Toilets are new. Large area so easy to find a spot. There is a lot of what seem to be permanent set ups. The lake is toxic. We’re a few young people flying around on motorbikes and go karts. Didn’t enjoy
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!
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!
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!
Vander Plancke Julien
Lot of spaces. I can't imagine it full. Toilets and cold shower are available.
Watch the wind when you select your spot.
A quiet grassy camp spot right by the lake. Clean toilet block with an outside shower too. Bit of a trek to get to off the main road but worth it for a free spot with peace and quiet.
Phil and Mel Rowson
Our first night in NZ. Peaceful setting, flushing toilets, water supply, all we needed to set us up for the journey ahead.
What a gem. Peaceful, plenty of room (mid October) and only two mosquitoes (I squashed them both so you should be right for your visit).
Loads of birdlife and snow-capped mountain views.
Would recommend bringing a tap key if you want water.
Nearby famers market in Lincoln (Saturday morning) worth a visit to stock upon supplies.
Spent the last night of our two week trip here. Very handy to Christchurch. At first we were a little dubious as the water was pretty dirty looking but we ended up staying and really enjoyed it. Huge area to find yourself some privacy. Bugs (looked like giant mosquitoes) were a bit of a problem but we managed to avoid getting bitten and they seemed to ease off as we were able to sit out and have happy hour. We were treated to a most beautiful sunset. Toilets were clean, flush with a tap to wash hands. Very windy at night so probably best to not do what we did and park out in the open. Would go there again.
Toilet was unclean but free ya know. Decent space to stay although when rainy could get bogged. No taps.
Great place to stay really close to Christchurch, lots of space and flushing toilets! Beautiful (but not so clean) lake with great sunrise and sunset!
Great spot right next to Lake Ellesmere! Flush toilets and potable water. Loads of space. We stayed in a tent with plenty of tree shelter from wind. Good bird watching too! Saw a spoonbill!
Big campsite on the periphery of Christchurch. Quiet and along the edge of the inlet. Windy. Super cool. Clean toilets with tap.
We stayed there in January, it was a GREAT spot. Loads of flat area for comfy sleeping and easy to find a private spot with views of the lake. Beautiful to wake up to the lake in the morning.
Free, easy to find. Flat with only a few mosquitos. Lots of space.
Fixed toilets now working again, which is just as well as portaloos are disgusting. This is a beautiful spot, and the most peaceful.
I do not recommend this campsite at all. We stayed there in our last night before heading up to Chistchurch, but it was a bad choice. It is in fact very spacious and by the lake (dull views though). But we were almost eaten alive by sandflies. There were millions of them outside and also inside the campervan! They sounded like rain hitting the campervan. Besides that, it is very tricky to get there, particularly at night. Still, if someone wants to stay there, you need to go down the Lower Lake Road and take the first left; the last km is a gravel road.
Big and flat terrain with trees and the lake at 3 sides. Nice view! Facilities very basic and probably not adequate if there would be many campers, but end of November there were only a few and we much liked the place. Very tranquil. Liked watching the birds too.
Great quiet and clean spot to spend the last night before returning the campervan. No sandflies, impeccable toilets. The restroom area had light during the night! Beautiful place to finish our holidays.
Lots of space. Very uninspiring location. Skip this, the two campsites on the river are much nicer and only 10 minutes away.
This camp ground is in a great location not far from Christchurch but a little hard to find and harder to get back to the highway again, so google before you go there. Beautiful large sites surrounded by trees for protection. The toilet block was closed but porta-loos in place.
Nice and quite lake views across to Akoroa.
Great campground, I highly recommend it - so many spots to chose from, whether that's by the water or in a forest area... Public toilets are just portaloos, so ensure you bring hand sanitizer or soap :-) will definitely stop in again on our way back!
Yann Le Gac
Perfect freedom camping spot for our last night before handing over our campervan at Christchurch. Serene and so beautiful by the lake spot. Only a couple of other campervans in May.
Free campsite, on the lake side. About 40 mins to Christchurch. Beautiful place to relax, no bugs when we were there. Toilets and water. You can fish in the lake but need nets to get flounder, yellow eyed herring or eels.
Large site, free for all sort of campers, basic stinky toilets, dirty lake (for NZ standards) but not too bad, good stopover place, not crowded.
Fabulous free site, just what freedom camping should be. Huge grassy area right around the lake so everyone can get some privacy and views of both sunrise and sunset. It is hard to imagine it could ever be full. Only 4 other vehicles with us at end of March.
Huge camping and not known at all. Last km is an easy gravel road. Big lake for jetski, boats and kayaking. Very peaceful and quiet. Clean toilets, even though they were supaloos (toy toy).
Great Location!! Plenty of room suitable for families and large groups. Quite far away from the Highway but a beautiful spot.
Great place to stay right next to Lake Ellesmere, really big camp ground so you should have always enough space, but very basic toilets, only mobile Port-A-Loos available, no water. We still loved this place, highly recommended.
Located right on the shore of Lake Ellesmere you can park up on a huge, open, well maintained campground; perfect for campervans, tents and large groups alike. With large wind breaks to block wind from all directions you can be assured to wake up to the sounds of the water lapping against the shore. Also a mecca for boating, fishing and kitesurfing; can be great for windsurfing too! A well maintained road, with no powered sites, basic facilities and a fantastic outlook. Most amazing thing about this site is it's free!
Updated, visited 12/10/16
Awesome, huge site. Toilet facilities just upgraded. Sensor lights, clean flush toilets, even a new shower (cold). Easy drive to Christchurch.
A lovely place to camp, lake 3 sides, plenty of shelter I will definitely be going back
For free, really nice campground, lots of space and a view, amazing sunset and sunrise over the lake, clean toilets, fresh water, rubbish disposal facilities, bird watching, sealed road.
No frills camping. Bathrooms were locked and there were 3 portable toilets in their place. Good for fishing if you like eel.
Gate was locked because of tress down. Still had a good night there. Will go back
Didnt stay. Closed for winter. A warning on the main road advising that is closed should be held avoiding lots of kms.