Little Waipa Reserve

Little Waipa Reserve

Lake Karapiro



32 Rankers Reviews

2 Face-to-Face

50 Freedom Camping

5 Putaruru


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Little Waipa reserve is on the banks of Lake Karapiro and accessed via Horahora road, it’s a popular spot for day-trippers. It is slightly elevated with great views of the lake and a lovely grassy area leading down to a boat ramp at the lake shore and river inlet.

Self-contained caravans and campervans can stay the first two nights free then a camping permits is required for a longer stay. Camping in tents and vehicles required a camping permit. This requires a camping permit which can be purchased from the South Waikato District Council offices or the district’s Information Centres.


Feature Value Info


North IslandWaikatoPutaruru


  • Freedom Camping



Showing 8 reviews of 32.

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Allen Goodall's avatar

Allen Goodall

Ranking: 10/10

Under the site’s description it says no showers. We have just stayed there and yes there are showers. Great place to stay. Loved it. We freedom camped in our camper.

Reviewed 6 months ago

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Rod Brown's avatar

Rod Brown

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing the new facilities at this camp now has showers (Cold but refreshing) and BBqs The facilities were as usual spotlessly clean. Lawns mowed and now showing signs of the hot weather. It has to be my favourite camp site on the Waikato river.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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John Plane's avatar

John Plane

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful spot. 20+ MHs plus caravans & tents but tons of space. Very peaceful even though a lot of people there. No cellphone cover but is that a bad that’s not a bad thing.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Roland Hänni's avatar

Roland Hänni

Ranking: 8/10

Lovely place at riverside and pretty well equipped (toilets and BBQ).
Will soon get showers and a 2nd BBQ.
Easy and fast application for free permit via website

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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Each camping location is approved by a regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

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Alyson Reid's avatar

Alyson Reid

Ranking: 7/10

Cute little spot next to the river. Very peaceful and quiet. Two long drop toilets. Watch out for sandflies.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Haley Everitt's avatar

Haley Everitt

Ranking: 3/10

Beautiful location but didn't end up staying the night because of other park guests. Did not feel safe.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

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Helen Quirk's avatar

Helen Quirk

Ranking: 9/10

Amazing location and family friendly. We spent two nights over Waitangi Weekend and it was amazingly relaxing. For those into mountain biking the trails around are fantastic including a crazy long boardwalk area. Bring toilet paper!!
Only downside is no water but other than that was a sensational spot.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Maaike Goudriaan's avatar

Maaike Goudriaan


Ranking: 10/10

Spaceous campground. Stayed here in January, I guess there were about 30 vans and cars around but it didn't really feel crowded. Longdrops are very clean and no need to take your waste with you. Very close to Hobbiton!
Superfriendly Dutch (Frysian) campwarden lives at the end of the road, came by to say hi to all campers when I was there. Since I was travelling alone he told me that I could always come see them if I needed any help, that made me feel really safe.
Nice views on the lake, easy to find. One of the best free campgrounds I encountered in NZ.

Reviewed over 3 years ago