Urchin Campsite

Urchin Campsite

Kaimanawa Forest Park


17 Rankers Reviews

2 Face-to-Face

14 Turangi


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Urchin Camping Ground


Urchin Camping Ground is quite and remote. A great place to base yourself and cycle Tree Trunk Gorge, the Pillars of Hercules or go tramping. There is no water here - the closest water can be found 2km up the road.


Feature Value Info


DOC Central North Island

Central government organisation


North IslandTaupo RegionTurangi


  • Basic Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 17.

Lizzievarley's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Small campsite in the thick of the forest. Beautiful surroundings! It was a bit busy over easter weekend but we found a spot for our van. It's a reasonable drive in on a gravel road. There is a toilet (with loo paper!) but no running water. Some amazing walking tracks nearby. I'd definitely recommend.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Juliet's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

The road was pretty sketchy for our 7m camper and Google map has it in the wrong place. Once you arrive it’s a lovely little spot but we decided not to stay as four car loads just turned up to camp and we thought it would be pretty noisy! Would try another time though.

Reviewed 5 months ago

Sam Brydon's avatar

Sam Brydon

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful spot. Uncrowded in the height of summer. Surrounded by beautiful beech forest and great walks/ mountain bike tracks. Lots of birds, kaka song. Lots of space. BUT the long drop was unusable, piled up just below the seat and a stench that had me retching. Consequently lots of loo roll and sanitary wrappers in the nearby bit of wood. Grim.

Reviewed 7 months ago

EvaBelle's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Can be difficult to find when looking at google maps, be careful to look at the signs when driving deeper into the trees. Lots of space, beautiful surrounding bush, walking tracks nearby, a basic toilet. Would definitely go back!

Reviewed about 1 year ago

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Gabriella Strom's avatar

Gabriella Strom

Ranking: 10/10

Clean long drop, small open fire area and table, good secluded camping spots next to great tracks, 10/10

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Annie Pask's avatar

Annie Pask

Ranking: 8/10

We stayed one night in our car. Joined by one other car later in the night. One long drop toilet no lighting but had toilet paper! Nice wee spot surrounded by bush. Feels remote but is actually quite close to main roads. We lit a small fire using some of the fallen branches from the bush around us. We really enjoyed it!

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Laurie's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Nice camp ground and quiet stayed 2 days set up hammock in trees had a fire going basic toilet No water bring your own , nice loop walk in forest but not marked and track to tree trunk gorge starts there

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Luis Vigil Vidal's avatar

Luis Vigil Vidal

Ranking: 8/10

You are right in the middle of the forest...secluded area and quite calm. At 20:00 it begins to get busy and fill up. There are like 10 spaces. Basic drop loo. Just keep in mind is bumpy road to arrive, maybe not best for big caravans. Very good option for free camp next to Tongariro.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

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Sarah's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Nice quiet campground, got a little lost when I turned into the first campground but so happy I found this one. Long drop toilet, couple of fire pits and benches. Good place for stargazing

Reviewed over 3 years ago

HollyB4's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Good area. Designated spots for fires, good sized tables. . Enjoyed the walks and the wildlife.

Toilet was a bit grubby and dark once door shut and area smelt a little.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Pim Brackenie's avatar

Pim Brackenie


Ranking: 9/10

Very scenic spot in the middle of the forest. No shower, but simple toilet facilities available. You have to drive 15 minutes on a gravel road to get here, but it was doable with an old campervan. Really worth it, however, beware of the bugs that show up at night. From here it is 25 minutes driving to the Tongariro shuttle pick up point.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Simon Springett's avatar

Simon Springett

Ranking: 8/10

Was a nice spot off of the beaten track. Great trails starting from the campsite. Lot’s of space and very clean long drop toilets. No water.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Luis Vigil Vidal's avatar

Luis Vigil Vidal

Ranking: 7/10

Very convenient if doing Tongariro next morning. Drop toilet, quite clean. Dirty road to get there but ok, we did it with a Toyota Hiace campervan and no problema. But maybe with heavy rain not good idea. Couple of easy trecks nearby and fireplaces. Around 10-15 spots! It got quite full by 19:00

Reviewed over 4 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner