Lake Wardell Rest Area

Lake Wardell Rest Area




15 Rankers Reviews

0 Face-to-Face

75 Freedom Camping

8 Twizel



Just past the bridge
Get in among douglas


This is a large camping area underneath pine trees, it's named after a lake but its a small pond really...... It can be found just out of Twizel past the Pukaki-Ohau canel before the Mt. Cook turn off.

Very basic facilities and is for self contained vehicles only.

Max 3 night stay.


Feature Value Info


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free



Showing 13 reviews of 15.

Maggie's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Great freedom camping! All sorts of spots and pretty isolated from each other. New drop toilet that gets cleaned each morning. We enjoyed this spot!

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Glen Marshall UK's avatar

Glen Marshall UK

Ranking: 9/10

Nice quieter site we were heading for site further up but came across this & got a perfect pitch so stayed, it was by the side of private road & bear the toilet block which we used & it was fine. The lake colours are amazing & good place to stay so would recommend it, got to say most tourist do respect the freedom sites & have the self contained vans so the comment made earlier be a NZ camper is unfair as we’ve seen plenty of people in none rental vehicles staying over night which can’t be tourists, great place to stay near Twizel

Reviewed 4 months ago

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Emma's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Lots of shady spaces under the pine trees, conveniently located near Mt Cook NP and only a short drive from Twizel. Drop toilets were fine. BYO toilet paper.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Mazz's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Lovely big open areas to camp and still have privacy. 2 hole in ground loos, but we used our own amenities. Rainbow and Brown trout caught in the canal at the back of the lake. Great eating. Remember to take all your rubbish with you to keep NZ green.

Reviewed 7 months ago

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Jolanda's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Would be 10/10 if there had been a flush toilet. Cold and starry night, free stargazing. Nice place to stay the night.

Reviewed 8 months ago

Warren Molesworth's avatar

Warren Molesworth

Ranking: 10/10

People stop shutting every where and take your rubbish .

Reviewed 9 months ago

Kate2806's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

For me it’s one of the best Free Campsites in New Zealand! It’s in the middle of nowhere (okay 10mins drive from Twizel where the next 4Square is!)
It has just one toilet and of course this one smells -so it is when there is no water(I had definitely worse ones!)
But it’s right at a lake surrounded by trees😍
The sunset the next morning was unbeatable!
Close to Lake Pukaki and Mt.Cook

Reviewed 10 months ago and experienced in March 2018

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Chloe Watson's avatar

Chloe Watson

Ranking: 7/10

Arrived at night time. Was quiet at night and woke up to a beautiful view of the mountains. Struggled to find the bathroom at night. It was free so well worth the stop.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Allan Kilgour's avatar

Allan Kilgour

Ranking: 9/10

Lovely spot sheltered from the wind. Only longdrop toilets but it's free. Unfortunately while we there it was spoiled by non self contained travellers who persisted in using the trees as their toilet area despite a perfectly good longdrop being available. People like this will eventually lead to free areas like this being designated non camping spots and then we all miss out. These individuals where foreign tourists and it shows a complete lack of respect for our country.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Daniel Campbell's avatar

Daniel Campbell

Ranking: 8/10

Quiet private place to park up with a long drop.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

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Sally Smith's avatar

Sally Smith


Ranking: 7/10

Large area. Easy to find a quiet spot. Great for self-contained vehicles. Not too far to drive back to Mt Cook Lookout for good clean toilets, if necessary.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Viki Ziemba's avatar

Viki Ziemba

Ranking: 8/10

Nice place, only ones there at this time of year. Pond was frozen, beautiful location. Long drop toilet, bring toilet paper if going to use it. Good facilities 2km away at Lake Pukaki Information Centre anyways.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in December 2014

mcp hm's avatar

mcp hm

United States

Ranking: 7/10

only a longdrop, but its ok, you can drive easily enough to decent public toilets in twizel in the morning. convenient to highway. quite large area but was still crowded, in january.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2014

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