Caroline Bay

Caroline Bay

Overnight Campervan Parking


36 Rankers Reviews

2 Face-to-Face

8 Timaru

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This is a great place for the self-contained gang to stay for the evening. You can park up very close to the beach, just on the edge of the CBD in Caroline Bay (adjacent to roller skating rink).

Please make sure you vacate the area between 10am and 4pm everyday. This site is limited to 10 campervans/motorhomes at any time.

At certain times of the year you can fully get in amongst the carnies when the circus comes to town. Go the candy floss!


Feature Value Info


Timaru District Council

Local government organisation


South IslandCanterburyTimaru


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 36.

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Jenny's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

A bit of noise from the port and you are basically in a car park. But the park and beach are close by and very handy to the town centre.

Reviewed 2 months ago

EvaBelle's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Penguins are the main attraction of this site. Plenty of rubbish bins, okay toilets. Not the quietest place, as plenty of people are around recreationally, and the port can be quite noisy. A few interesting characters about. Unclear as to whether you can freedom camp in the parking closest to the water, or only by the toilets

Reviewed 7 months ago

Julie Hampton's avatar

Julie Hampton

Ranking: 10/10

WOW! A beautiful relaxed restful spot, toilets available 24/7, access to great walkways, penguin colony and town, plenty of parking, THANK YOU Timaru...a lovely spot indeed

Reviewed 7 months ago

Felipe's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

Noisy and small as some commented but right on the beach, may be good for some. I only stopped for the dump station and toilets for a little while and noticed some creepy people coming and going with dogs, what's going on there? Lol

Reviewed about 1 year ago

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Dr.A's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Carpark opposite the port (not to be confused with the grass area in the middle of the loop road). Tidy area with recycle and rubbish bins, drinking water supply, dump station and clean toilets. There were about 15 vehicles when we stayed and there was plenty of room. Not really suitable for bigger RVs (we saw these parked in the grass area in middle of loop road - not sure if that was legit as signs indicated it wasn't).
Be prepared for noise from port activity from about 7am.
Just a very short walk to Caroline Bay beach and penguin viewing from the breakwater rocks at night (need to wait until well after dark before they start surfing in and best when seas are calm).
Would be happy to stay here again.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Ray's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Awesome place, lots to see and do.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Daniel's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Quiet spot overlooking the bay. Has a dumpstation and tidy toilets. Is within walking distance of town.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Karin's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Decent spot with reasonable toilets. But expect a parking lot, not nature. Plenty of space but only few spots available for overnight camping.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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FZ's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Good free place for a self contained camper. Reasonable toilets and dump point nearby too. The actual free camping area was a bit small (and full) for our 6 berth RV so we set up in the adjacent car park with some other bigger RVs. Not sure if this was allowed but no one said anything. Penguins nearby were a hit with the kids. Good playground but a bit of a walk to get there. Bit of noise from the port but didn’t worry us.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Lua's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

If I could I would give 11 of 10 stars for this spot. It is very close to the beautiful beach of Caroline Bay and also in a walkable distance to the nice little town centre of Timaru. Moreover there a good and clean facilities, rubbish bins, drinking water, changing rooms and even showers. One of the two showers is almost a private shower - if you have a friend who can stand in the little gap between the cover walls you can have a shower without being observed. The best about this spot is that it is not far from the penguin colony. At sunset or sunrise you can observe the little penguins coming from or walking to the water. It is magic!

Reviewed over 2 years ago

EmStems's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Good location, very close to beach and also a nice wander to a good children’s play ground and paddling pool. Good self contained options for a night, especially when the weather is good.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Keith & Kay Finlayson's avatar

Keith & Kay Finlayson

Ranking: 10/10

This is a popular free camp. It has great facilities with a dump point and toilet block. A very short walk takes you straight to the bay where you can view the penguin colony for free.The penguins were very close and you got a great view of them. The port is very close but we didn’t find the noise to be a problem.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Tarsha's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

Noisey as across from the shipping container port. Lovely place to park, great views of bay. Toilets flush and clean but not waterproof will get wet if raining. Good access to dump station with fresh drinking water available separate to water to use to clean waste.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago