Good for a night if you want to stay close to Picton. Bit out of town however (too far to walk) and nothing around (gorgeous mountain views though). Off the highway but minimal noise. I arrived at 2:45pm and got the last spot! Designated spots for 12 camper vans. Flush toilets with toilet paper and a bar of soap I believe some kind person left behind. Lots of creepy crawlies in the toilets - it’s nature but fair warning! Nice grassy areas to enjoy a book and your meal.
Great spot to go to the ferry the next day. Right next to a street so quite noisy. Toilet is ok. To stay a night a good spot.
Great spot for getting the ferry the next day. Nice car park and little reserve that you can go for a walk.
Fills up quickly so come early.
Only downfall lots of road noise and trains. So not much sleep to be had.
only for 12 cars but perfect if you want to take an early ferry the next day. close to the highway and the railway but not so much noise as you think.
Thank’s it’s free... because sleep near the highway, the railway and the airport... bit noisy. Only for 12 cars.
Still closed for work on October 11th and looks like it s gonna be like that for a little while. :/
Winter ok, dark n rainy, but dont sleep well cause noisy People come late and give beep/horn sound from car ...why? Toilet awfull! No nice place just for the night before ferrie ok... even in Winter bei there early to get a place
No good for families wanting to stay before an early ferry ride. Young people drinking all night staying in cars un-selfcontained.
I’d imagine this car park would be good for a group of friends without young kids
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Imagine this spot would be beautiful on a sunny day but it was quite pleasant even on a miserable wet one and it served our purpose for the night. Clean facilities. Did fill in quickly as previous reviewers wrote. Thought I was in a scene from Harry Potter when one train came through but slept pretty well regardless.
COME EARLY! Place fills up quarter after four, great if you’re taking the ferry the next day, Picton is 5 minute drive. Clean flush toilets, picnic tables, right by the road but didn’t bother us at all
Honestly don't know why people complain about! Yes, it is near the highway, yes, it is "just" a car park, but it is FREE! So of course you don't have as much privacy as in some pay campgrounds. We stayed in DOC campgrounds with less space.
Toilets are clean and road noise isn't too bad, if you are a light sleeper bring ear plugs. Nice grassy area with picnic tables and view of farmland with animals. Be early as sites fill up quickly in the evening.
Very useful freedom camping spot if you have an early ferry crossing! It fills up quickly (by 6pm-ish) and there’s only 12 spaces. The rangers do come and check numbers. Spaces are close together so it’s a bit cramped. Toilets were fine and close by, rangers re-filled toilet paper when they did their check. Very close to the main road so potentially not good if you’re a light sleeper, but we found it okay.
First of all let me make it clear (because the signs don’t!) you can only camp here two nights....ever! When it says maximum two nights I assumed it was two nights in a row, this is not the case!
I was woken early one morning to be told I was just about to get a fine from the ranger! A woman (who did not really like tourists) got out her little note book and noted we have been here for two nights before, in fact I confirmed that and told her we had being staying here for two nights and then staying in a hostel for the night to save money.
Anyway she was quite rude and said we (kiwis) don’t have to provide you with free places to stay and to be more organised like they were and pay your way.
The campsite itself is a car park (thank you DOC!), it’s right next to the road so it’s noisy. The toilets are a bit dirty and there is a cold tap with a very small sink (probably so you can’t wash anything in it). Lots of kiwis stop there so their dogs can poo all over the nice grassy bit (and no they don’t pick it up). There is also a train tack near by but you’ll probably only hear one a day (so that’s a maximum of two.....ever! Haha)
Pretty tranquil and serene spot for free. We didn't expect much for free, but were pleasantly surprised. Arrived at 7pm, after getting supplies from Four Square in Picton. Didn't expect to get a park, but was 3/4 full and a couple of station wagons were trying to save parks for their mates. Sorry first in, first served guys! By 730pm it was full and ranger was patrolling and telling others another spot they could go. 1 men's toilet, 1 ladies toilet and 2 long drops. All were very clean and lady came in morning to clean them. We slept through the night and didn't notice the road noise. My fiancé had earplugs, as he's a light sleeper. Couple of picnic tables and nice short walk nearby. Highly recommend to/from car ferry. Not far to Picton.
Nice little spot, does fill up quick and is by a busy main road, but has flushing toilets and is FREE! Though it doesn't have a water supply as it says, and the sinks are too small to fit any pans or bottles under the tap! So bring water!
Very small. Very busy. It was full when we stayed. Only a parking lot next to the main road with about 10 spots. Fortunately not much road traffic at night.
Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.
Just a parking area near the road. Too much noise and we had the door closed. Between the people arriving around midnight and others leaving around 6am too noisy. But not far from Picton. Full at 4:30pm. We parked our car at 11a.m (to book our place) and go in to Picton by hitchhiking. Water, tap, flush in toilet. Shelter also. Protect and respect nature!
Nyla and Alan Ramsay
Spot close to the ferry. Good clean toilets, bit noisy from the road.
Been here again on 19 January. 3 o'clock ish some people already there. Half past four last spot taken by someone. Noisy during the night - campers have noisy chat, SH1 is always busy and railway.... woke up half past five people were rude and just did a noise when leaving. Ranger came after 6:00 and was pretty upset, 7 cars over the limit!!! Guys...... there are heap of signs here and there ONLY 12 CARS. Don't be silly..... be happy there are some freedom camping spots in NZ and just move away when full. Same deal with dishes and rubbish.
This area is actually the parking to the reserve. Only 12 lots are available. There is a small picnic ground and public toilet. Good stopover between Kaikoura and Picton. So, the lots are taken up very fast in the late afternoon/early evening. Pleasant view of farm land with sheep & cow across the car park.
12 spots fill up fast. Arrive between 5-6pm. Full by 7pm.
Ahmed Mohsen Aly
Great location, but oh man was that place packed! We took the last spot and saw a few others come after us and leave. The road noises were almost unbearable with all the big trucks driving by.
Right next to a busy railway line which was noisy at night but a really nice place for being free. Nice grassy area and flush toilets. Quite busy when we were there and people parking outside of the bay.
Simple spot really near to Picton (less than 7 km). Just 12 areas to park your vehicle. It is noisy because it is near to the road but just for 1 night it is enough.
Good services but full of campers.
Basic paved car park on the side of the highway just off the ferry. Some road noise but wasn't bad after the last ferry unloaded.
This was a very busy site- we arrived around 9pm and got the last free spot. The toilets were clean. Lots of road noise and noise from other campers drinking in the bathroom shelter. Good for a free overnight stay.
Perfect if you just need a place to sleep! One toilet, no showers. I think just in vehicles, no camping - just self-contained only.
No BBQ, next to the highway, that is not so beautiful, toilets, motorhomes are free.
Maria = Moller Hansen
'Just' a carpark with a toilet, very close to a bigger road with lots of traffic. Running water and clean toilet, close to Picton and there is a lot of other travellers there.
Free camp, very good and near Picton.
Free campsite near Picton.
Allowed for all vehicules not only self-contained:
Free. Very basic and busy gravel lot. Gets full quick. Make sure to squish in and park close to make room for more vans coming in, several vans had to continue on after not finding any room. Clean toilets and sinks. So easy to find that I happened to stop right in front when I was going to look at the Rankerd App on my phone to find a free site south of ferry. Busy busy busy in April.
Nice location but a bit hard to anything alone.
We stayed here 1 night after arriving late into Picton on the ferry. Simply a car park with a toilet and sink. Noise from traffic and trains but perfect for a 1 night stop.
Free and no need to be self-contained because toilets are available. Well-maintained, with rubbish bin and picnic tables. Forbidden for tents but the parking can welcome a maximum of 20 vehicles. The best way to visit Blenheim or taking the ferry in the morning :)
The only bad point is that it's next to the main road, sometimes noisy.
clean toilets but very loud in the night, struggled to sleep. Also the atmosphere wasn't very friendly, hard to describe why but it wasn't super pleasant to be in. bearable considering its free.
Free site, clean toilets. Very convenient for ferry - 5 mins away.
Clean toilets and free camping. A little bit of road noise.
A simple roadside picnic stop, but it is free and has toilets. Little bit of noise from the road but nothing too intrusive. Between Blenheim and Picton.
Free camping with toilet. No need to be self contained. Good spot to spend one night before or after the ferry.
Basic parking, only toilets, water and picnic tables. But it's completely free and you can park there even if you're not self-contained.
5 min from Picton, easy to find. A bit noisy (very close to the road).