula falls (free hot pools) and the town

Reviewed 2 months ago

Tills's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Amazing location by the river with 3 brand news toilets.

Reviewed 3 months 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 3 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…

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 3 months ago

CC's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Crowded but nice and close to town.

Reviewed 9 months ago

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 9 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

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 10 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 10 months ago

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 11 months ago