North IslandTaupo RegionTaupo

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Photo taken from a campsite

Photo taken from a campsite

Claire Taylor

Plenty of nooks and crannies.

Plenty of nooks and crannies.

New toilets

New toilets

Free Campsite on the Waikato River just out of Taupo.

Please note: Reid’s Farm will also be closed to campers over the winter months to allow rehabilitation work to take place. The closure will come into effect on Monday, June 20 and remain in place until September 30

Free camping is permitted on this recreation reserve. Maximum length of stay up to 7 nights in any consecutive 14 night period.

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, but refuse and recycling bins are provided. 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.

Contact Details

Taupo Address:
5km north of Taupo Township

Operating Season And Hours: Reid’s Farm will also be closed to campers over the winter months to allow rehabilitation work to take place, in line with its reserve management plan. The closure will come into effect on Monday, June 20 and remain in place until September 30


159 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 2 of 13.

Christina L's avatar

Christina L

Ranking: 4/10

This would be an amazing spot if people could behave themselves. Toilets are long drops and fully okay for free. It gets really full in the evening and there are many people that don't respect others and certainly overstay their welcome there.
For one night, totally fine!

Chris Read's avatar

Chris Read

Ranking: 7/10

Really busy, toilets really smelly but good location.

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Bram and Laura's avatar

Bram and Laura


Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful place, near the river. Toilets clean enough, great for a few walks to the Huka Falls.

Anne Hempelt's avatar

Anne Hempelt


Ranking: 10/10

Nice place and very clean.

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Polly Rider's avatar

Polly Rider


Ranking: 7/10

Lovely riverside spot - but very, very busy and drink bottles left over in the morning.

Hubert's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

A lot of space, near the beautiful blue river, a lot of people, very big. Toilet clean and recycling bins.

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CMG's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 6/10

Nice camping area next to the river, but extremely crowded when we visited. The 3 drop toilets are newly built, but were very full and dirty, and smelled absolutely horrific! Be forewarned! We got there late and left first thing in the morning; the toilets were too disgusting to use.

Miguel's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Very nice spot near the river Waikato. It's located conveniently between Taupo town and Huka Falls. There's plenty space to camp or place your car, several toilets and you can even have a bath in the river (beware the current, it can be strong!). It's a pity it was so overcrowded, it's a popular place for teenagers to spend the holidays and it was late summer when we stayed there, so it can be worse. The best is that is a FREE camping ground :)

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Fides's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

The toilets are very full and smelly when you are in it, but it is a free campsite directly beside the Waikato River. You can boil the water and drink it. Many crazy people of the river!

Andreas Schindler's avatar

Andreas Schindler


Ranking: 10/10

Great place at the river.

Laura's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Directly on a nice river. Beautiful scenery, extremely dirty toilets, no litter.

Dominik Schaumburg's avatar

Dominik Schaumburg

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful, very popular place, lots of people, amazing river.

Daniel Jarrett's avatar

Daniel Jarrett

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Scenic campsite right next to the Waikato River. Facilities are basic but the river side setting makes up for it. Perfect freedom camping spot.