8 Rankers Reviews
107 Freedom Camping
A very popular fishing spot. This quiet campsite is right on the southern tip of the lake nestled in amongst trees. There are a few picnic tables and a boat ramp.
Drive up to the dam and follow the signs to the boat ramp around the otherside of the lake.
South Island ▷ Marlborough ▷ Blenheim
The bathrooms were very clean for a freedom camping spot. Its nice being by the water. Make sure you keep driving the actually camping area! It can be a bumpy road back, but nice spots are available.
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Andy and Julia
Weird spot to find, this one... Turn off the highway at the sign for Lake Argyle, follow the road and gravel track up and over the hill past the hydro works, camping is allowed on the other side of the lake, drive round and you’ll see the toilets and picnic bench next to the boat ramp. We liked this place. Popular with fishers, and we were the only non local camper, but all were friendly. Flushing toilets with lights for night time peeing, plus non potable water. Lovely sunny afternoon spent there.
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Rob & Colleen Elwood
The Argyle reservoir has a small official campsite & slipway with flush toilets. The general area of the power scheme and hydro canals also has a number of permitted sites for fully self contained vehicles. The official campsite is easily found by following the signposts from SH63 to Lake Argyle and slipway. Accessing the slipway campsite involves climbing the steep gravel road up onto the reservoir embankment then following the signs to the south eastern corner of the lake. This road is quite rough gravel and has some very large puddle-craters. Two small concrete fords (normally dry) have steep entry and exit ramps that may challenge low slung vehicles. Camping space at the slipway is limited and the ground is uneven. It is ground-zero for sandflies. There are flush toilets at the slipway campsite.
There are other potential csc campsites at the power scheme intake dam on the Branch river several km upstream of the Argyle reservoir and a signposted csc area among gum trees right next to SH63 on the entry road.. There are parking spaces close to powerhouse no.2 on the Wairau river and near to the tailrace at the northern end of the canal system.
All of the canals are stocked with trout but they don't reach the epic sizes of the fish in the famed hydro canals further south.
Three things to be aware of.
Lake Argyle is used occasionally for power boat events at which time the slipway will be a hive of activity and the lake will be unusable for other forms of recreation.
Fish and Game occasionally release large numbers of Rainbow trout into the lake. This is usually widely publicized and will produce a "gold-rush" of hopeful anglers. Around this time the campsite may be full of long-stayers.
The Branch/Argyle power scheme is largely surrounded by production pine forest and open farmland. At times of extreme fire danger the campsite may be closed.
Cool little spot, we found this easily by copying the lattitude and longitude provided in this site to Google maps, then zooming in until we could see the small access road leading you there off the main highway. The road itself isn't very well maintained but there aren't any huge holes, and the lake was gorgeous to wake up next to. On a clear night the moonlight and stars were magical.
Came here a bit after dark and couldn't find the boat ramp or campground. Ended up just pulling the camper behind some trees and stopping off. Ok for a quick night stop but the mozzys are brutal and the site is hard to find
Lovely spot, nice friendly campers around. Lots of sand flies!
A pleasant spot, slightly tricky to find: watch for a small sign to Lake Argyle. However, when we were there, access to the boat ramp was closed, so the campsite at the southeast corner of the lake was closed. Note that access is to the left, across the dam wall, not down the road to the right. However, as access was closed, we did stay on a little side loop across from the boat ramp, on the southwest side. It was completely exposed, but fine for a night. The area by the boat ramp has a small grove of trees that looked appealing.
Nice place, a little bit difficult to find, but do not hesitate, at the end after passing over the dump just continue to the end (follow "boat ramp"). It is worth going there. But no toilets!