Lake Ōkāreka Campsite

Lake Ōkāreka Campsite


58 Rankers Reviews

26 Face-to-Face

12 Tarawera


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Lake Okareka Scenic Reserve


This is a small and pretty campsite 15 minutes out of Rotorua City. Also known as Lake Ōkāreka Scenic Reserve.


Feature Value Info


DOC Bay of Plenty

Central government organisation


North IslandRotorua RegionTarawera


  • Basic Camping


Showing 13 reviews of 56.

Brigit Pratt 's avatar

Brigit Pratt

Ranking: 1/10

Very expensive for a DOC campsite with basically no facilities apart from a Long drop loo. Interesting also that we turned up at around 5.30pm and less than 10 minutes later the "contractiol" warden turned up to collect the fee of $15 per person. What a rip off.....might ad well go to the Top 10 for a fraction more.
Interesting also that 2 more vehicles pulled in at around 10pm and nobody turned up to collect their fees. Weird.....yes it's a lovely spot by the lake but please make it fair for everybody!

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Emer's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Lovely campsite by the lake. Was quite busy when we visited (New Years). First come first serve (no bookings). Ranger comes around in the evening around 7pm ish to check you in and collect fees. Long drop toilets. No showers but there is cold showers 2 min drive down the road at the Boyes beach site (campervan only site). Very peaceful except for the young guy doing burnouts at 1am in his car!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Josiah's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Nice spot. Could be a bit cheaper but for a site right on the lake it's just what you want, close to Rotorua but quite secluded. Quite popular in high season so definitely get in before 5pm.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Jenny's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great cheap camping spot right by the lake. Basic facilities but fantastic views made up for it! Get there early to make sure you get a spot - it fills up quickly

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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Izzy's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

$15 each per night. Quite pricy considering very basic with only long drop toilets. No running water. Pretty spot overlooking lake, can swim in it. Quite busy so recommend getting there early - ish for a good spot. Vans basically parked right next to each other. Location is a bit out of Rotorua. Warden came round about 8pm to collect payment.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Julianne McKie's avatar

Julianne McKie


Ranking: 8/10

Scenic waterfront location, quiet, only one other campervan there with us. Long drop toilets. Chickens and sparrows to keep you company. Nice spot.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Loretta's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful peaceful spot. Long drop toilets but not smelly which is a bonus. No running water only waste water disposal.
Reggie the Rooster was our constant companion. Say hello if you see him

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Andrea's avatar


Ranking: 1/10

I arrived to this campsite today with my boyfriend and we set our tent.We went out for an hour to buy some food and when we came back, our tent wasn't there.It isn't a safe place.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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Matt MacD's avatar

Matt MacD

Ranking: 3/10

Nice view but no morning or afternoon sunlight so pretty cold everything gets really wet. Basins for washing but no running water. Loads of loud people showing up around 9pm and leaving at 6am to avoid camping fees. Pretty bad experience.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Thomas Syesha's avatar

Thomas Syesha

Ranking: 10/10

This was one of our favourite sites of our whole trip. Beautiful and peaceful Lake, small site, a hiking trail leads through the forest to the next beach site, easy swimming and relaxing without the sounds of roads. If you’re in a camper van, there are only a few spots that allow you to back directly up to the water (though we got there late both times and were able to squeeze in to front row Lake views). Otherwise you’ll be behind one row of cars. Plenty of lawn space for tents. We stayed over Christmas and despite the crowd, it still felt cozy. Pit toilets are one drawback, though they were very clean, and there was a covered cooking area. If you’re looking for a quiet and beautiful spot, you found it!

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Alisa Makkaveeva's avatar

Alisa Makkaveeva

Ranking: 7/10

Not enough space, there are lots of ducks near the water where tent places are located. Those ducks awake us up at 5am. No water at all, just only the lake. The lake is very beautiful and warm to swim.
They don’t accept cash, just only cards. The staff come every evening there to get payments.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Laura David's avatar

Laura David


Ranking: 9/10

Very well signposted, good surface under foot. Beautiful scenery. Good interpretation en-route.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

deborah cooper's avatar

deborah cooper


Ranking: 7/10

Had planned on staying here with Free Camp Pass, but when we arrived it was car park camping only for campervans. For this I only give it 7/10. Tents had stunning spots to camp right on the water. We went back to Boyds Beach Camp.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner