Double Bay

Double Bay

Mahau Sound - Overnight Campervan Parking



35 Rankers Reviews

17 Face-to-Face

71 Freedom Camping

12 Picton / Marlborough Sounds


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A freedom camping spot for self-contained vehicles in Mahau Sound off Kenepuru Road.

This is a council designated campsite.


Feature Value Info


South IslandMarlboroughPicton / Marlborough Sounds


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 34.

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Cath's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Stayed here 4th Jan. Arrived 3pm and got the last parking spot. Don’t be confused by the green patch of grass - that is the helipad! The parking bays are beside the picnic tables. Certainly a popular site - probably 30-40 campers arrived after us but had to move on. Sheltered stony beach with floating platform 150m from shore for an easy swim. Single toilet clean and with toilet paper. Felt very lucky to stay here - especially as it was my birthday!

Reviewed 10 months ago

Lia's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great place to camp for free. Yes the road down from Kenepura Rd is steep and winding but don’t let that put you off, we managed fine in our medium sized Britz camper and another much larger motor home was parked up when we arrived. It’s only a couple of minutes off the main road. The last bit of the road at the turnoff by the campground sign is gravel but it’s well maintained.
There are space for 6 vans only and these are in clearly marked spaces. 1/2/3 are in line with the gravel entrance road, number 4 is at a 45degree angle in the corner and 5/6 are along the beach front - you do have to park in line with the wooden sleeper for that space or won’t be able to fit 6 vans in - bit odd but it works and you’ll understand when you arrive.
Only two other vans when we stayed and views of the bay are stunning. Collected black tipped mussels for dinner at low tide..about 2pm in August..and cooked them for a free dinner (do check that there is no health warnings in place - we asked a regular who was staying and he gave us the OK)
Good, clean toilet available.
Definitely recommend and much nicer than the next free campsite just up the road.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

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Gus's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great place to stay if you are just coming off the ferry. We arrived after dark and found only one large motor home at the campsite. The toilet is a drop loo but that is to be expected in a remote location. I found it clean with stocked hand sanitizer. The smell isn't bad so long as previous users keep the lid down. If you are lucky and have a clear night, you may be rewarded with a FANTASTIC view of the stars...rivals Lake Tekapo in my opinion. All in all, it's small and as others have said, would be pretty cramped during summer since it really only has room for about six vans, but otherwise a great place to spend the night!

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Ella's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Nice spot by the water. The parking was quite close together though. And although it says for self contained only (which we were) there was lots of other campers, so I can imagine it sometimes fills up. Beautiful views on the drive in and to wake up to. Drop pit toilet was clean. Pretty good for a free site!

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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The Weathersons's avatar

The Weathersons

Ranking: 7/10

Lovely location and views, however sand flies are an issue as being by the water. Loo was not great and was heavily populated with flies and other biting insects. The way that the parking sites are indicated is most confusing which meant ourselves and another camper van were boxed in for the night with no privacy. There is plenty of room for the 6 designated self contained motor homes / campervans but only if all park at the correct angle which is not indicated at the site.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Michael Pitman's avatar

Michael Pitman


Ranking: 10/10

Idyllic beach front location with picnic tables, a pontoon to swim out to, and super peaceful. We tried here at about 5pm to find the six spaces full, and had to go elsewhere - but had success the following day when we arrived mid afternoon. A modern and clean (and non smelly) drop loo. Amazing views to wake up to! Half a point off 10/10 as you have to park quite close to each other, so removes your privacy a little and the pesky sandflies but for the location and views - get there!!!

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Stefan Hohmann's avatar

Stefan Hohmann

Ranking: 8/10

Lovely location, warm contact to locals, restricted to 6 self contained vans! Long drop toilet is OK, but no water anywhere.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

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Alice Addy's avatar

Alice Addy

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful location, we had read the reviews so we were prepared to park in allocated slots. Toilet was good for a long drop but if your self contained it doesn't really matter. Picked mussels and Oysters for lunch. Amazing spot.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Peter Moore's avatar

Peter Moore

Ranking: 10/10

Was aiming for Mistletoe Bay but the roads up here just never end. They just keep on winding. I loved it but we were tired so we stayed here. Lovely view when we woke up.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Marina's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Lovely location overlooking the water. Only 6 places with numbered slots and controlled. Very pretty bay. Has toilet.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

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R Werder's avatar

R Werder

Ranking: 8/10

Very idyllic. Toilet OK, but lots of sandflies in there. Limited to 6 self contained (!) campervans, so don't be too late. A "supervisor" will check in the evening. Sharp turn to the left from Kenepuru Road.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Ron Web's avatar

Ron Web


Ranking: 7/10

Quiet and nice. Beautiful view and a good place for a swim. Beware of the sandflies. Dry toilet is okay. There are numbers for each parking bay.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Alan White's avatar

Alan White

Ranking: 9/10

Excellent beach front site with views, self pick mussels and even a toilet. Only one other camper there in mid October. Don't miss the sharp turn to the left as you decend the hill. Keep going down the steep incline and you'll find a treasure of a free campsite.

Reviewed about 5 years ago