Lovely helpful hostess.
Utilities clean and kitchen/laundry well appointed.
Signage off the main road could've en
Garden and grounds amazing.
Fantastic campsite!! Not many facilities, just basic and no shower. But what a wonderful place - check out at 1Pm - so we stayed and enjoyed the garden and lake ❤️ Nice little shop and cafe - if not camping then just stop by for coffee and a walk in the garden - BIG recommendation from us and our kids - they explored the garden for over 1 hour and wondered at the Black swans that occupied the Lake
We paid $10 pp for non powered which included the walk around the gardens which were very beautiful. Owner was nice. There was fresh water a tidy toilet, little kitchenette with power points, microwave, kettle, fridge, hot water zip and 2 sinks.There was only 1 other van there so i asked if they minded us playing our music and singing a few songs on the guitar, they were algud.
Enjoyed our stay here! Spaces are limited but it's a quiet area. We were the only ones theres when we arrived till another vehicle came. The price includes access to the gardens which are pretty cool, and much bigger than I first thought! Very very basic toilet and kitchen facilities. A washing machine is available, along with a clothesline. The grounds are well maintained. Good place for a cheap stay.
Einzig die Grünfläche und der See sind schön.
Ansonsten ziemlich heruntergekommen.
Wir waren die Einzigen, die dort waren.
Leider war die powered site auf der Kiesfläche (neben einer großen Possumfalle).
Wir haben uns dann umgestellt, da weiter unten eine frisch gemähte Wiese am See war. Kein Strom und
leider auch Null www und wifi.
Die Sanitäranlage dort bestand aus einer Blechhütte mit Klo und die Küche war ein Gartengeräteschuppen.
Die Gewächshäuser auf dem Gelände hatten auch schon bessere Zeiten erlebt und so aah es rundherum überall aus.
Hier müsste mal grundlegend Kultur gemacht werden.
Für den, der das mag okay.
Wir hätten uns im Nachhinein lieber an die Straße gestellt anstatt dafür 30NZD abzudrücken.
Vll. hilft die Kohle ja dem wirklich freundlichen Betreiber, etwas zu optimieren. Wünschenswert wäre es.
L + J
What a gem! $5pp for unpowered. Gorgeous gardens to explore. Toilet (no shower) and kitchen are basic and clean. Cafe smelled wonderful at check in but we didn't have a chance to try. Owners were friendly and welcoming!
Lovely campsite. $5 per person for unpowered site. Tiny kitchen and minimum facilities. All clean. - Remember that this is a very inexpensive stopover and is very good value. Lovely walk around the lake with the fantails. Very amusing chickens and ducks interact with you. Friendly and helpful owners. Recommended.
Great spot. Found it by chance. Perfect flat gravel area for campers. Small grassed area for tenters. Ducks, chickens, nature walk, cafe, playground and bird aviaries. Owners were amazing and welcoming.
At the price it's the perfect self contained stop over. We are seasoned tenters so didn't mind any lack of glamping. Toilets provide both hot and cold running water and there is a provision for drinkable rain water. A simple shelter provided for all weather cooking.
Pro's : Price, Secluded, relaxed farm stay. Did I mention price ? ... Gardens, cafe, polite relaxed owners. Price.
Con's : Slight traffic noise. No camp kitchen or showers. No lighting. Lack of road signage.
Conclusion : Simple, relaxed farm stay. Clean and inviting. It might not be what everyone is looking for, but at the asking price how could you ask for more. A great option for those looking for a safer, cleaner option from a freedom camp.
Excellent restaurant just loved the fish. The owners are friendly and pleasant. The
gardens have been beautiful but they are very large to keep maintained. It was a good price for a power site.
Nice place for a cup of coffee and a walk, however not set up for camping at all. Garden was a little overgrown when I was there, still very nice. Swans were aggressive but you can stand up to them and they will leave you alone after a bit of a display.
Lovely place, peaceful and absolutely delicious food. We stopped there for lunch and did also take a cake for later on our trip. Small menu and it took some time, but absolutely recommended place to be! Garden visit is $2 per adult, children are free.
Arrived and just parked in one of only two powered sites. Garden was well worth a walk round. There is a single WC available. Friendly owners when we found them 😀.
David From Switzerland
We liked this calm place, $5 per person a night for an unpowered site for our campervan is a very good price and you get free wifi at the reception as well as free entrance to the gardens. No shower and kitchen but there was a toilet for campers - you get what you pay for, right? Friendly and helpful staff. About 30 km outside Invercargill.
We only went there for breakfast and it was great. Friendly hosts, nice view and good meals. Try the hot chocolate!
After reading the reviews we thought this would be ideal after a long days drive in the rain. The 'open' signs were out when we arrived about 3.30pm on 12 May. Cafe etc was all locked up. We had a look around for a powered site (as the sign on the door said) but could not find one. The only toilet we could find was dirty, had not been cleaned. Left and drove to Invercargill.
Lignite Pit Cafe and Secret Garden responds:
Sorry to hear about your wet day Sally
I’m not sure what open signs would have been out, as the 12th of May was a Tuesday, and the café isn’t open Mondays and Tuesdays, unless you mean the ice cream flags on the road side. We leave these out to help promote our place, because we need to improve out street signage and are designed to be permanently on display.
We will check the directions to the powered sites to try to make easier to follow, but others have managed to find them when we haven’t been home.
As we both work in town full time we are unable to check the toilets until we get home.
Sorry again we missed you, but we hope you found somewhere else nice to stay.
Maree & Barry
Really nice spot for $5 per person, quiet and you can have a nice walk around the gardens.
A delightful little spot with very friendly owners. Just outside of Invercargill and handy for the Catlins. We paid $5 per person for an unpowered site. For that you can walk around the beautiful gardens and talk to the ducks. The café looked nice too but we didn't get to eat there - sadly it's not open for breakfast. One of the most memorable and understatedly lovely sites we stayed at.
Definite a 10. $5pp. Very beautiful site and the various birdlife are a hoot. "Camp anywhere there's grass." Cafe hours are Wednesday to Sunday 11AM to 5PM but it seems you can come in to camp anytime. There were probably 6 other vehicles Easter Sunday evening (we tented, everyone else slept in vehicles). No showers. Awesome spot.
This is a solid ten, best experience with a campsite in NZ. Try to arrive early so you can spend some time in the fabulous gardens, anybody could easily spend an hour just strolling around, and if the weather is nice you could spend some extra days here. Perfect for catching up on a book or just chilling out down by the pond and kids would be entertained for weeks playing around in the garden and watching all the birdlife, supplemented with aviaries with loads of different imported and colourful birds. The campsite itself suffers from lack of a good water source (rainwater, but you can get tap water in the café) and no showers, but it's all being renovated, so maybe it will be included in the future. But I paid $5 per person, so really can not complain. Strongly recommended!
Such a nice campground with a clean toilet for only $5 - that's great! There's a beautiful garden with lots of birds and a café around. The owners are so friendly! Thanks for that fantastic stay!
Gorgeous campground and surrounding grounds. Only two powered sites, not sure if there are plans for more. I would be inclined to rate higher but lack of showers and a water supply lowered the score for us. Lovely owners and the cafe looks nice (not eaten there). The gardens and pond are fab! Clearly the new owners are putting in a lot of work and the effort is well underway.
Stopped for one night at a powered site. The area was clean, with lovely gardens. We arrived late at night and the nice owners were not there, which was no issue since we paid the next morning. There is a nice café open during the day.
The best stop during our 5 weeks in nz. The kids loved the Lake from the old mine and seeing all the birds and the two black swans. Got a free Tour of the wonderfull garden. And Them it was the cheapest stop during our trip.
If touring the south island this hidden gem well worth a visit. Nothing was too much trouble showing us around there amazing garden & museum. Cheap at $7 each as well.
It is a great place to stay with your camper. A beautiful garden, good and clean toilets and super friendly people.
It has been a really rainy morning but Dave showed us his small museum which was quite interesting and the stunning garden which the family built up on their own. We could feed the ducks and black swans - they were really beautiful and Dave told us a lot about the plants and trees. We then ate the best freshly homemade pie ever - Maria bakes them herself!!
We would recommend it to everyone as it is a great and beautiful place to stay, you can learn something if you like or just have a nice cake and coffee and it is only 7$ per night.
A perfect place to stop. It's not just an overnight area, it's a small piece of paradise managed by a lovely Kiwi couple who look forward to make you visit their museum/campsite they'd built all by themselves.
For 7$ per person you are allowed to camp and you'll have a guide tour of the place, an amazing beautiful park where you can feed the animals and an really intersting museum full of 40's, 50's collection tractors, shearing machines etc...
Too bad that this place is not well known. An awesome place with awesome friendly people.
A must stop on your road to the catlins !