44 Rankers Reviews
42 Bird Watching
304 Basic Camping
Lake Ellesmere is New Zealand's fifth largest lake and has a huge biodiversity of birdlife. The lake is actually a lagoon covering 20,000 hectares and is a mix of fresh and salt water. The lake is surprisingly unknown and under used as a recreational resource. It is an awesome place for fishing, bird watching, walking, mountain biking and all types of water sports.
This site is the habitat of the Mayfly, which at different times of the year swarm in very large numbers.
They are not mosquitoes, nor do they bite or sting.
There are boat ramps and lake access all around the lake as well as a couple of camping/ picnic areas.
This is a designated freedom camping area supported by the Selwyn District Council. The Timber Yard Point Lakeside Domain can be found at Timber Yard Road, just off the Lake Road.
South Island ▷ Canterbury ▷ Christchurch
Operating Season And Hours
Year round. Open 24 hrs/day.
Showing 13 reviews of 44.
Campgrounds are good, open fields with epic wind protection if needed. The lake is contaminated with algae so you’re not actually meant to swim, don’t drive out here if you wanna dip! Nice toilets and very helpful ranger lady :) mayflys are everywhere but don’t bite so all sweet. The no swimming brings it down from a 8 to a 6
Great place to get started out of the city. Lots of space and atmos for all. Gorgeous sunset. No mozzies here -they are mayflies and don't bite!
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Massive place on the lake with great views. We decided not to stay though, after driving around the site to look for a space, our camper was absolutely covered in huge mosquitoes, opted to go to Chamberlain's Ford instead which was definitely a good choice.
Great place to park up for the night. Good toilet facilities, picturesque lake for sunrise. Large space suitable for all vehicles. Points are off for the 100s thousands of midges!
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We spent 2 nights there. Good spot nearby the lake. Lots of space. It was very windy, so no sandflies. We used the cold outdoor shower
beside the toilets one sunny morning. Would definitely return.
Lots of people sleeping in cars :( Quite a popular site, not sure I would return
Good free spot. Large with lots of parking options, very close to lake. Flush toilets and outside cold shower.
Beautiful place beset with mosquitos. We arrived at 6pmish, and moved twice to find a spot without swarms of them. We had our van fully closed including all vents, but they were still finding their way in. We waited an hour to make sure the ones which kept on turning up didn’t get in from when we turned the gas on. But a new mozzie kept on appearing every 2-3 minutes. When we opened our blinds to drive away (finally at 9pm) we could not see through the windshield they were so dense. No wonder they were finding ways to get in. Perhaps a great place but not at the start of April...
Nice campsite by the lake, large and quiet with clean flushing loos. Mostly grassy so could get a bit boggy in the rain but was dry when we were there. Close to Christchurch if you have a flight the next day or have just flown in.
Tristan & Jolie
Large area beside the lake, plenty of spaces and wind breaks planted to hide behind. Which was needed when we were there due to the weather not being so great.
Toilets clean and as described, though we were in self-contained van so didn’t matter so much.
We only stopped here as an easy/close location after flying into Christchurch and collecting van that afternoon. Suited what we needed for a night stop-over perfectly.
Can imagine would be quite nice in good weather.
Decent place to spend a night or two. Plenty of space and the bathrooms were clean. The lake is pretty and there are some interesting birds to watch and listen to. Trees for hammocks and clean water on site. Seems like the road can be a place for tuner car kids to do burnouts and drive recklessly but if you're away from the road you'll be fine. Not sure how common that is.
Beautiful spot, lovely view of the lake. Very peaceful and lots of space for plenty of vans! Only rather negative thing are lots of bags (dragonflies I think) and very windy!
Rasmus Lundgaard Nielsen
Can’t believe this place is free compared to so many of the other places in New Zealand. We stayed one night right on the lake, and it has very good views, is big and peaceful. Good flushing toilets. Lots of bugs near the lake but they kept to themselves.
Good camping experience!