Huka/Aratiatia Rapids Scenic Reserve...

Huka/Aratiatia Rapids Scenic Reserve

Overnight Campervan Parking


24 Rankers Reviews

0 Face-to-Face

13 Taupo

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Feature Value Info


DOC Central North Island

Central government organisation


North IslandTaupo RegionTaupo


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 24.

Leet's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Winter review:
A concrete car park by the picturesque Waikato River next to the Aratiatia Rapids.
Easily accessible from a main road.
Us and only a handful of campervans.
Peaceful & quiet.
A simple drop toilet.

Reviewed 22 days ago

Curtis's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Arrived here in the dark and still easy enough to find. Few other vans there but very quiet. Nice to wakeup next to the dam and can watch the first release into the rapids at 10am just next door!

Reviewed 3 months ago

Juni's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

We stayed here four nights (the max you can in any one month) in mid summer. An easy 15ish minute drive from Taupo town center with loads of car parks as it is a parking lot. Lots of other campers but even on the busiest night there was still space. Right next to a dam with walks around. The dam opens at 10 am and every 2 hours till 4pm so if you’re still around the place in the morning many people will arrive to visit the dam but most leave within 20-30 minutes after the opening. Next to a river so good for kayaking but we didn’t try to swim. Toilet is a long drop that can be sparse of toilet paper so bring your own. Also take care of the metal door as it’s quite loud when opened/closed as it’s heavy. Overall an easy and pleasant, safe spot for camping. Gets a bit chilly at night so a sweater and extra blanket is a good idea.

Reviewed 8 months ago

Keybags's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Nice quiet spot by the dam overlooking the river.
Plenty free parking for campers.
Did drop quite chilly overnight due to low lying fog, so may need an extra blanket.
Long drop toilet

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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Tessie's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Enjoyed our overnight stay in this all time favourite place Pretty outlook over the lake ( unobstructed in some parks 😊) 24/7 outdoor toilet. Fantastic opportunities to see the lake water released up to three times a day - a spectacular view from three different sites. Blackberries (a plenty ) and raspberries ( a few ) free for the picking . Enjoyed this spot very much.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Rey's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Lots of parking slots
Can see lotsnof stars
4G signal
Drop toilet with toilet paper
Busy at day time

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Carl Bright's avatar

Carl Bright

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Nice location to park up, plenty of room

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Natalie's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Lots of freedom campers here, no specific parks which is a bonus as you can park anywhere you want. The long drop (toilet) remained open the entire night. Great camping spot & pure darkness - no street lights or anything. We had a great sleep here & would come back again.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

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Dave's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Quiet and plenty of spaces. Only 15 mins from Taupo and even less to Huka Falls. Worked really well for us. No facilities, just one toilet on site, although we didn’t need them.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Lauren's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic spot. Easy access to Craters mtb Park, Huka falls and hot water stream. Parked up here for a couple of nights to explore the area by bike and on foot. Very quiet at night, toilet currently closed.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Peter's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Quiet flat car park at the start of a lovely walk. Got there late at night and only one other van there. Perfect for a self contained van.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Mark Jarvis 's avatar

Mark Jarvis

Ranking: 7/10

Quiet location. Long drop toilet had lots of mosquitoes in as close to the water. Not many of the spaces are level which might be an issue for some. Right next to the rapids however and so u can enjoy the opening of the dam which is well worth experiencing.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago and experienced in September 2019

Adam's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Very convenient location, fairly large car park.
Be prepared for bugs!!! As soon as the sun went down we got ambushed.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

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 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner