• Info
  • Products
  • Reviews  68%
  • Similar 7

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


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.


  • 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.

182 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 3 of 14.

Timon Flick's avatar

Timon Flick


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.

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 95 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

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!

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

Emilie Normand's avatar

Emilie Normand


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...

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every 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…

Miaomace's avatar


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


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.

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

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.

Bob Fontaine's avatar

Bob Fontaine

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing spot! Close to town and Huka Falls are in walking distance. Lots of good quiet camping spots. My favourite one is close to the water.

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.

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.