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
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.
Awesome place, lots to see and do.
Quiet spot overlooking the bay. Has a dumpstation and tidy toilets. Is within walking distance of town.
Decent spot with reasonable toilets. But expect a parking lot, not nature. Plenty of space but only few spots available for overnight camping.
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.
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!
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.
Keith & Kay Finlayson
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.
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.
Dump station and waste management is great. Only one toilet and sink. No shower. Perfect for self-contained motorhomes.
Nice park. I liked staying there for the night.
This is a great location with proper parking lot. It feels more like a holiday park with toilet amenities, dumping facilities and fresh water refill available for our motorhome.
If there’s only 10 vehicles, it could be fine... but when you are 15 to 20, the place is a little bit less interesting. Especially when there is cars in which people sleep...
But still, it’s better than nothing and you’re close to the beach which is nice.
This place was great- very close to a beautiful beach, great for swimming. In the evening when the sun has gone away people gather at the footpath to see penguins return from sea, an absolute amazing experience.
Great little spot to stop but super busy during Nov - Feb period best to arrive between 3 and 5pm. Clean washrooms and outdoor shower. No noise for us but we stayed on a sunday
31Oct18. Went there after our stay at Patiti Point the previous night. Glad we went to Patiti Point!
Right next to the port so must be a little noisy at night.
However, we went to the car park nearest the beach and parked up. Ok in off season in a big van but the spaces are too small so difficult if busy. Had coffee there and went for a walk on the beach. Good.
Right on the edge of the town and next to the Port. The Port generates noise through the night so not ideal for light sleepers. Easy access, basic loos and dump site for campers. Only 3 other vehicles in there so plenty of space.
A nice wee place to stop for a night. Toilets are not the best, the noise when we were there was really loud due to loading of a vessel in the container depot all night. But it was free and nice and central. Woke up to a nice view of snow on the mountains.
Nice bay and park nearby, and good facilities.
Great location for walking into town (consider Copper Bar for great food) and lovely views. We weren't disturbed by noise. Toilet block right next to car park, a little open, graffiti and lacking in soap but decent enough for a free stop. All in all - recommended unless you're picky.
Nice spot for an overnight. Easy to find. Trucks may wake you up if you sleep light.
The location is excellent and the local facilities (swimming pool, aviary, huge park and playground) are amazing! In the evening you can walk out to the port and see the penguins wandering in :)
It is basically a car park with flushing toilets, outdoor shower and dump station with potable water. What more do you need for free?
Great spot next to the beach. Walk to town through nice gardens. Plenty of parks available. Awesome exercise park and you can park right next to the toilets. There was a bit of port noise so take your ear plugs!
Good spot for a free overnight. Didn't notice any excessive noise, toilets clean enough. Only down side was a lot of street lighting (and our van had rubbish curtains!). Nice big park adjacent to the site with lots of facilities, including mini golf.
Good wee stop off for an overnight :)
A 7 because it is a nice free spot with toilet which was rather clean. It was full, even in August with more than 10 campers. The harbor workers were unloading a vessel the whole night and that makes noise, but you can switch it off in your mind.
Close to the city, including a dump station. Toilets not clean. A little bit noisy because it's directly at the harbour.
Nyla and Alan Ramsay
Great place to stop. Walking distance to town, Caroline Bay attractions etc. Noise could be a problem from port or carnival activities. Great site. Handy to town and Caroline Bay features. Could be noisy from port or bay festivities. Toilet and dump station.
A great free stopover close to the sea and walking areas. Close to the wharf but didn't worry us as only slight noise. Sealed area and also a toilet next to the motorhome parking area which is a bonus. Parking for around 10 motorhomes. 10 min walk to town.Go down Port Loop Rd, left into Marine Pde then turn 2nd culvert left into the parking area behind skating rink by toilets.
Free camping spot right on the water. This is just a car park, however there are flushing toilets on site. There are working docks right across the road so there is a bit of noise at night with lorries moving around, but not near the main road. Great as a stop off for the night.
Nice ocean view.
It was july and there was a house-bus and one campervan when we stopped overnight in our certified self-contained caravan, so we had no problem with space in the designated carpark. The carpark adjoins a roller skating rink, the beautiful Caroline Bay beach and well kept grass parkland and walkways. There is a potable water supply tap near the fence of the roller rink (dont use the large tap at the dump station, which people use for cleaning waste tanks).
Fantastic stay. Our family loved Caroline Bay and would certainly stay here again. We parked near the community hall along with 4 or 5 other campers. There were no signs saying we couldn't camp there but we did discover the next morning that the designated area was on the other side of the park next to the skating rink.