Puhi Puhi Camping

Puhi Puhi Camping


30 Rankers Reviews

15 Face-to-Face


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Puhi Puhi Scenic Reserve


This is a small peaceful grassy campsite with basic facilities close to Kaikoura. There is a short bushwalk to help stretch the legs. Please don't light fires or bring pets along.

To get here, turn inland up Puhi Puhi Rd off SH1 on the north side of the Hapuku River bridge, 9km north of Kaikoura. The campsite is 6km along the road.


Feature Value Info


South IslandKaikoura RegionKaikoura


  • Basic Camping

Operating Season And Hours

All year


Showing 8 reviews of 29.

Tim's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Was quiet, just two other campers. Long drop really smelt! Walk was in adjacent bush but no good views of river and/or Bridge.

Reviewed 10 months ago

Jolie Choquette's avatar

Jolie Choquette

Ranking: 1/10

Hey fellow travelers. My partner and I experienced a very scary thing last night while camping at the Puhi Puhi DOC campsite outside of Kaikoura and wanted to warn people about this. We were asleep in our tent and around midnight my boyfriend was woken up by a couple of men in a truck blaring rock music, honking, flashing their lights, and screaming curse words while speeding past the campsite. I'm a pretty deep sleeper so I didn't wake up. Then a little while later, the truck returned, put their lights on our tent and someone got out and jumped on our tent right next to our heads, which woke me up. I thought something had crashed into us. It was terrifying. Then the truck sped off. Some people may say that this was a joke, but there was no laughter. No noise. Just a blantant attack to scare the crap out of us. We had no idea what to do. We got in our car, locked the doors, tried calling 111 but there was no service and the main road was about 15 minutes away from the campsite. We made the decision to stay in the car and not leave since we had no idea who we were dealing with and it was better to stay at a site with a couple other campers then be by ourselves. We have been camping all over the South Island for over a month and never has anything like this happened before. It was traumatizing to feel that vunerable. It wasn't funny. It was completely out of order and whoever did this should honestly reevaluate their mental health. Please avoid this campsite cause who knows if they do this all the time. Stay safe and careful everybody! ❤️

Reviewed 11 months ago

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Lauren's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Good little spot in the woods, only one outhouse and water from the stream but great spot for a night

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Karen's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Julia’s review below is for a different camp ground. Loved this site. Gorgeous setting and very tranquil

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Julia's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

I believe some of the ratings are actually for other campsite. This is not a doc site. It's commercial. You have to get the permission from Goose Bay Camping which is 1km south of this campsite. The site it not to big and its only unpowered sites BUT its right next to the beach. You can sea seal while you eat dinner and if you are lucky spot some dolphins. There are 3 toilets on the ground which are super clean! Yes the highway is next to it, but you can't have it all. It's 13Dollar per person and you can use the facilities of the Goose Bay campground (showers!!!) yes you have to drive there but I believe this site is far better than most Doc Scenic sites and it's the same price. So totally awesome for a stay close to Kaikoura.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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Joe's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Nice and quiet place to stay, away from everything. The one toilet is ok and you can get water from the river down the camp.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Mark's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Smallish site right off a little used gravel road next to a river that you use as a water source. Very quiet with the soft sound of the river in the background. The pit toilet was clean, but the ammonia vapors inside were noxious and unhealthy. It literally made my eyes water and nose run. It is very close to Kaikoura, and probably because of that there were about 12 cars in a place designed for 6.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Sinkbli's avatar



Ranking: 1/10

First, the picture on the Rankers app seems to be of a different campsite.

This site is described as “grassy” both here and on the DOC website, but really it is just a gravel car park with a couple of patches of grass around it. There isn’t much of a view, and I really don’t think it’s worth driving up the gravel track for.

We stayed in late March. All of the other campsites we’d been at had been half empty, but this one was packed - people arriving late were turning round and leaving because there was no more space.

Overall, I don’t see any reason to pay the 8 dollars per adult to stay here.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner