Lake Maraetai Camping Reserve

Lake Maraetai Camping Reserve - Mangakino

Lake Maraetai Camping Reserve



35 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face

3 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


Taupo District Council

Local government organisation


North IslandWaikatoTokoroa


  • Basic Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 35.

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Leet's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Winter review:
Lovely peaceful spot beside the lake close to public toilets.
We arrived on a Saturday night in mid July and were the only ones there so It was a little unclear where to park our campervan.
There were some signs around saying ‘no camping/motor homes’ so we decided to park where there were no such signs- so parked in the carpark next to the gorgeous Bus stop Café.
Some cars drove by throughout the night (so didn’t feel so private) but other than complete peace.
Were able to have a coffee from the lovely Bus Stop Café in the morn. 2 cute cats live there.

Reviewed 25 days ago

Lisa's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Really lovely spot for freedom camping! We got a spot right in front of the lake and close to the toilets (which were clean). Bus cafe next to us sold nice coffee in the morning - owners were really welcoming and friendly. There's a spacious flat grass area where we had a fish & chip (from down the road) picnic.
There's quite a few camper spots to choose from.
Really popular spot with the locals. We loved watching them speed around the lake on their boats, jet skis & water toys.
There's a little fun island in the lake that you can swim to with a slide etc.
We stayed for one night and loved it!

Reviewed 5 months ago

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 8 months 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 8 months ago

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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 over 1 year 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 over 1 year ago

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 over 1 year 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 over 1 year ago

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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 over 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 over 2 years ago

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 over 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 almost 3 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 about 3 years ago