The Pines

The Pines - Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road

The Pines

Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road


156 Rankers Reviews

15 Face-to-Face

18 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


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 156.

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Brandon's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

As good as it gets for freedom camping.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

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 5 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 7 months ago

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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 9 months 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 9 months ago

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 9 months ago

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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 11 months 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 12 months 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 about 1 year ago

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

Top Ranked NZ Awards 2016 Freedom Camping Finalist

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 over 1 year ago

me's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Wow a fantastically beautiful place, take everything with you as there are no facilities at all just nature.
Very peaceful and quite with a stunning dark sky at night and beautiful views of the ranges and mount cook

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Lauren's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

HEAPS of spots for SC campers along the banks of the lake. There are some spots closer to drop toilets if you prefer. Can be quite windy but there are some spots with a bit more shelter from the pines, if need be.
There are several spots to turn off the gravel road and would suggest using google maps satellite mode to find the best entry point.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2020

Samantha Williamson's avatar

Samantha Williamson

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

This is by far the most beautiful lake and freedom camping area in the south island. Haymen Road is quite a long road so The Pines camping ground is spread out along this road. There are multiple areas of beauty to freedom camp in your campervan, no Tents though so be aware.Lots of eating benches/tables to have your snacks on etc. I think there was a cycling track that passed along Hayman Rd so just be courteous and polite. As the name suggests there are loads of pine trees here to give you a bit of shelter on hot sunny days. Easy to find on the map. Not too busy when we went in March 2020. The view of the lake is great. Take your rubbish with you please as no rubbish bins.No toilets or facilities just pure nature. The beach area of the lake had a lot of pebbles and large rocks scattered about along with some driftwood but made the place seem more beautiful. Its really breathtaking here with great far views towards Mount Cook and beyond. I could have stayed there on a fulltime basis!!!!

Reviewed over 1 year ago