Waikawa Recreation Reserve

Waikawa Recreation Reserve

Overnight Campervan Parking

77%

38 Rankers Reviews

6 Face-to-Face

Online Maps

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Photos

Over looking the estuary
Toilets up the road

Information

Waikawa Recreation Reserve is A-OK for overnight free-camping

Self-contained campers are welcome to overnight at the Recreation Reserve in Waikawa township.

Bordering the Catlins and close to Curio Bay, Waikawa also boasts a popular fish and chip (chup) wagon. Nice!
Standard camping etiquette applies: clean up after yourself, respect thy neighbour and other users of the area, and protect the environment around you. And enjoy!

There are primo public toilets about 200m away from the campsite - keep it real.

Overnight camping permitted only in any 30 day period.

Must be self-contained.

This is a council designated campsite.

http://www.southlanddc.govt.nz/my-southland/freedom-camping/

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

South IslandSouthlandOwaka

Categories

  • Freedom Camping
  • Free

Reviews

Showing 13 reviews of 38.

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Pablo Boris's avatar

Pablo Boris

Ranking: 7/10

Nice place in Waikawa, near the museum and the harbour, nice views! Bathrooms and rubbish bins, a little bit muddy if its raining.
Jan 2021, cold and no sandflies.
Sandflies level: 2

Reviewed 5 months ago

Aaron's avatar

Aaron

Ranking: 7/10

Quiet spot in a carpark next to a small field and close to the water. Flush toilets nearby, and a nice nature walk. Enough space for about 20 vehicles

Reviewed 5 months ago

Jo's avatar

Jo

Ranking: 8/10

Site has moved and is no longer on the grass overlooking the water. My guess is that it became too muddy. Now it is in the car park behind the loos. Not far from the water, but not the nice view the pictures portray.
Level spot and pretty big site, enough space for many vehicles to fit comfortably. Toilets at the site too.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Aniek's avatar

Aniek

Ranking: 7/10

Ok, field with opportunities to park. Tricky to find a flat spot. It got very crowded. Good location though and a nice view.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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Cor Dekker's avatar

Cor Dekker

Ranking: 8/10

Great place but a bit muddy. Very clean toilets nearby. A nice museum across the street!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Georgia's avatar

Georgia

Ranking: 9/10

Great spot in the Catlins! We had the most amazing sunrise there, beautiful pink skies. Toilets are great.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

WideEyedWanderer's avatar

WideEyedWanderer

Ranking: 9/10

Cozy area beside the bay tucked up against the forest. Fairly flat with a few mud puddles. 20 vans by the end made a full house, some lined up along the entrance road. Everyone was respectful but we were all parked close enough to hear several conversations. Nice flush toilets and potable water (rainwater) available behind the hall. Highly recommend exploring the forest path that starts just behind the fence separating the parking area from the field, there are informational signs about various native tree species and the short loop (if you take your first left after a bit) is very nice to stretch your legs after a day of driving. The bay is mostly mud at low tide but fills up nicely at high tide. Not many options for food or fuel nearby so take care of that on your way over (we recommend The Whistling Frog up by McLean Falls). The spot can get windy, which you should hope for because otherwise the sandflies are unbearable.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Sophie Skinner's avatar

Sophie Skinner

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Ideal free spot before/after visiting Curio Bay. Toilets are a 1min walk back to the road, site small ish and grassy. Flat enough. What you’d expect for a free site.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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Mischa's avatar

Mischa

Ranking: 8/10

This was beautiful but a bit crowded...it wasn’t our favorite but it was quiet.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Claudia's avatar

Claudia

Ranking: 10/10

Lovely little spot! Public toilets very clean. Beautiful view. Very cute little town.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Rachel's avatar

Rachel

Ranking: 10/10

Great site overlooking Porpoise Bay. A short drive round from Curio Bay, where freedom camping is prohibited.
There is some hard road, but otherwise muddy grass; no problem as we were the only van.
Rubbish can be left here.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Benn's avatar

Benn

Ranking: 7/10

Nice free camp site. Toilets up near road 5 minutes walk. Site is grass so be careful not to get stuck, especially if it rains. It did get very gusty during the night. And the rain was horizontal. Make sure you batten down the hatches.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Michael McMahon's avatar

Michael McMahon

United States

Ranking: 6/10

Came here because the last place was too windy. That was a mistake. The wind picked up at sunset and howled all night. It was not a restful night. The site is grass and mud but mostly mud in the rain. There is a slight pitch to most of the spots down to the water. The view is nice. The bathrooms were ok but not great. I'd pass on this if the weather is iffy.

Reviewed about 3 years ago