For anyone who can get a decent site this is a really pretty spot. Unfortunately due, I think, to our arrival at 8.30pm we were told all sites were gone and were given a site backing onto the main road. I pretty much counted vehicles through all night as am a light sleeper. A walk around the camp in the morning revealed some much more preferable, and empty, sites. The stargazing as mentioned by others is literally out of this world - just beautiful. There are superb river views for those who are lucky enough to get one of those spots. Not sure how you get one of those as looks like a lot of empty caravans taking space up as well and some permanents living there. It's a bit hit and miss by the sounds of it when reading other reviews.
It's now $15 per person.
We didn’t stay, the lady at the front was very rude. They don’t take card and there’s no where close to get cash out.
Drove 15min Methven camp ground and the lady was so nice. Very nice camp ground, showers, clean kitchen. Worth the drive!!
An incredible place to disconnect from your phone and enjoy the view of the river, the beautiful grounds, clean hot showers and the people your traveling with. What more do you need. If you happen to take a midnight stroll take the time to look up, the night stars are amazing.
OMGosh what a find. Beautiful site. Well done to an amazing community effort. We stayed out of season, but it was immaculatly kept.
Most fabulous place looking out over the gorge. Beautiful kept site. Really clean toilet block and hot showers. Rubbish area. Kitchen area for cleaning dishes. Felt very safe. Would come again any day.
Great site, clean flush toilets, warm showers, outdoor sheltered kitchen, great views, water available, space for larger campers, would be happy to return, well done to the community for supporting this site.
We stayed here 1 night in Sep, outside their regular open season. Most of the campground and the showers were closed. But the toilets were tidy and there were hardly any other campers around, a very nice quiet spot. There are some nice river walks nearby and great star gazing
The gorge and this site looked amazing but it is currently closed to travelling campervans to protect the elderly regulars from the Corona virus. Sadly we had to move on.
Very nice place with great views of the river. Sites along the river are not marked, but the friendly host showed us where to park for the best views. The bathroom and shower facilities are very functional.
It is a short walk to the start of several trailheads, as well as the bank of the river.
We were very happy to stay here and would recommend it.
Beautiful campsite and views. Plenty of mature planting to break the site up and give you some shade. All the basics are covered with attention to detail and hot showers are included. There are no powered pitches and there wasn't enough water to to up tanks when we were there, so just plan accordingly. For a quiet site in a beautiful natural setting its great.
Great spot! Gorgeous views and so peaceful. Plus hot showers!
Wow, what a lovely little find this was. Had spent entirely too long playing down by the river and enjoying the nearby walks along the gorge. Was looking for somewhere to hole up for the night and saw this place almost a stone’s throw away. Parked up not expecting much but was pleasantly surprised by what we found.
Is it basic, yes – of course it is at this price point. But it has toilets, running water and the setting is hard to beat. Our two little ones loved running around the grounds and the short walk down to the river and back up along the gorge was a bit of a gem.
If you’re looking for a no-fills place to stay for a night or two, out of the way in a secluded location, then for the price this place is hard to beat. Would have been tempted to have stayed for longer if during the warmer summer months.
Perfect location next to the river in a well maintained landscaped park. Warm welcome and clean facilities. Great for the gorge walk. Recommended quiet site.
This was our first place we stayed at on our trip and did not disappoint. Payed $10 per person per night (we only stayed one) into the honesty box. Toilets nice and close. There was no lights in there so just make sure you take a torch or your phone.
Very short walk down to the gorge and there is heaps of other walks around the camp ground. Just gorgeous
Lovely place to stop and spend the night. Main park had not opened when we stayed but still a good flat area to park. Beautiful sunny morning looking out over the river with breakfast. Kids love the rock down by the river. Many thrown in and a few cairns built. $10 per person very reasonable. Thanks
$10 per person per night. This was an outstanding campsite. We visited in winter, so the main campsite was closed (including the free hot showers and the laundry facilities). We had access to a small grassy part of the campsite and flushing toilets. Very nice, and would highly recommend. The views and small walk to the Gorge was well worth it.
Watch out for massive potholes upon entry. Expected to pay full price for stay even though main campground and amenities were closed for off season. Public toilet was flushing and clean. Across road is walk to lookout worth doing.
We stayed just one night during winter. Not so great place actually : the surprisingly busy road is just behind, no facilities apart toilets, and even if the river is close, there is no view at all from the car or camp site.
Beautiful well kept campsite
River was really fast flowing and unswimable which was a bugger locals did say it was a perfect river to swim in,
Our 2nd night was rough winds were extreme but over all the grounds were amazing camp lady was awesome and polite,
Would definitely visit this site again
The best camp site we have stayed in so far. WHY?
1 Outstanding views of the gorge
2 reasonably priced at $10 per person
3 free hot showers and washing facilities
4 brilliant walks and views of gorge
5 exceptionally well maintained site
6 peaceful and tranquil
Also very understanding when we arrived very late at night and still were able to pitch up
As a witness to the previous disgruntled campers comments I would point out that this is not quite factual and would suggest people take notice of other more favourable posts. These cyclists had obviously been freedom camping overnight to arrive so early in the morning. At the height of our summer, hypothermia? The cyclists agressive and violent manner may have played a large part in this.
Samuel fabien Jacquart
DO NOT STAY AT RAKAIA CAMPING
Well, every country has at least one asshole. New Zealand's one can be found at Rakaia Camping's office. The dude would start assuming he knew better than me what kind of person I was or what were my intentions. He didn't try (at all) to understand the situation. I was with my girlfriend who was in near hypothermia, and needed a dry place to warm up. The first thing I saw when I arrived in the camping was a honesty box, which, to me, indicates this place doesn't have a reception. So I start by putting up the tent in order for my girlfriend to warm up. And that's when that arrogant cowboy walks in and tells me I'm a liar if I didn't see his office (which is just one caravan amongst 15 others...), and he didn't want to hear anything from me. When I went to pay the camping fee to him 5 min later in his office, he slammed the door on my arm and threatened me to punch me. What a warm welcome at Rakaia Holiday Park! If you go there, be prepared to be treated as cattle. There are plenty of other campsites with lovely owners, don't miss them! Have a good kiwi experience!
Nice view, good price, very nice and fresh hot showers and toilets. Beautiful camping with view over the blue lake with shorter walks around! Recomend this one! No electricity thoe.
What a stunning camping spot and lovely grounds and very reasonably priced ($10 per person). This was one of the best spots we stayed at. It's right next to the river and it's very spacious but with lots of privacy too as they have tall hedges everywhere. Hot showers, toilets and kitchen hut were all very clean and it good working order. Really good value for money.
We find the campground one of the best from our hole hollyday. Big places with a marvelous view. 10 $ pp. There is warm water for free. Very friendly reception. For sure we come back another time
This is one of the best campsites we've ever stayed at. Loved it so much first visit decided to stay second night then a week later came again for another night. Lovely lady checked us in. Showers free and hot and very clean. Amazing views over gorge. Lovely a quiet. However very close to road so you do get road noise. Great value.
Best value ground of our whole trip. 10$pp for hot unlimited showers, clean toilets, sink area for washing up and great views. Fairly quiet in October so lots of space to find your own corner. Really enjoyed the 3h Gorge Walk.
Lovely view at the river. Was travelling by bicycle, the summer didn't start yet so the showers was closed. Was a little bit disappointed. But place is very nice
With a bit of a jetlag (we flew in from Holland) this was a great place to start our journey through NZ. Magnificent views, nice walks and a spacy green spot. Unfortunately the showers were not open yet. Great place, highly recommended!
Great campsite located just off highway 77. This campsite in summer would be 10/10. In August the showers and main area of the campsite seem to be closed. It was 10$pp per night, which we deposited into an honesty box. Just one other camper for the night, but plenty of room for more, even in the smaller camping space.
Tristan & Jolie
Great view from the campground at the top of the river banks, beautiful walks and views of the bridges and gorge close by, very clean amenities, best hot shower we have had in NZ.
Loved this site! Totally unpowered so you'll need a torch. Campervans are sited looking directly over the bright blue water of the gorge. Quiet and plenty of space. Facilities basic but clean. Showers hot.Friendly. Walks. Short path to swimming spot in river. Highly recommended if you can cope without hook-up or wi-fi.
Wonderful views, very well maintained. Can be very windy! Well worth the price. I can highly recommend this place. Next to Rakaia Gorge walkway which is also very nice.
Lovely site right beside the river, good walks nearby and the laid-back warden was friendly and helpful. The toilets/showers were clean and the cooking shelter had hot water. Enjoyed the views and laid back vibe, will visit again.
Loved this site. Totally unpowered, so a torch is essential for night visits to loos, and last shower needs to be before dark! A lot of caravanners staying relatively long term led to a very friendly atmosphere. Wardens friendly and helpful. Facilities basic but clean. All reflected in the price. Hand laundry area with hot water. Dump station not far outside site. Short stay campervans normally situated overlooking the bright blue gorge - quite spectacular. Short walk to swimming areas in the river and the jet boats. Lovely walks to viewpoints from the far side of the two bridges. Worth staying just to soak up the view! Could be dire in bad weather, I suspect!
Picturesque spot. Main camp site closed for winter but the ones open were good. Road isn't too busy at night so road noise wasn't a problem. Toilets flush but shared as it is a rest area as well so not the best we saw. Otherwise good with a few nice short walks nearby.
Very affordable and has clean and comfortable facilities. Probably amazing when the weather is clear as it looks over the river.
What a splendid place! Lovely position high above the river, well laid-out and with good facilities. It is a managed site which ensures all remains as it should! At $8.50 per adult this was the best value charged-for site we encountered. Contrary to your description, there is no dump station on site but, thankfully, there is one at the information centre just the other side of the river.
Location gets 10/10 - this is the sort of place that makes renting a camper wagon a good idea. Man at check-in was very helpful and friendly. Only reason for not giving a 10 is that showers are a wee bit chilly and there are no powered sites. But the views are to die for. Dump site is just across the bridge.
Stayed 1 night only, quite stunning location, great value, beautifully maintained. Lovely helpful people, amazing walk up the valley. Nice little restaurant and bar 5 minutes walk over the bridge.
Simple, unpowered, spacious campsite with clean bathroom/toilets/kitchen and a magnificent view over the Rakaia river. If you want to make the operator's life easier, please bring some coins to pay the exact amount, they're short on change.
Stayed for one night in February, $17 for both of us. Fantastic value! You have hot showers and hot water to clean dishes with. Really flat ground and the lady who greeted us was amazing and explained a few walks in the area. Good view over the gorge. Top campsite!
1 night for 2 adults in campervan in October 2016, no power, cost $16. Main campsite closed due to problems with toilet block but site caretaker allowed us to occupy the picnic area which had basic toilet facilities that were adequate. No view of river but ok for our first night in NZ.
Fantastic views if you're lucky with the weather, and some great walks nearby. Basic, but clean and hot showers and bathroom facilities. No electricity, but good value.
Was planning on staying here but it was my first bicycle tour and I forgot my stove. So one of the ladies running the camp rescued me by feeding her me sambos and tea and I went on to Methven to the shop, lovely spot with a whopper view.
Just as the other reviews have said, a nice enough place and a good value. HOWEVER, I was here on September 30 and the shower building was locked up along with over 3/4 of the campsites -- completely inaccessible. This was very disappointing as I chose this site for access to the showers, and the location...I would have happily paid more elsewhere for a shower facility and powered site had this been made clear at the honesty box check in. In the summer I'm sure this place earns its high marks.
Can be a quite cold at night in September but a lovely spot. Nice to explore during the day or before sunrise. Enjoyed staying here.
There is a very nice walk above the gorge with nice views. Well maintained track with benches for enjoying the view.
Wow best site so far and only 17 dollars for 2 of us and the van! So lovely and pointed us to a great walk in the morning. Hot showers, clean facilities. Campground was immaculate! Had a view over the Gorge, a tad windy in the evening but that didn't bother us for the view far outweighed the wind!
Best value for money so far on our trip: clean drinking water, sinks, clean flush toilets, great river view or private cubby hole spaces, hot showers, friendly and helpful owners and book exchange. $8.50 per person! No check out time.
Beautiful spot near the gorge on a grassy area. There are hot showers and toilets for a small fee.
Philippa and Adam
Fantastic site. Only $8.50 per person per night for a clean site, good showers, benches, and the most fantastic views across the river.
So far this was by far the nicest site we have visited in NZ. Amazing view from campervan spot, good facilities (including a free shower). 5 minute walk for a swim under the bridge (beautiful spot but a bit of a scramble to the best side).
We took a day off from renting our camper vans and drove the hour to the Rakaia Gorge to see what our customers get when they stay here. We found a great camp ground with fabulous views and perfectly kept facilities. A wonderful secret swimming hole just above the bridge and great photo opportunities. Cheap too! We recommend this as a good option for travelers just leaving Christchurch as a first stop. We only stayed one night but would have stayed longer if time permitted.
What a lovely place to stay, we arrived late and woke up to a glorious view of the expansive Rakaia River. Toilets, showers and kitchen areas spotless, nice hot shower. No electricity so no powered sites, but at $8.50 each, certainly no complaints.
What a lovely place! We spent one night there but wished we could have spent longer. The view of the river is stunning and we did a nice short walk down to the river in the evening. The campsite is well run and well kept. The showers were lovely and hot. There isn't a kitchen or laundry but there's an area where you can wash up or cook under cover with a camping stove if you wish. It was also very reasonable prices ($12.50pp). And not having a check out time was nice as well. Recommended.
Awesome campground. We were there in June so the ground was unstaffed & an honesty box was in place. $8.50 per person. No power here but clean toilets, incredible view & very well maintained. Short walk into the gorge. Perfect. Will certainly return!
Beautiful spot. Everything except the public toilet was locked up for winter. At $17 for two was a little expensive just for the privilege of parking on the property. Several other vans & campers stayed just outside and came through in the morning and used the toilet facilities.
A nice site that we spotted going one way and eventually returned to. We had a nice site with a great view of the river below the gorge and a whole lot of mist hanging over the river in the morning. A mix of permanent sites and visitors but powered sites available at a very reasonable price. Cash only I recall. Good showers and bathrooms and a small outdoor kitchen and laundry area
Spacious campground, nice views, very friendly manager, hot showers (!!!) and the Rakaia Gorge Walkway on the other side of the river. Everything for just $8.50! Best campsite I have been at so far on my trip!
Superb views if you can park on the cliff edge overlooking the river. Very good value for money ($17 a night for 2 in a campervan). Lovely relaxed atmosphere and warm welcome: you don't have to leave by 10am. However there is no power on the site and the facilities, whilst well-maintained and clean, are quite basic. Easy distance from Christchurch so a good first or last stop.
Favourite campsite of our three month trip so far! Amazing views, peaceful site, friendly owners, clean hot showers all for $8.50 per person. Loved it!
Very nice camp ground, great views of Rakaia Gorge, friendly staff, clean and tidy toilets and showers.
One of the best camping we stayed. Very high value for money, nice facilities (hot shower!), nice walk nearby and close to Christchurch
The first stop on our trip, a beautiful spot. Clean facilities. No rush in the morning, lovely lady lets you pack up without the usual 10am check out.
Clean facilities, friendly people, gorgeous location with a great view.
We went in off-season and had the place to ourselves. were very impressed with the immaculate presentation, plenty of shelter from wind with lots of plantings, privacy plantings, great view, next to river (not suitable swimming for children). clean flush toilets. easy access and dry. give it a playground and it will be a 10!
30Mar14, 1 night, 2 of us (50's). Excellent relaxed vibe here. No power but all facilities good. Great views and close to Gorge walk. Very relaxed on leaving time. Will def stay again on our next trip.
Just excellent, very well kept, extremely tidy, great facilities, super view.
Great value campground, beautiful location, great amenities and friendly caretakers. Can get crowded during the summer and noisy with jetboats on the river.
We camped here for two nights between Christmas and New Year. Reasonably sheltered tent site and the camp has everything you need including decent hot showers.
A five minute walk down to the river where you can swim and play.
The camp is pet friendly and when you travel with three dogs that comes in handy.
Beautiful campground located right on the river. The toilets and showers were very clean, but use them before dark as there are no lights. Still a very nice place to camp.
This place would be amazing when the main part is open as it would have amazing views. In the non peak time we found you basically pay 8.50 a night per person to stay in the car park and use the rest stop toilets. River is amazing.
An easy drive from Christchurch. It was our first stop after we collected our Campervan (late afternoon). Misty rainy morning but we were still able to take a very short walk down to the waters edge and enjoy our first view of glacial coloured water. We didn't hang around, but I would stay there again. Well positioned if you want to continue on for a ski at Mt Hutt. I did not see the showers that someone else referred to, only toilets
Very nice place with a lovely view over the river. The manager is very friendly and helpfull. He helped us arrange a speedboat trip down the gorge. It was 1500$ for 4 persons, but worth all the money! Do it. Toilets fine and space for doing your dishes. We stayed for one nigth and we didn't have to leave the place at 10 o'clock like all the expensive places. Price: 8$ pr. person (also the teenagers).
Quiet & basic. Most of the park was closed off on our visit (in May) but its still a nice place to stop overnight.
Well run, fantastic location. Charming hosts. Great fishing.
The best view we experienced of any campground.
Beautiful place and view, cheap, no power, clean facilities.
Abee and Suess
Absolutely stunning view of the Rakaia River, nice people, clean toilets and showers!!
Great spot to spend night or two. Very friendly owners (what is not a rule in NZL), private campground, hot showers and everything for around $8 pp.
Clean, well maintained & quiet - we heard the stags roaring across the river! Nice fishing nearby. Do the Rakaia Gorge jetboat trip and walk back down the track.
Booking is not required. Great campsite overlooking river. Clean amenities, hot showers, no power. It snowed, about 1cm. Friendly supervisor, (old shearer and his wife), with some great yarns (stories)
Great place, view into the river, friendly people but no power available, only $15 for 2.
Steve & Pearl Baker
Best view - amazing spot! Nice hike starts right across the bridge. We could have stayed here a week!
The office is an old bus and the staff extremely friendly. Clean and peaceful over the river. Only $7.50 PP - no powered sites.
Cheap site with a great location atthe top of the gorge. Good alternate route around Christchurch.
Great location. Basic facilities. Only $7.50 per nite.
A beautiful location sitting on a cliff over looking the the Rakaia river. Basic facilities block with toilets & hot showers & friendly caretaker.
This has to be the best kept camp in the South Island. Peaceful, overlooks the river and canterbury plains. Cheap, only $7.50 a night with hot showers. No power but with gas and 12 volt not a problem. The supervisors are just so helpful. Nice.
Peaceful with a great view. The site supervisor majors in hospitality.
Above cliff looking over Rakaia River. Simple but clean and $10 for non powered site = great value. Close to nice walks up the Rakaia gorge.