Papatowai Campsite

Papatowai Campsite

Catlins coastal area



32 Rankers Reviews

7 Face-to-Face

84 Basic Camping

2 Papatowai



This campsite at Papatowai on the Catlins coast is nestled in the bush. It has easy access to the beautiful beach and estuary, and there are short walks nearby.


Feature Value Info


South IslandSouthlandPapatowai


  • Basic Camping



Showing 8 reviews of 32.

Monkeyalan's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Great stop off on way through Catlin's. The campsite has good amenities for a DOC site (proper flushing toilets etc) including a kitchen space and a few benches around the grounds. The local village has a few stores and cafe which are normally open during peak periods.

Reviewed 19 days ago

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 78 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Tea's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Nice and quiet site, out the way. Was there at start of season, with a few people just arriving to settle for a few days, but with the space available everyone was very spread out. Good basic facilities, toilets and indoor seating area.

Nice beach to walk along, with track directly down from campsite. Had fun wandering through village spotting all the home made postboxes.

Reviewed 10 months ago

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Ben and Liv 's avatar

Ben and Liv

Ranking: 9/10

Lovely, green grassy spot. Plenty of spaces but some sloping sites - finding a flat spot would be difficult in busy periods. We were there in shoulder season so it was only us and about 3 others! Facilities pretty old but clean. General store and fuel at entrance and short walks to beach nearby.
Only $8 per person - can’t complain!

Reviewed about 1 year ago

JT's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

one of the best doc sites we have eher seen. lot of space and really good facilities. a cooking shelter ja available. 8$ per person is ok and much better than the scenic docs without everything

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2019

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.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Kim  Erny 's avatar

Kim Erny


Ranking: 10/10

Reasonably priced campsite, $8 per person, plenty of flush toilets, you can disregard the previous comment about being pit toilets. Running water with nice roomy washing up facilities. Nice, green, grassy spots. Not too many lights.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Grizzly Girl's avatar

Grizzly Girl

Ranking: 10/10

Great site with epic beaches views and the best smelling drop toilet I might have ever encountered. Only downside were all the people who showed up late with their blinding headlights and then left without paying. Shame on them. If you want to enjoy a nice beach with nice toilets please pay the measly $8.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Mike's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Great clean doc site just off of the main road behind the shop

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Paul Cooper's avatar

Paul Cooper

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful campsite with walking access to the beach at during low tide, good fishing out off the rocks at the southern end off the beach, running water an flushing toilets, kitchen with benches, tables an chairs inside on out, camp site is well sheltered for tents. and it's pet friendly which is great.handy little shop out the front on road which also has petrol an diesel on pumps 24/7 bank card access been here many times and plan to stay again.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in September 2017

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 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner