Dunsdale Recreation Reserve and...

Dunsdale Recreation Reserve and camping area



11 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face

4 Gore


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Dunsdale Recreation Reserve
Serious planting going on!


Freedom campers are permitted to stay for up to three days at Dunsdale Recreation Reserve, inland from Invercargill.

This is a huge area, another wicked find! This reserve is well set up with loads of space to camp in, multiple toilet sites and water avaliable. It is very tidy and there is lots of natives being planted. There are walks through the Hokonui Forest.

The Southland District Council and Dunsdale locals offer this up. In return they ask that you obey general free-camping etiquette: respect people, plants and animals around you, restrict noise after 8pm, deposit waterwater etc in an appropriate place and leave your campsite tidy.

The reserve is about 7km down Dunsdale Valley Road, when you get to an obvious intersection, veer right to get to the campsite otherwise you could be driving through the forest forever......


Feature Value Info


Southland District Council

Local government organisation


South IslandSouthlandGore


  • Basic Camping
  • Free


Get the best out of it. Here's how…

Instantly Lost's avatar

Instantly Lost

United States

Ranking: 1/10

Attempted to get here in June 2022, Google maps must not have been reliable because it was taking us through what looked like private farmland with a lot of open but could-be locked gates while you sleep. Didn't want to risk it or anger any of the locals so didn't stay here and moved on.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Nay's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

This place is great! A bit of a drive to get to it, but not too bad. Make sure you go right at the intersection right before you get to it, since on the maps it’s not quite in the right location. A huge grassy field, well maintained. Flushing toilets! A few sandflys but nothing unusual. Great for a free spot.

Reviewed 7 months ago

Pip's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Awesome camp spot. Green clean and beautiful! NZ gem. Toilets clean with loo paper! Lots of sandflys also there on holiday.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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Ivor's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Beatifull free camp with clean toillets, fresh water and no people at all. Little hard to get there as from one side the road is closed. Get there from south-east side

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Mike's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Looks like a really nice camp site, unfortunately the gate was locked when we got there as to stop people ripping up the grass over winter, we just stayed on the turn around outside as self contained but something to know, also a few people parking to go hunting in the bush it backs onto

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Thomas Gramond's avatar

Thomas Gramond

Ranking: 6/10

No signage from the dirt road showing you which right turn is to the campsite. Look for a sign that says domain and turn there. I unfortunately did not see this sign and kept going, getting stuck in the mud and having to walk all the way back to a local farmer to pull be out at 1030pm. Bathrooms are what you'd expect for being in the middle of the woods.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

David Brici's avatar

David Brici

Ranking: 10/10

This is the perfect camping getaway with a large, well-maintained campground with flushing toilets, pretty walk and a beautiful stream. Getting there was confusing but you pretty much follow Dunsdale Valley road until you get into the forest and follow the road for a few minutes until you see a handmade sign with an arrow pointing right. I highly recommend this camp ground it is overlooked! It was our favourite place to rest :)

Reviewed over 5 years ago

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Anna Stoehr's avatar

Anna Stoehr


Ranking: 10/10

There is a picnic area, from there some short, nice walks through the forest.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Alexandra Shane's avatar

Alexandra Shane

Ranking: 1/10

This place is in the middle of nowhere, do not get there after dark. We traveled there and got stuck on the road, had to push our campervan out. It was an eerie drive in at 830pm.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Miguel's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

Very basic campsite, some camping tables and two toilets. Plenty of space in this big meadow, the only shelter is close to the trees that surround it. It's completely FREE :)

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Simon L's avatar

Simon L


Ranking: 8/10

Great spot to base yourself for a look around the Hokonuis.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in January 2014