Access OK. I visited in December 2020. Access to upper campsite had been cut by two washouts. In both cases light vehicle access had been restored. While I was there contractors did a major job on Dec 11 so that bigger vehicles can now also access the first site. In fact there are 4 sites. The upper site over looking the mouth of the river has a very small site just off the 'main' road. Then a couple of hundred metres later the site that had been cut off by the washouts. It is quite small and could present a turning problem for larger campervans. I would not recommend caravans.In fact I would not recommend caravans beyond Patarau.
Carrying on to the lower campsite one finds a larger area (also with long drop...but less 'long' now because of use!). Access to the beach from the lower site requires one to ford the river...by foot. Lots of 4WDs and quads go across but a no-no for cars and RVs.
I found another little campsite if one turns left at the bottom of the hill instead of right to the camp area. It is much more sheltered but has no view of the sea or river..though the river is right there, hidden by trees.
Took FOREVER to get here and we didn’t look at the map beforehand so we didn’t realise we had to go back the same route. Also not even sure If we stayed at the right place as it was pretty much a dead end. Also got eaten alive by sandflies the following morning.
Access road swept away by the sea on 2 spots. Toilet still there, but no maintance possible.
There is a small straight spot (max. 3 vehicles) between the road and the original campsite. Best place. You will love it, like 100 of bumblebees and 2 millions of sandflies already do.
Approx 40 km gravel road to reach the spot, takes 1,5 to 2 hours one direction. Same parts are hard to drive with campers, especially bigger vehicles.
Only selfcontained vehicles !
Try early, so you have enough time to head back in case there is no space, or the road or weather conditions are forcing you to turn around.
Any update on possible closure of this campsite?
Basic camp site, long drop and river water. Well and truly at 'the end of the road'... just a shame the only couple of houses for miles are overlooking the campsite when you're so far away from the world haha.. The drive to get there is absolutely beautiful.. good walks to be had in the area and along the beach. Rugged remote West Coast at it's best!
To get here allow yourself 1-2 hours (depending on how many times you stop to gaze at the gorgeous scenery) from Pakawau. It is a long drive down a gravel track and through some farmland, but it is a beautiful one. The first campsite is nicer than the second. Both have standard long drops and the obligatory sandflies. It doesn't seem like many take the time to stay here so if you're lucky it may just be you, the sunset and the ocean.
Only reason for not 10/10 is sand flies. We only went to this site by accident by not looking that you can't get out the other side. But it was so worth the drive and stay. Beautiful sunset and just an amazing spot. Would recommend this place.
Nice but very long drive and eaten alive by sand flys.
Sander and Eliza Hembrarskamp
Dat drive tho! A 44km gravel drive thats just breathtaking. Through rainforest, past Whanganui inlet and along the coast accompanied by thousands of sheep! Really is paradise. However when you arrive, it is not so much. We weren't sure if we were at the right place and looked like there hadn't been anyone there for ages.. Toilets are gross and you're in an area that can possibly flood. Water supply is the river next to you but non fully self-contained can't really stay there for much longer than a day or two..
LOADS of sandflies, even in the winter.. Not nice.
40k on gravel road (amazing whanganui inlet + road along coast) but what a reward!
Don't be afraid as we were by the gate, it's open ;)
We stay on the first site, which can be very windy at some time. Long drop toilet, no tap water.
Whatever! The river is here to provide you fresh water!
See it melt with the high tide, really an awesome place. Walk along the montain at low tide, and feel the kiwi sense of freedom!
Light a fire at night under the wonderful sky canopy, and enjoy!
Stayed for 4 days, will def come back!
Love this place, its a mission to get there but well worth it.
1st camping site is fine 2nd camping ground is okay but you have to keep your eye on the river as it can flood the paddocks there