The Pines

The Pines - Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road

The Pines

Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road


159 Rankers Reviews

15 Face-to-Face

13 Freedom Camping

1 Twizel


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Self Contained Vehicles Only in Lake Pukaki

No facilities. Great views! Self Contained Vehicles only are allowed along the whole of Lake Pukaki.


Feature Value Info


Mackenzie District Council

Local government organisation


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 159.

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Instantly Lost's avatar

Instantly Lost

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Stayed at one of the many sites on the road to this site. Gorgeous mountains and lake all to ourselves. Milky Way and stars in abundance at night! Probably our favorite spot in our 2 weeks on the South Island.
Only 45 minutes to the Hooker Valley hike.
Pit toilet at the entrance.

Reviewed 13 days ago

James's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

As mentioned in the description, you don't have to come to this exact pin, pick any parking area along the lake, just of course make sure you're self contained certified and whatever you take in you take out! ✌️
This place is stunning, dead quiet and amazing star gazing on a clear night.

Reviewed 3 months ago

Valg's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Absolutely one of the best freedom camp sites if the weather is fine.
Good toilet facilities. The pines have a been chopped down some replanting being done . Plenty of spots to choose from . We were lucky enough to have 34 deg blue sky and 24 hours clear views of Mt Cook. We biked along the Pukaki cycle track to Hayman Rd about 5 km. If you want a little more secluded camping go a bit further to Hayman Rd, there a notices where you can camp along there, no facilities but nice spots .

Reviewed 4 months ago

Brandon's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

As good as it gets for freedom camping.

Reviewed 7 months ago

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Hakuna Matata's avatar

Hakuna Matata

Ranking: 9/10

Nice spot with great views. Free so that’s a bonus. Beware that The Pines is not an apt description anymore, as all the pines have been chopped down, there are no more pines on this side of the lake (trying to curb wandering pine I think?) so it is very exposed. Great stars if you get a moonless night!

Reviewed 11 months ago

Seth's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Good space to park up, two long drops provided clean and toilet paper in them. Weather was terrible when we stayed and so freezing but great spot!

Reviewed 12 months ago

Kristina's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Picture perfect spot right on the lake. Peaceful and beautiful. Perfect one night stop on the way to Aoraki.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Luke McCallum 's avatar

Luke McCallum

Ranking: 10/10

The best place to park up in the South Island. Quiet, peaceful and amazing scenery. What more could you ask for

Reviewed about 1 year ago

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Alan Mcneil's avatar

Alan Mcneil

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful out of the way place to camp.
I got here as the sun was just setting over the lake and there was only 2 other campers parks 50+ meters away from where I parked and it was peaceful and got a very short walk to the waters edge and great view of Mt Cook. Definitely stopping back in on my way back up.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

The Gillies's avatar

The Gillies

Ranking: 10/10

This is a superb spot, one of our favourites in our month long tour of the South Island. We stayed here on the east to and from mt cook. It’s quiet, the views are spectacular in any weather, the lake is warm enough to dip in and there were no sand flies. No toilets. Dump station in Twizel.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Alydia's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

This spot gets a 10/10 because of the pure natural beauty of the lake + small alpine forest!! 😍 definitely the BEST most beautiful free camping spot you can find. No facilities so must be self contained - it’s you and beautiful nature! Enjoy & remember to leave it even better than you found it!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Liv's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

The best freedom campsite we have stayed at in the South Island. Drive all the way along Lake Pukaki and pick a quiet spot sheltered by the trees... it was so magical to watch the moon over the still lake at night. There are toilets at some locations but if you can bare to be away from them for the night you will have a much nicer spot.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Christopher's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

A truly amazing spot, definitely the best on our South Island adventure. Amazing views, plenty of space and a magnificent view of the stars. Seriously, this is what freedom camping is all about. A far cry from the dusty building site charging $50 a night in Lake Tekapo, well worth the 30 minute drive.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago