Lake Poaka Campsite

Lake Poaka Campsite - Lake Poaka Conservation Area - Overnight Campervan Parking

Lake Poaka Campsite

Lake Poaka Conservation Area - Overnight Campervan Parking


53 Rankers Reviews

2 Face-to-Face

12 Twizel

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Wildlife reserve full of birds on the side of the Pukaki canal. Camp right alongside the lake.

Use this campsite as a base for recreational activities around the Twizel area or as an overnight stay in a picturesque setting.

Turn off SH6 onto the Pukaki Canal Road (take care, this is a gravel road). The access road to the lake is signposted.


Feature Value Info


DOC Canterbury

Central government organisation


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 53.

Polly's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

Access road rough and wash out descending down to camp.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Becci's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful site, can’t believe it’s free! Loads of space, a few toilets so you can camp as near or far away as you like. No issues with noise etc, lots of people coming and going very late at night and in the morning but not much of an issue

Reviewed 7 months ago

Bry Gulbransen's avatar

Bry Gulbransen

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic camping lake, well done doc !

Reviewed 8 months ago

Bev's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Lake Poaka is a fantastic camp spot and a favorite of ours yes it's free but we always leave a donation in the box which goes towards the upkeep of the toilets.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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Rich's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Close to the main road but far enough away to not hear it, and free!
A couple of long drop toilets, nice spot next to the canal. Easy.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Sara's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Great free campsite in a gorgeous location! Bathrooms were clean and the campsite was very quiet so we felt like we had it to ourselves. Only thing is to make sure you have fresh drinking water as there was none on site.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Teesh K's avatar

Teesh K

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful spot down long gravel road. Lots of spots for campers under the trees. We parked up nice and close to the water for great views. Awesome sunset from the canal. Clean long drop toilets.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Julia Coffin's avatar

Julia Coffin

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful spot!

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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Lauren's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Nice for a free campsite, one of the long drops is much nicer than the other. Lake is beautiful and no sandflies but lots of curious birds. No other amenities.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Ellie's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great free campsite with plenty of lakeside spots. Far better than expected - a very scenic spot. Toilets were a bit full but no complaints as it's free! About 5 min drive off main road down a gravel road

Reviewed over 2 years ago

JM's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Absolutely beautiful spot. The lake is teaming with trout, too! Can only catch legally on fly gear. Toilet was fine and the lakeside campsites are perfect. Don’t drive past this one .. it’s well worth the stay

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Cris's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful camping site with plenty of space, two toilets placed far from each other. We spent two nights (family with a 7 years old boy) and the toilet was very clean, however, at the end of the third day paper toilet and hand sanitizer had finished (is not a issue with you have yours). If you like fishing is a great spot to catch trouts - first, check fish and game booklets, they have some restrictions. No sand fly during the stay 🙌

Reviewed over 2 years ago

GM's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Down quite a long and bumpy gravel road (make sure you drive down the right side of the Pukaki canal!) but a quiet and pleasant camp site. Great views of the mountains and we had a lovely sunset. Long drops available.

Cost (2p, non-powered): $0
Location: Very pretty. Lots of bird life.
Facilities: Long drops only
Value: 10/10
Sandflies: A few
X-Factor: Not quite

Reviewed over 2 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