Lake Maraetai Camping Reserve

Lake Maraetai Camping Reserve



33 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face

2 Tokoroa


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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


Showing 13 reviews of 33.

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Allan's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Lovely stop beside the lake. Lots of flat grassed area to park up. A bit of a schlep from the self contained area to the toilets, but you can live with that and it's worth it. Great place.

Reviewed 30 days ago

Cicada's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Really nice spot by the lake you can camp by the cafe but if your self contained there’s more camping further around that’s quite popular for rv and caravans good clean flushing toilet and seems popular with locals

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Dons's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

If you are self contained, continue down Lake Rd. to the lake edge and follow gravel road to the right. About 500 mts along there is a turn to the left which will take you to a wonderful camp area called 'dog island'.
No amenities but flat grass sheltered by trees and right on lakes edge. There are just a few places where you can access the water as the area is surrounded by dense foliage.
A really good spot, we will be back.

Reviewed 10 months ago

Anita's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Flush toilets in good condition. Plenty of parking space. Shower for a fee, cafe nearby if you want coffee in the morning. Would be great place to take kids as there is a "fun island playground" on the lake. Kayaks and bikes for hire too.

Reviewed 10 months ago

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Susan Feeney. 's avatar

Susan Feeney.

Ranking: 8/10

Amazing place , has everything you need had a lovely spot in front of the lake , was a very warm Friday night so was very busy with the young locals and their cars and dogs , but it's there place as well and there was no agro or unpleasantness , wonderful.

Reviewed 11 months ago

Rey's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Simply the best
Water, clean toilets, nice view, near mangakino town with library(wifi+power), 4square, food shops

Reviewed about 1 year ago

AB's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Lovely location. Bird song. Very friendly police officer regular checks. Great food and coffee at the Bus Stop Cafe. Brilliant.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Teghan's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Quite busy and noisy around the main camping area. Toilets are nice and clean. If you have your own toilet facility, drive down the shore a bit to a beautiful, quiet area to camp.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

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Rocinante's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Our first night in a free camping site and if we find more like this one we will be very very happy. Toilets were immaculate, other campers were great and not withstanding there was an annual event on the following day there was plenty of room between the lake and the golf course.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Richard and Anne Amphlett's avatar

Richard and Anne Amphlett


Ranking: 10/10

There is an area next to the Bus Stop Café, where there were several campervans pulled up, close to the public toilets. We chose to move further south to a very large secluded area, bounded on one side by the lake, and the other by the golf course.
We had a huge area all to ourselves, and we were entertained by quite a variety of bird life.
There is a lovely walkway along by the lake which is used by locals to walk their dogs.
This is a really nice free camp -- highly recommended!

Reviewed about 2 years ago

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 over 2 years 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 almost 3 years ago

Kirsty B's avatar

Kirsty B

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 almost 3 years ago and experienced in December 2018