Coes Ford Camping Ground

Coes Ford Camping Ground

Lake Ellesmere



30 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face

310 Basic Camping

79 Christchurch




This is a designated freedom camping area supported by the Selwyn District Council. Coes Ford can be found just off the Lake Road.
Please use the rubbish bins and toilet facilities that are provided.

Do not light fires.
The maximum length of stay is 4 weeks.


Feature Value Info


South IslandCanterburyChristchurch


  • Basic Camping
  • Free

Operating Season And Hours

The whole site is now open for the 2018/2019 summer season.





Showing 13 reviews of 30.

jasper's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

Camping was unexpectedly closed, be sure to call first. Also the bridge to lakeside was impossible to cross due to high water levels.

Reviewed about 7 hours ago

Aleisha's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

Place is massive so plenty room for everyone. Unfortunately the freedom campers were being rather free of clothes should I say not pleasant for a family to see two separate incidents in 12 hours. Hoons coming in at 1am to do donuts scared the kids too. Not like it used to be at all.

Reviewed 7 months ago

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Jackie Sue's avatar

Jackie Sue

Ranking: 7/10

We stayed one night and it was peaceful, quiet and spacious. The toilets were clean and modern. The recycling and rubbish facilities were good. Unfortunately there is a warning sign that the river has ecoli and the water is not potable. The sign says Chamberlain Ford is not contaminated. We stayed 2 Jan 2019.

Reviewed 8 months ago

Daniel P's avatar

Daniel P

Ranking: 10/10

Hey Guys, we saw the review below and almost bypassed this place. But we thought we’d check it out. My gosh, it’s such a beautiful site and wow it’s huge. There are 3 sites you can choose to camp. We tried out all 3!! Great toilet facilities, rubbish and recycling too. Got speaking to the park ranger and he was lovely. Lots of people around to have a chat with and exchange experiences. We will defo be staying here again! Best of all, you can stop for 28 nights!! Please bypass the negative comment below as this place is beautiful!!

Reviewed 8 months ago

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Pheng Taing's avatar

Pheng Taing

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

The facility provided here is amazing. There's toilet at 3 different parts of the camp. They were very modern, flushing and even provided toilet papers.

We had a whole section to ourselves because it was closed to vehicles in winter but we were cycling. The speed limit of 20 makes the area quiet from cars and safe to walk around.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Matthieu Berdugo's avatar

Matthieu Berdugo


Ranking: 8/10

We stayed at the end of March for one night. We had a pleasant stay, very quiet and lots of place. Toilets were clean with toilet paper.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

estelle D's avatar

estelle D

New Caledonia

Ranking: 6/10

free campsite pour motorhome autonome
à 30km au sud de Christchurch
beau site, au calme
un très grand site sur la droite, et un plus petit en face, il y a le choix de l’emplacement
par contre, des quad / personnes et chiens vont et vient la soirée – comme des rendez-vous furtifs. Nous avons eu un doute sur la sécurité, mais ça a été.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in December 2016

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Hamish's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 1/10

Thirty years ago this was the gem of Canterbury. Now, the ford is heavily polluted and health warnings have been in place for many years. Do not swim or get in the water! Apart from that you'll share campsite with cows, local boy racers or people waiting for you to leave your camper or tent site unattended. Until the Selwyn district council and dairy industry tidy up their act my recommendation is to stay away. Head for Banks peninsula instead.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Megan Jurgensmeyer's avatar

Megan Jurgensmeyer

United States

Ranking: 9/10

This was the first campsite we stayed at after arriving into Christchurch and we had a wonderful night, we could hardly believe it was free!! The bathroom was clean and it had a great dish washing station.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Sue Horstra's avatar

Sue Horstra

Ranking: 9/10

Great, quiet spot with plenty of room. Nice and quiet with toilets available.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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Eric Pollard's avatar

Eric Pollard


Ranking: 8/10

Great freedom camping spot close to Christchurch. Just a big field of grass for campers. No privacy. Great brand new washrooms. Sinks to do dishes. Good for our last two nights in NZ!

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Emma Stiles's avatar

Emma Stiles

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

We arrived after being in Christchurch for the previous day. This is off the beaten track, but easy to find using the app. A very flat area, with good toilets which are cleaned once a day in the morning. Right next to a beautiful river running through a wetland reserve that is worth driving through, and next day we went to see Lake Ellesmere. It gets busy with vans and sleep in cars.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

mirimirik's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 4/10

Big camping area with big clean flushing toilet. Not drinkable water. Stayed on a Saturday night, had 4 cars skidding around in between parked camper vans around 10 at night. Not sure if locals, but pretty disrespectful.

Reviewed about 3 years ago