The Pines

The Pines

Lake Pukaki Freedom Camping - Hayman Road

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135 Rankers Reviews

15 Face-to-Face

31 Freedom Camping

5 Twizel



No special effects that colour is real


Freedom Camping on the side of Lake Pukaki

No facilities. Great views!

Self Contained Vehicles Only.


Feature Value Info


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 135.

Get the best out of it. Here's how…

Robert Killey's avatar

Robert Killey


Ranking: 7/10

Got here at 12:30 and found very few campers. By 9pm the place was packed!! If you like your space, go somewhere else. That being said, the facilities are very clean and tidy. And it's right on the lake shore.

Reviewed about 1 hour ago

Bek's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Best FREE camping site EVER! Large area for multiple motor homes/campervans. We have stayed here the past two nights as it’s close to MT Cook and Lake Tekapo.

Reviewed 9 days ago

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Forrest Poirier's avatar

Forrest Poirier


Ranking: 10/10

Freedom camping at its best! Favourite site so far in NZ, and will be tough to beat. Pick from several gravel paths down through the pines towards the lake. We were lucky enough to get our own private spot near the power plant with incredible views of the bright blue Lake Pukaki and snow capped Mt. Cook in the distance. Long drop toilet 5mins up the road by the intersection in the viewpoint car park.

Reviewed 19 days ago

Corryn Smith's avatar

Corryn Smith

United States

Ranking: 10/10

You can pretty much park anywhere in the area. You'll see some dirt roads that lead to amazing spots along the lake. Plenty of room in November.

Reviewed 27 days ago

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Luis Vigil Vidal's avatar

Luis Vigil Vidal

Ranking: 10/10

Such a great location to stay!! Amazing views and if no cloud just mind blowing star gazing!! There are public toilets only at the Salmon Shop (could be quite far away) Just have clear that The Pines is not an specific means that all the east part of the lakes (full of pine trees) is a free camp basically anywhere you feel like camping that looks safe and ok it’s a fine place to stay. Just look for your spot and enjoy! In the south or east south you’ll have amazing views of the lake with giant Mount Cook!

Reviewed about 1 month ago

kay's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Love this place ! peaceful and serene...i feel it is better than the campsite nearer to i-centre

Reviewed about 1 month ago

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Shannon's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

This was my favourite camp site! Just incredible! You can camp anywhere along the road from the intersection to the power station. We stopped in amoungst the pine trees about half way between both and it was just spectacular. Hard to believe you didnt have to pay for this. The views are so amazing!
You will not be disappointed

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Andrew Hammond's avatar

Andrew Hammond


Ranking: 10/10

Magical place and exactly the reason why you take a campervan holiday. No facilities but to see the sunset and sunrise over the mountains and that blue water is definitely worth it.

Reviewed 2 months ago

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Ash's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Brilliant place to freecamp. As others have said you can park up in a lot of places along this stretch, not just where the map shows.
Quite a few quiet spots well away from the road with amazing lake and mountain views. Get yourself a bit of pine tree protection if it’s windy.

Reviewed 2 months ago

Steve Mac's avatar

Steve Mac

Ranking: 10/10

We were lucky that the day and night was great, and the views spectacular. Peace and quiet. No facilities, but we were self contained so no drama

Reviewed 2 months ago

Award-2-24px Congratulations The Pines - Lake Pukaki Freedom Camping - Hayman Road

Top Ranked NZ Awards 2016 Freedom Camping Finalist

Chieco Family's avatar

Chieco Family

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful views. 5 star toilets with toilet paper and sanitizer ( down one end only).
Rabbits running around. We just sat and rested, watching the amazing views. However beware. Cyclonic winds at night caused 1/2 campers to move away from trees and find more sheltered area in middle of night. Otherwise stunning and great.

Reviewed 2 months ago

Marta Jau's avatar

Marta Jau


Ranking: 9/10

The best spot for an overnight stay.

Reviewed 2 months ago

MimzieTT's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

By far, our favourite camping spot during our holiday. We couldn't believe it was free. The views are stunning and there is plenty of space and alcoves that it feels like you have the beach/view to yourself. We decided to come back a second night and secured a single space down one of the tracks and it was magical. The stars shine just as brightly here as in Tekapo too. You can park down any of the dirt tracks that lead to the waters edge up until the power station (don't go further). The nearest toilets are in Lake Tekapo (half hr away) so only enclosed vehicles in the area :-)

Reviewed 3 months ago