LOVELY spot with beautofil view of the lake. We brought own toilet paper just in case but not necessary. Super busy but also loads of space. Stayed here a few days and loved it.
Great little spot but very popular all year around. Probably the busiest place we’ve stayed in the last month! Lovely views over the lake, walks along the lakeside but only one toilet. Probably best to use your own if possible! Recommend
We had a great stay at the reserve. It’s a beautiful area right on the lake with a great morning view! There is a five mile walk right on the park that you stay which is clean and full of life. Definitely recommended as an evening stop on your way!
Excellent spot right on the lake. Great for the dogs. Get there early it gets a bit cramed.
We arrived Easter Thursday with our caravan and stayed over night. The place was absolutely full of mainly camper vans.
Ten thousand people and only one long drop toilet. As we’re in our mid 70’s, it was most ‘convenient’ pardon the pun, to park by the only bog in town. Then when we could see the queue had stopped temporally, we were in like Flynn. We do have an onboard toilet but poo still smells like poo! Ugh.
The long drop was very clean and no smell. Do NOT forget to take paper or you’ll wind up like Robinson Crusoe and opt for a finger, haaa ha.
It was a very pleasant place to stay, awesome views and no cost, a pensioners dream come true.
Large parking area by lake, space for loads of vans. Beach good for swimming. Toilet, in reasonable condition.
Lovely spot to watch the sun go down over the lake.
Another great spot right by the lake. Spectacular sunset! Close to town and huge area to camp.
Only one toilet that we could see and take your own toilet paper but otherwise it is an awesome spot :)
Gorgeous spot right on the lake! Peaceful and special. Very large area but lots of vans, started filling up in the evening. One clean drop toilet.
Great location to get to hikes in the morning.
Nice location near the lake. Long drop toilet, so make sure you have your own tissue. Extremely busy, so make sure are arriving earlier in the day. We arrived after dark and were able to squeeze into an unlevel spot.
Went out each day and we liked it so much came back each evening for 3 nights. It starts filling up 4pm onwards but big enough to take a lot of vans. Had a swim each evening as can go out quite a way and still be in waist high water and sandy underfoot. Long drop toilet was not the cleanest and a queue forms in the morning. Noticed a patrol car come round one evening.
Great place and views. The beach and the sunset were amazing. I swim there and it was one of my best experience with swimming in that place (no wind at all that day). You could also run in the beach and bicycle. It is the perfect place for tria.
Your supposed to be Csc certified self contained meaning use your own loo & let day visitors use it. Once again non CDC vehicles try to get in but security move you on & will get $200 fine if you dont. They check 4 times during the night & will wake you up & ask you to leave immediately.
Beautiful spot by the lake! Get here early if you want a spot directly on the lake since it is a very popular spot and gets full fast during summer months. It is a very large spot so there are plenty of parking spots with fairly level ground all around.
Stunning view of the Lake and very quiet. Get in early to get a spot as it fills up.
We didn't sleep at all because of the severe wind off the lake, so not a great choice for light sleepers or those prone to motion sickness.
Great site, gets very busy (November) but fairly large site. Noneuch thing as freedom camping when crammed im with others! Great views of lake
Rich G UK
I’m a bit mystified! This is a beautiful location but people have complained about the long drop. It’s FREEDOM CAMPING and as such you shouldn’t need an on-site loo. You’re supposed to be self sufficient with your own facilities. Love the location, plenty of room for a good number of visitors - sadly one of them couldn’t find room in his truck for his rubbish😫😫
Large area with lots of places to park (avoid concrete parking bays- no campervans allowed there). Fantastic view over the lake but need to get there early if you want to park on lake front. Quiet site, literally drop loo with no other facilities.. recommend.
Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 79 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.
Absolutely loved this site, self contained so didn't use the long drop though. Just simple beatiful views, parked right by the lake, was windy but rocked is to sleep. Great walking path up towards Taupo, can also cycle.
Nice place to stay right on the shores of Lake taupo with a view of tongariro. Got pretty full in Nov, so get there early. There is one long drop toilet, which can be pretty far away depending on where you park. Don't forget to make the most of a free hot bath in the spa park in Taupo.
This place is stunning!!! Quiet peaceful and you get to camp with fellow travellers, which makes you feel safe. A must do freedom camping experience due to its location. We stayed in holiday parks everywhere else due to their beautiful locations
What could be better than lakeside camping
Gorgeous spot, beautiful sunset if you catch the timing right, was busy even out of peak season. 1 Long drop toilet on site. Take own loo roll, but otherwise good facility.
If you want a stunning view trought your window in the morning, that's the right place. We had a plesant time here. Expect some noise from the road and people with torches at night. No facilities but still amazing.
One of the best freedom sites we used. Even in May it was full so get in early. Parked right on the lakes shore. Would come back to here again.
Awesome place to stay! Very busy, so pays to come early if you want a spot right at the lake front. We had a very windy night which shook the camper around, lots of fun and excitement!
Very nice spot next to the lake! Lots of space. Must be idyllic without heavy rain.
A brilliant place to freedom camping! We stayed 2 nights and has a spot with a uninterrupted view of the lake both nights. Long drop toilet was very clean and not at all smelly. Security did the rounds at about 9pm each night so don't risk it if you are not self contained.
What a great place to stay.
You have to get in cause it gets busy.
Very busy. Just one toilet (it was full when we were there). No water point. Really calm, a little beach and a beautiful point of view on the sunset.
It was pretty good. Free, quiet, big location and next to Taupo lake! BUT if you wanna stay good view point, you should go early. Good for only self contained car because there are only toilet.
Very nice place. Plenty of space. Next to beach. Nice view over Lake Taupo. Swimming possible at half of the beach (to the right), nicely warm and clear water. A few biting insects (March). Clean long drop toilet. We intended to stay one night, ended up three nights. Be careful with soft ground (sand) at a few spots. We drove a little recklessly and had to be towed a few metres. Would definitely come back.
Right on the lake and large enough for plenty. Only 1 drop toilet but if your self contained you don't need it.
The best place we camped in all NZ So beautiful and swimming in the lake was the best!
Perfect location. Great place to walk the dog. Can get busy but always space. On site toilet (long drop).
We have stayed here in December 2017 just before the holidays started. We arrived around 2 pm so we could choose a nice spot. It became busy after 5 pm. One toilet at the beginning of the parking. Sadly swimming in Lake Taupo wasn’t allowed when we were there so we left after 1 night. The traffic on the road wasn’t disturbing.
Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.
Gorgeous lake views. We arrived late in the evening and had no trouble getting a spot near the water. Bathrooms OK. Just bring your own toilet paper!
Amazing open spot. You can park right on the lake. Shoreline will fill up quickly but there are still nice spots. Drop toilet and no running water.
Wow! What a spot! Such amazing views. Glad we decided to drive a bit further than our planned spot.
Spectacular view across the Lake Taupo, a little bit windy, so you have to park your van in the right direction to get a calm sleep.
Phil and Mel Rowson
Lots of space. We parked right on the side of the lake. Very quiet despite lots of motor homes parking here. Lots of runners and cyclists active early next morning.
Wow far better than in town, reasonably busy but plenty of space, waves crashing, the odd truck and plane... great views.
Freedom Camping at its best and purest. Brilliant camp next to the lake with superb views day and night. One long drop toilet which is reasonably clean. Lots and lots of spaces and quite busy 8+ campers in September.
Probably my favourite freedom campsite so far. Its location on the water is unrivalled and can get an unreal sunset picture. A bit more out of the city so it is a little quieter but close enough if you wanted to go in. Loads of space, although the ones on the waterfront go fast! There are more inland though so you'll be fine for space. Drop toilets are fine if you're cool with that kind of thing!
Beautiful view of the lake and surrounding mountains. Possible to park up right on the lake. Toilet did not have any toilet paper. Can get busy.
Nice in summer for a swim. Mice and mosquitoes around in April. Toilets but we didn't need to use. Close to Taupo. Great sunset view. Would stay again.
free campsite pour motorhome autonome, très agréable
au bord du lac, vue magnifique, et site calme, vue coucher de soleil très belle
attention à respecter les limites de stationnement des motorhome, un panneau indique la limite,
ne pas hésiter à aller au fond à droite pour se garer
Large area attracting overflow campers from nearby Tuapo. Great location, but the weather for us was awful. Single drop loo, but as this site is only for self-contained motorhomes, that's not really a problem.
Perfect location next to the lake, great swimming spot. Quite busy and some locals came and played very loud music. Take toilet paper for the long drop toilet! Great for one night's stay. Use the super loo next to Taupo library for a $2 hot shower and hairdryer!
Really busy place. Having said that if early you can sit right by the lake and it's amazing views.. No other facilities other than toilet. However easy access to water and rubbish bins on way to Taupo .
Wow what a great site. Busy but quiet, well apart form the waves crashing on the shore. Lots of motorhomes here. Great access to the water, ideal for us with sea kayaks.
Heaps of sites available, right next to lake if you want. We arrived very late (9.30) and still had no issue finding a site (mid Dec). There are drop toilets, make sure you bring toilet paper.
Huge parking area on Lake Taupo. We stayed in December & by evening there were approx. 60 campers there! Despite that quiet to sleep. Biked into Taupo (8km per way, lovely cycle trail that meanders along the lake, great to walk too). We had a perfect spot right on the lake with magnificent views!
Phan and Anita
Pretty good spot on the shores of Lake Taupo. We went late December and it was very busy with not a lot of flat space left, and full of campervans but a lovely quiet spot none the less, with easy access to beach and the walkway around the lake.
Great roomy spot on the lake. Not far from shops. Drop toilet on site.
Great place to stay looking over the lake, had plenty of parking.
good views and lots of space, not crowded
Great spot easy to find.
Quite a few vans here but still room to be right next to the lake.
The lake shore line was covered in pumice, so much fun throwing in rocks that float!
There is a long drop loo, although if you head south along the walking track you'll find a much nicer one 5 minutes away but you need to be self contained anyway.
There was a bit of highway noise and planes from the airport.
We really loved this spot! We arrived at 4pm to check it out then drove into Taupo to get groceries and supplies, which wasn't that far at all. There was plenty of space and there were only three other campers here, so we parked right next to the lake! We stayed in winter but it wasn't too cold at all and the wind didn't bother us. Enjoy!
Beautiful free campsite, very quiet with gorgeous views over the lake. Highly recommended!
We arrived late-ish around 5pm and there were plenty of spaces for us to park up! Beautiful space right on the lake front, and is very easy to get to from the town itself.
A beautiful spot, would be great in summer for swimming. Drop toilets and picnic benches. Quite windy when we were there and not much shelter but a good stopping point if you don't want to stay in Taupo itself.
Can be highly recommended: nicely located at the beach of Lake Taupo, inviting for a swim. A view directly to Tongariro opposite the lake. Only disadvantage: apparently many people know this place, it can become a bit crowded. Only for self-contained vehicles!
Wonderful spot by Lake Taupo , free and you are allowed to stay for up to 4 days. Good long drop toilet, very busy spot 45 of us camping here. You do have to be self contained, there will be a DOC warden around to check which is good to see.
Great spot on lake front plenty of parking. Stayed one night, will use again.
Nice view, small black beach, clean toilet, but very busy with campervans. Everyone was quiet, so nice place.
Lovely free campground by lake Taupo. Lots of space. Just a long drop toilet, far from the shore.
Lovely place by the water. No facilities, no costs. Wonderful sunset over the water!
Great free site a short drive from Taupo. We found it very busy in mid February. Only a few feet from the lake so great for fishing/swimming/walking.
Tout simplement génial. Vue extraordinaire sur le lac, les montagnes.
Emplacement en bord de lac à 20 mètres.
A 2 pas de Taupo, donc excellent pour les excursions du lendemain.
Eau fraiche mais cela fait du bien.
Beautiful location, quiet and plenty of space directly on Lake Taupo. Beautiful sunset with volcanoes in the distance.
This is a very beautiful campsite. Come a bit early for a nice spot directly on the lake since it got very busy at the end of the day. We had a lovely afternoon swimming and relaxing. The basic public toilet is a long walk but was clean and not smelly.
Very good location. Quiet and amazing view on lake and Tongariro mountains.
Ideal for sunset sight.
Favourite freedom camping spot so far in the whole of the North Island. Amazing views, quiet, loads of space, parked about 6 feet from the shoreline. Highly recommend.
Really beautiful and quiet location. Can only recommend this place.
Awesome view and free... nothing more to say... only self-contained.
Excellent location. Lots of space for self contained vehicles, motor homes. Directions: travelling from the south, don't be fooled by the sign to "5 Mile Bay" sign at Tawhaa St which takes you to a car park where no overnight stay is allowed. Go a little further along the main road and use the sign for "5 Mile Bay, Ski Lane" to take you to the area when overnight camping permitted. Excellent pathway for brisk walk along the lake edge (part of the Great Lake Walkway). No water or toilets, but in Taupo, Redoubt Rd there is a community site for fresh water, emptying grey water and public toilets.
We loved this place! Right on the edge of the lake with stunning views of the snow capped mountains in the distance. We sat on the beach in the afternoon, had a dip and watched the sun set - perfect. It got pretty busy but we had a good spot right on the lake as we arrived around 4ish. The toilet was fine, a long drop with no paper.
What a spot. Sunset, lake, beer - perfect. If it is a nice day, stay here as you get an amazing sunset over the lake and lots of space for parking.
We liked this place very much! Lots of space, clean toilet (2 min walk), beautiful sunset over lake Taupo, nice swim and all of this for free.
A beautiful spot right camping right by the lake. Can't beat waking up to the sound of waves lapping and views of distant volcanoes. It was very busy on Easter weekend. We got there about 6pm and nabbed the last spot with a lake view.
Beautiful views of Lake Taupo. Very clean long drop toilet. No water but free. About 5 minute drive from Taupo. Recommend!
holidaymad from Solihull
We took other reviewers advice and arrived latish (around 6:00) and were lucky to get a pitch overlooking the sea.
Be warned! Like loads of other campervans, we parked side on to the beach. Just as we were getting ready for bed, about 10:30, there was a knock on the door. It was a jobsworth who, seeing we were the only one with a light still on, told us that we were parked incorrectly and should have reversed into the bay. As we were moving on next morning he "kindly" allowed us to stay as we were after giving us his lecture. Nobody else had been disturbed. So, if you want a great view, go to bed early !!!! lol.
Beautiful spot on the lakeside. Loads of space so with 20 vans there it didn't feel at all crowded. Didn't need to use the loo (only contained vans allowed) but took a relaxing walk along the paved lakeside path which is popular with joggers and cyclists. Lots and lots of photographs of a splendid sunset!
We arrived late but found a place on the edge of the lake.
The place was a bit busy because it was in January but it's large so it was ok. The view, especially at sunset is fantastic.
The only thing is that there's only one toilet, and a bit far from the lake... But that didn't matter for us.
Only self-contained vehicles allowed. Fantastic location next to the lake. Very busy in peak periods but plenty of space to park. Arrive late in day if you want water-front spot as that is when day visitors leave. Only minutes from town.
Heaps of bays, can park within 10 meters of water, try to park away from boat ramp as gets pretty busy during the day, faces west so beautiful sunsets, no facilities but hey only self contained can stay here, couple of times a day police patrol so it feels safe.
Basic camp with only one long drop toilet but very beautiful spot with direct access to the lake and great views. A perfect spot if you are self contained and want a free place to stay near Taupo. We only stayed for one night but we can recommend this place.
Beautiful freedom camping ground. It was quite packed when we arrived, but there still was plenty of space and the sundown was really stunning! One of the best spots we stayed and this for free!
Just be aware that this is really a spot for self contained campers only as there are even no public toilets around. We heard that there are controls as well, even though we haven't met one. Just some 'kids' from Taupo city drove on the spot during 22-23pm, perhaps looking for a spot to party, but disappeared after 5 min. w/o any noise or trouble as they recognised all the campers.
Really a beautiful spot and really recommended to stay there as it is really - by promise of the name - quite close to the city, but still far away enough to feel 'free'!
By the lake, beautiful sunset and it is free.
A free camping by the lake. Very beautiful spot. Good with toilet.
On the dunes overlooking the lake. Did not notice any noise from planes - view was magnificent - free.
Amazing view, right on the lake. Toilet nearby but not much else, but it is free and cannot beat the spot.
Free campsite with many sites, public toilets, directly at the Lake - beautiful sunset.
Perfect spot to stay just outside Taupo, drive 5 mins outta town and cant miss it beside the airport. Class to sit and watch sunset and skydivers. Longdrop toilet is bit away from parking but is suitable for the stay, bring your own toilet paper!
Beautiful place to stay and watch the sunset! Close to Huka Falls, right at the lake. Fun to watch all the skydives.
Amazing spot with great sunset views. Very spacious, free of charge!
Jordan and Marielle
Great free spot at the lake with a beautiful view on the volcanos and Taupo. There is enough place and a toilet. You can park on the parking places or on the grass field. Unfortunately, we also missed the sunset as we arrived late in the evening.
2 forty'ish naturefreak gal's, exploring NZ in a campervan for 6 months.
Good = 1
Excellent = 2
- in following categories:
Location: 2; lakefront reserve with good beach access for both swimming and watersports, close to Taupo
Amenities: 0; 1 longdrop toilet and picnictable
Sites & parklayout: 2; very large area with both grassy and paved options for camping, som right on the beach.
Price: 2; FREE
Extras: 1; Fun entertainment watching skydivers hop out of a plane over our heads (located next to skydiving airstrip)
We stayed here a number of times over our year stay in New Zealand and have love it every time.
+ Right on Lake Taupo,
+ Awesome views of the mountains and surrounds in both summer and snow capped in winter,
+ Is very quiet except that its under the sky jumps drop zone so you can here lots of whoops and shouts :)
+ Cleanest long drop toilets we've seen. Virtually no smell.
- Only minor negative is its a little drive out of Taupo but that is also a little bit good as doesn't get too busy.
Absolute diamond spot.
This was a beautiful place to stay. The view in the morning of the mountains covered in snow was awesome. My only regret is that we arrived at 2.00am (due to a rock concert driving us away from Ferry Road) which meant we missed that fabulous sunset too! We were the only people staying but felt quite safe.
This is a fabulous place to freedom camp if you are self contained. However, we missed it because the people at the Taupo visitor I Site did not tell us about it when we asked if there was a place in the area where we could freedom camp. We missed an absolutely beautiful sunset over the lake because of it. The camping area is right on the lake and as pictured is open and grassy.
Mette, Bo, Viktor & Olivia Seligmann
One of the nicest places we stayed on the North Island! Just by the lake, so nice!. We were there for Easter, so there were quit a few campers, but it's a big area, so there is lots of space.
Fantastic free camping spot!!! A little busy with boats etc during the day, but pretty quiet at night and gorgeous sunsets. Great spot right on the lake just out of Taupo. Also has a clean toilet in the grounds.