Mangatutu Hot Springs Campsite

Mangatutu Hot Springs Campsite

Kaweka Forest Park


16 Rankers Reviews

6 Face-to-Face

12 Napier


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Hot pools at the Mangatutu Hot Springs
Mangatutu hot spring camp
River at mangatutu hot springs


A free, basic campsite with its own hot springs nestled within native bush.
What's the catch?!
We suppose the 1 hour gravel access road would be it - Unsuited to large campervans and caravans.

Relax at the nearby thermal springs or go tramping, fishing, swimming or rafting. Hunt sika and red deer in the park. The river offers rainbow and brown trout.


Feature Value Info


North IslandHawkes BayNapier


  • Basic Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 16.

Holly Martorana's avatar

Holly Martorana

Ranking: 8/10

Amazing campsite that is well worth a visit.
A bit of a bumpy road to get in that would be better suited to a 4WD but did see a couple of other car types there that made it in.

Free, clean hot pools with a brilliant view. Little nooks along the path to camp in for a more private site. One of the most incredible rivers I have ever seen, however quite hard to get down to at the moment. Can tell there used to be a better path but rain has washed away a lot of the steps and both routes down from the campsite (the marked one and then another sneaky one about 3 mins long down from the right of the hot pools) are now quite tricky and can’t really be classed as access to running stream water easily. Wouldn’t want to carry anything up or down (water containers, dishes) as need your hands to hold on to things going down, but once your down it is a beautiful spot to swim in.

Will definetely go back.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Sean McLaren's avatar

Sean McLaren

Ranking: 10/10

This was one of my most favorite spot. Quiet. Not busy on the week days in February when we were there. Clean. Primitive but nice. Pit toilet. Water is from a stream. Have to boil or filter yourself.

Camp host was very nice.

The river is a 5 min walk from the campsite. But it is quite a steep hill. The hot tubs are 2 min walk from the campsite with a some what steep hill but better than the walk to the river.

MOST important is the drive into campsite. The road from Napier is curvy and long. Then you drive on a gravel road for 30 mins which feels like an hour. At which point you are on a single lane steep hills and tight turns a supreme caution is necessary or else you could die or be seriously injured. When your on this road the cliff is probably 600-800 feet down.

Be sure if you are uncomfortably driving on non paved wilderness roads this may not be for you. They road is well maintained in my opinion. I made it in a Toyota Estima no problem. I saw a Nissan Versa and Audi station wagon. I never bottomed out or hit any part of the frame.

But beautiful spot. Possibly one of my most loved.

Also beware of the bugs at dusk to night time.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Jess's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Be warned there is a Ford about 5km before the campsite which had red indicators saying do not cross. I walked it and it really didn't seem doable without a 4x4 so we couldn't get to the site although we`d done a 90 min d-tour to get to it. Shame as I'm sure it is a great place to camp. There were were signs all the way there suggesting the road was open so there could certainly be better advice here!

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Angela Parody's avatar

Angela Parody

Ranking: 9/10

I definitely recommend this place! Nice space to camp, some tables for picnic, and hot pools! Besides the toilet is quite nice (ample) compering to the typical tiny camping toilets. Just maybe quite crowded in peak seasons.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

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Asta Reiter's avatar

Asta Reiter

Ranking: 10/10

One of the best spots so far in the North Island. Many New Zealanders. Not many tourists. Nice camp warden. Clean toilet, with the smell of citrus. And beautiful hot pools. To cool down you can climb down to the river and jump in.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Waldo Andersen's avatar

Waldo Andersen

New Zealand

Ranking: 3/10

Great spot to relax. I have been coming to this spot for over 15 years and previously you would not find another person at the pools. Now there is always people there and some times very crowded. Tourist and others are leaving large amounts of rubbish there and not cleaning up. Don't waste your time driving over rutted rocky gravel road just to sit in this hot pool.
If how ever you going to actually do some hiking / tramping or hunting / fishing it is a good spot to start from. BUT PICK UP YOUR RUBBISH.
Also have seen a few cars broken into while people sitting in the hot pools and with no cell phone signal you may be stranded if you break down.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in October 2015

Blair Anderson's avatar

Blair Anderson

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing place

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2015

Yang Zhang's avatar

Yang Zhang

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Nice place with natural hot pool! Remember there are more campsites if you go on driving after you see the campsite sign. And more sites within the bushes as well. Bring your own coal for the BBQ. No drinking water or tap water.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

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Leith Hayllar's avatar

Leith Hayllar

Ranking: 10/10

One of the best spots for free. Toilet facilities, BBQs views over native bush and the mighty Mohaka and to top it off great maintained easy to access hot pools, also over looking native bush.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Adele Grandguillot's avatar

Adele Grandguillot


Ranking: 8/10

Quiet, BBQ, stream, long gravel access.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Drame Mahmadou's avatar

Drame Mahmadou


Ranking: 10/10

Good swim, in the wild, good BBQ.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Margreth Lydie's avatar

Margreth Lydie


Ranking: 7/10

No drinking water access, but completely FREE.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Lea Bulle's avatar

Lea Bulle


Ranking: 10/10

Very good campsite for free with hot pools.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in February 2013

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 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner