Waitapu River Bridge

Waitapu River Bridge

Overnight Campervan Parking



32 Rankers Reviews

8 Face-to-Face

242 Freedom Camping

44 Golden Bay



Waitapu Bridge campsite
Waitapu Bridge


Turn off to get to this campsite just before the Waitapu bridge. Its great that it's free, one of the few in Golden Bay - it is a bit rough looking though. The site is fairly large and open. It is next to the river, and would be quite a nice place to have a wine.

Non self contained vehicles must park within 100m of the toilets and use them!


Feature Value Info


South IslandNelson RegionGolden Bay


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free



Showing 13 reviews of 32.

Mike Howe's avatar

Mike Howe

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Nice spot by a the beautiful Takaka River and not too far from Takaka township. There is lots of space but it gets crowded anyway. This is because there is no other camping sites nearby (other than holiday parks - which are not everyone’s idea of “camping”).

If you like meeting a bunch of other “travellers” then you’ll love it 😎

Reviewed 6 months ago

Andy and Julia's avatar

Andy and Julia

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Just off the highway, drive down to a bit of rough land next to the bridge. Patchy grass and deep ruts, so it’s tough to find a level spot. Lots of room though, and a drop toilet, and at the moment Portaloos in better condition than the long drop, but all were clean. Right on the river, so was pretty chilled, other than the roadworks in the morning. Was a bit of a downer.

Reviewed 6 months ago

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JT's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

you can have a Bath in the river. nice place for one night but a little bit noisy. mostly uneven surface.

Reviewed 7 months ago

Simon Roberts's avatar

Simon Roberts

New Zealand

Ranking: 1/10

Campsite was fine, but at some point in the night the river flooded and completely drenched our van parked a good 15-20ft from the bank. We were parked in the recommended area and in line with a number of other cars. Completely ruined our trip.

Reviewed 7 months ago

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Rosemary M's avatar

Rosemary M

Ranking: 8/10

Great for a free site. Busy though! We ended up under the highway bridge. Portable toilets were fine. Careful where you drive as some vehicles can get stuck in the uneven ground

Reviewed 8 months ago

Mitchell's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

One of the best places we stayed at during our month around the south island!! Awesome spot by the river and you can literally drive up and park right next to it. A bit scruffy however spoke to some locals and they told us there are plans to tidy it up with allocated funding

Reviewed 10 months ago

Casper's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great spot, nice nature, beautiful by the river and barely any noise from traffic on the bridge.
Also, please learn some camping etiquette people, dont park right next to other cars when there is plenty of space elsewhere.

Reviewed 11 months ago

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Markus's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

Very large place, which gets very muddy after rain. It was very crowded and felt like a festival with many young people and also some rubbish. The one toilet is not enough and it should be for "emergency" use only (very smelly)

Reviewed 11 months ago

Jess's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Not bad for a free site. The road was quite muddy and rutted when we camped. Bit hard on the van.
View of the river is lovely.
Lots of people showed up by mid evening.

Reviewed 11 months ago

Georgina H 's avatar

Georgina H

Ranking: 8/10

Popular spot on the main road by the river, fine for 1 night. Ground quite muddy and uneven so only suitable for self contained vehicles (not grassy like the photos). There's a long drop toilet and a bin :)

Reviewed 12 months ago

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Anna Brzezińska Talaga's avatar

Anna Brzezińska Talaga


Ranking: 10/10

View and atmosphere by river was awesome, be careful do not park right by the bank, the river comes up at night. Free and very quiet! Good place to stay for one night.
Great fish and chips and beer in Takaka :)

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in March 2017

Matt Downey's avatar

Matt Downey

Ranking: 5/10

Be really careful. This place floods! We foolishly stayed here when rain was forecast. The river burst its banks and when the kind farmer woke us at 4am the van was up to the doors in water! We had no damage but we were lucky!
I reckon starting at Pupu springs would be a better option!

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Trent O'Keeffe's avatar

Trent O'Keeffe

Ranking: 7/10

View and atmosphere by river was awesome, make sure you park right by the bank though as tide comes up at night. Toilet was standard longdrop.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago