Lake Maraetai Camping Reserve

Lake Maraetai Camping Reserve




23 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face

59 Basic Camping

1 Tokoroa




Free camping on the Mangakino Recreation reserve on the shore of Lake Maraetai.

This reserve is located in Mangakino township on the edge of Lake Maraetai at the end of Lake Road. The main camping area is close to the toilet block, and a limited number of power outlets are available here. Self-contained vehicles with their own toilet facilities can camp further around the lake shore. There is no charge for camping here. Campers may stay a maximum of 2 nights, but this is reduced to 1 night between Christmas day and 10 January.

This camping area is close to Lake Maraetai's launching ramp and jetty, and within walking distance of Mangakino village. The Bus Stop Cafe is on-site and can provide excellent coffee and food to campers.


Feature Value Info


North IslandWaikatoTokoroa


  • Basic Camping
  • Free



  • Unpowered Campsite

    The main camping area is close to the toilet block, and a limited number of power outlets are available here.

  • Powered Campsite

    The main camping area is close to the toilet block, and a limited number of power outlets are available here. Self-contained vehicles with their own toilet facilities can camp further around the lake shore.


Showing 13 reviews of 23.

Brigid's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

I stayed for a couple of nights, a bit further round from where the toilets and showers are, on what a local called 'Dog Island' within the dog walking area as I had 3 dogs with me while en route between Gisborne and New Plymouth. A very beautiful and peaceful part of the country I have not been to before. While it rained heavily on the day that I spent there it was great to be in a spot where the dogs were safe. Also very glad I spoke to the local chap before parking the caravan as he warned me bits could get very boggy in rain.

Reviewed 3 months ago

Kristen's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Can't believe this campsite is free! It isn't a huge space and a lot of larger RVs frequent the area, so i would say to arrive early. We got there around 4pm on a weekend and were able to snag the last lake front spot.
You can swim in the lake or rent kayaks from the small cafe that's onsite. It seems to be an area popular with families.
$2 showers (4 minutes) are available and the flush toilets were clean. There was also a large sink and a seperate small drinking water fountain availble.

Reviewed 6 months ago

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Kirsty Brewin's avatar

Kirsty Brewin

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Stayed here a couple of nights just after boxing day. I got a park overlooking the lake. A nice place to bring the kids and has a cute little cafe onsite. Would stay again.

Reviewed 6 months ago and experienced in December 2018

QueeenBeee's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

If you like sleeping next to a beautiful lake, surely try this one! The place is great, with good toilets, showers for coins and on top of that - free BBQ!

Reviewed 7 months ago

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Rob's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

This would be one of the nicest spots I've found in the North Island after 2 years travelling in my motorhome.

Reviewed 8 months ago

Zoe M's avatar

Zoe M

Ranking: 9/10

Great camping spot. Flush toilet, water, wash up sink, and a hot shower could be bought for $2 from the portable shower unit. The Waikato River bike trail can be accessed from here, great ride or walk out to the suspension bridge or dam. Beautiful calm morning on the lake, great for swimming.

Reviewed 8 months ago

Julie's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great spot right beside the lake. Flush toilets with a sink. Grass areas to park on with lake views. Lake was really nice to swim in and popular with the locals. There is a shop beside the lake selling food and renting kayaks. There is also a play ground. Only downside was there was a lot of people coming and going to access the lake.

Reviewed 9 months ago

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Ed's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Nice spot for camping. Good facilities and cafe owner is very friendly

Reviewed 11 months ago

Viola Cube's avatar

Viola Cube

Ranking: 9/10

Nice and cheap spot.
Good for non- self contained vans. Right at a beautiful lake. Nice little cafe close by. Flush toilets and the best, you can have power for $5pp which is really rare in NZ.
Don't come too late, not much space at the power plugs.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Maartje Mulders's avatar

Maartje Mulders

Ranking: 7/10

Stayed here on a very rainy day which may have influenced the rating. Cafe turned out to be closed (we stayed early April, so it may only run during summer), and one guy sleeping in his car came across a little sketchy. However: heaps of other campervans parked too, and the toilets were very clean! On a sunny day would probably be busier, as during big pouring down already had a little crowd. View of the lake is gorgeous and when weather (and season) allow you can rent kayaks to go on the lake which is awesome! Only downside: no shower facilities.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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Kerutoto Nash's avatar

Kerutoto Nash

Ranking: 9/10

Stunning location right on the lake. Heaps of space. Toilets nice and clean and open all night. Friendly guy runs the cafe, hires bikes and kayaks. Awesome spot.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Denise Farr's avatar

Denise Farr

Ranking: 10/10

Lovely spot on the waters edge. Very handy if you want to cycle the Waikato River Trails.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Ellen Schmitz's avatar

Ellen Schmitz

Ranking: 9/10

Very nice area, kind of a park. Toilets available. A little cafe is there as well. A bit busy over the day, lots of locals spending their free time there. It's fun to watch the kiwis spending their time with their families and tiny boats with huge engines!!!! After dark, some local teenagers made some noise, but they weren't angry. So, nothing wrong with this place.

Reviewed over 3 years ago