The Pines

The Pines

Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road

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138 Rankers Reviews

15 Face-to-Face

23 Freedom Camping

1 Twizel



No special effects that colour is real


Self Contained Vehicles Only in Lake Pukaki

No facilities. Great views!

Self Contained Vehicles Only.

Self Contained Vehicles only are allowed along the whole of Lake Pukaki.


Feature Value Info


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 138.

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Angela's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Prime location to view Mt Cook from Lake Pukaki we almost cried seeing it for the first time! Toilets are bearable, camping spots available at the lake and then around the corner on top of the hill. Got there around 8pm and found a spot by the lake which was perfect

Reviewed 8 days ago

Javier Williams's avatar

Javier Williams

Ranking: 10/10

Nice spot to overnight between Christchurch and Dunedin. It is probably the best campsite during our trip around NZ. If you have a self-contained one, you will enjoy to stay in touch with real and pure nature!

Reviewed 28 days ago

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Tanja Rombey's avatar

Tanja Rombey

Ranking: 10/10

Can only repeat what others have said: It was by far the best camping experience we have had! We drove past the power station and turned towards the lake at a toilets sign to find a lovely spot by the lake that we had all to ourselves. When we woke up at 3 am we could see trillions of stars, some shooting stars and the Milky Way. In the morning, we had clear view on Mt Cook which was also breathtakingly beautiful. I wish I could live there - you have to go and see it yourself. As others said, there are no facilities, except of course the compost toilet that we turned at. It was the cleanest and least smelly ones I have used. There was no toilet paper but that doesn’t hurt the 10/10 I award the pines!
On a side note: We had a small van and I am not sure if a bigger motor home would have been able to drive down to our spot ..

Reviewed 30 days ago

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 month ago

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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 about 1 month ago

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 about 1 month ago

Avoid Camping Fines!

Each camping location is approved by a regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

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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 2 months ago

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 3 months ago

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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 3 months ago

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 3 months ago

Award-2-24px Congratulations The Pines - Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road

Top Ranked NZ Awards 2016 Freedom Camping Finalist

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 3 months ago

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 3 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 3 months ago