Lake Poaka Campsite

Lake Poaka Campsite

Lake Poaka Conservation Area - Overnight Campervan Parking


50 Rankers Reviews

2 Face-to-Face

11 Twizel

Online Maps

FREE Header

Camping NZ NEW

Welcome to New Zealand's most comprehensive database of freely available camping information. This is the only travel map of its kind in NZ.



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


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 50.

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 5 months ago

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 8 months 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 10 months 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 10 months ago

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…

Julia Coffin's avatar

Julia Coffin

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful spot!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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

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 1 year 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 1 year ago

Katie's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Really no complaints here...quiet and safe place to sleep. Toilet is OK. Be sure to bring water!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Keegan's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Absolutely beautiful spot! Set up with the trees so it protects you from the wind. Awesome little river inlets everywhere and just so peaceful. You wouldn't even know you're only 1-2km off the highway! Bring insect reppelent and you're good to go!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Devin's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Stayed two nights here. Lots of room. Some picnic tables. Beautiful view of the stars of a clear night. One night was cloudy, the other was clear. Good view of the mountains. Lake looked nice. Road along the canal was rough to get to the site. but other than that it was good.

Reviewed almost 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 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner