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North IslandTaupo RegionTaupo

Free Campsite on the Waikato River just out of Taupo.

Please note: Reid’s Farm is closed to campers between May 1 and October 1 for site maintenance, in line with its reserve management plan. Part of Reid’s Farm will be reopened between Friday 9 June and Friday 14 July to accommodate DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017 supporters who will pass through the district in campervans.

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.

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

Contact Details

Taupo Address:
5km north of Taupo Township

Operating Season And Hours: Reid’s Farm is closed to campers between May 1 and October 1 for site maintenance, in line with its reserve management plan. Part of Reid’s Farm will be reopened between Friday 9 June and Friday 14 July to accommodate DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017 supporters who will pass through the district in campervans.

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  • 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.

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173 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 2 of 14.

Ernst Mayerhofer's avatar

Ernst Mayerhofer

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful campsite near the river. We stayed there one night in low season. Despite a lot of people being there, cosy and not noisy. Only toilets and no tap water. We showered in the Taupo iSite for $2,50 pp. (Open from 9am to 4.30pm).

Diandra Buesen's avatar

Diandra Buesen

Ranking: 6/10

The campsite is right at a river, that's really nice. But it is really crowded and very noisy. Prepare yourself that you might have some party people here who don't really care about other campers when it comes to being quiet as it gets later. The toilets are ok, but really smelly. Good thing is that you have rubbish bins here and that this campsite is free.

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Jan B's avatar

Jan B

Czech Republic

Ranking: 4/10

Good that it is for everyone. On the other hand, very crowded, noisy and dirty. Often a party place.

Sarah Dial's avatar

Sarah Dial

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome. Lots of room, lots of riverside spaces. You can go swimming on a sunny day. Lots of ducks around. Clean long drops with hand sanitiser. Bring your own water. Oh, and it's free!

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Timon Flick's avatar

Timon Flick

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Really nice free campsite next to the river, clean flushing toilets.

Frisko Bay's avatar

Frisko Bay

Ranking: 5/10

An overstayer lives in the corner by the river, doesn't keep his corner clean and always has visitors and parties all night long!!! Such a disappointment as the rest of the campsite is beautiful, so relaxing and clean and friendly. It is very popular due to the location by an awesome river and proximity to town. Toilets are filthy would rather visit town and pay 50c to use their ones, but all in all great place for free.

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Marius Gutgsell's avatar

Marius Gutgsell

Ranking: 9/10

Well cleaned toilets and very cool/clean river! Bit noisy sometimes and lots of people but all in all very cool camping place (for free!!)

Lara Baetz's avatar

Lara Baetz

Ranking: 8/10

One of the last really free campgrounds, not just for self-contained. Clean toilets, good for a few days. Really close to Taupo. Lovely river right in front to swim with clear water. Pretty full so come early when you want a good spot!

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Emilie Normand's avatar

Emilie Normand

France

Ranking: 10/10

A free campsite by the river with clean facilities and many people to meet. We can walk up the stream from the shore and let the Waikato River show us back to the site. There is a natural spa further up.

Tim De Boer's avatar

Tim De Boer

Ranking: 6/10

Quite noisy during almost the whole night but very nice location and clean toilets, worth a 6 because it is free...

Miaomace's avatar

Miaomace

Ranking: 1/10

Toilet was unbelievably smelly, especially at night time. We could smell it even when we parked our car very far away from the toilet. Very crowded, because near to town and free. Some people have their party with very loud music until very late. A lot of mosquitos during a raining day.

Ahmed Mohsen Aly's avatar

Ahmed Mohsen Aly

Netherlands

Ranking: 2/10

Crowded and smelly. The atmosphere didn't help either. The only thing this place has got going on for it is its location.

Melissa Higgins's avatar

Melissa Higgins

Ranking: 6/10

Great spot, but a dude approached me in the dark trying to sell me weed. It didn't bother me much, but then he came back two more times, knocking on my van trying to get me to buy it. Not a fault of the campsite, but maybe a fault of its reputation. Oh well.

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