Oraka Reserve, Mahia

Oraka Reserve, Mahia

Freedom Camping Site



18 Rankers Reviews

2 Face-to-Face

277 Freedom Camping

6 Wairoa


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Feature Value Info


North IslandOut EastWairoa


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 18.

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Jess's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

A lovely grass spot along the coast. A beautiful drive down there and a nice place to sit and watch the sunset, stars and sunrise. There are (flush) toilets and changing facilities as well as a bin. The camping area is clearly marked and there is plenty of space, while I stayed there were about 8 vehicles and there was space for double that if you are all in cars/campers and considerate of one another. Overall a lovely place to spend the night.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Tom's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful freedom camping spot with clean toilets and a rubbish bin, right next to a bay. Not a parking lot as I expected but a grassy field. Camping area is clearly indicated between the poles on the left. Fits 10 big motorhomes easily, or a lot more campervans. We were with 3 vans on a nice winter evening. Little bit of traffic on the road nearby but dies down in the night.

No idea what the (rather old) comments below are referring to. Camping area is now very clearly indicated on a map and on poles surrounding the area. Impossible to miss, even in the dark. Tens of people left possitive comments on other camping apps, so I wouldn't let the comments below scare you off. If in doubt, take a picture of your van and the poles indicating you're parked correctly.

Reviewed 11 months ago

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Madis Manni's avatar

Madis Manni

Ranking: 1/10

What's up with these fines? This is just weird. Will skip and F**** you weird council ! Get a life! Omg who are these people ?

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Sally - Oraka's avatar

Sally - Oraka

New Zealand

Ranking: 1/10

I live a few doors away from the Oraka Reserve. Until the last few days I have had no problem with the campers there. However, over the recent holiday weekend there were people staying there who had 2 quad bikes. They started up first thing each morning and continued until 10:30 pm (Friday night) and midnight (Sunday night). The noise was pretty much constant, and the damage done to the beach is unbelievable, including the area that is marked for nesting birds. I applaud the Wairoa District Council for their vigilance (I have read the earlier reviews) over correct choice of camping places, but wish they had been around to see what has been going on in this beautiful spot. I would love the council to find a way to ban vehicles from the beach!!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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Evgeny Rodygin's avatar

Evgeny Rodygin

New Zealand

Ranking: 1/10

DO NOT STAY HERE! Unfortunately we read previous two feedbacks already after received $200 fine from Wairoa district council for camping in a wrong place, otherwise we would avoid this campsite. We are very accurate and respectful travelers, prior to our stay there we checked the information on Wairoa council website about the area and even checked the map, it has two areas - green to camp and red to do not camp. We got there quite late, installed our tent on the side marked green on their map, just after the last camper and went to sleep. Nobody tried to let us know we are in a wrong spot. We got up early before sunrise to have a breakfast and continue our travel. Two weeks after we received $200 fine (ticket issued at 10pm) for "freedom camps where not permitted". I though I received it by mistake, but now reading previous reviews I see that this is the way how Wairoa council works and makes some extra money from travelers, deciding to save a little money and choose free site instead of staying in a holiday park. Do not repeat our mistake.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Stu Williamson's avatar

Stu Williamson

New Zealand

Ranking: 1/10

WTF!!??? We camped here and even paid special attention to the green (camp here) and red (don't camp here) markings on the map so thought we were fine. We even camped opposite the post that had TENT on it. Last week we got a $200 fine from the Wairoa Council. You need to employ people who don't decide to randomly ruin people's perception of a beautiful place!! Apart from which it was the night of that huge storm between Xmas and New Year (27 Dec) and yet you had someone patrolling at 10:30pm? DO NOT SUPPORT THE WAIROA AREA BY SPENDING YOUR TOURIST DOLLARS HERE...

Reviewed over 2 years ago

India Clarke's avatar

India Clarke

United Kingdom

Ranking: 1/10

DO NOT STAY HERE!! This campsite was clean, tidy (noisy due to building site) but overall beautiful and very well maintained. However if it is dark when you arrive, beware. My partner and I had been driving all day when the Rankers app told us we could stay at this campsite. We got there when it was dark so it was quite difficult to see signs. What we could see was on the right hand side as we drove in, there were two or three big workers machines parked, opposite these was a patch of grass filled with campervans, then there were some wooden bollards and on the other side was empty other than one tent. We figured this was the spot made for campers in tents so we pitched our tent and went to bed. We left the campsite before 9am, so were not obstructing families or tourists. We later got a $200 fine for 'camping in the wrong spot'!! This is disgusting. I wrote back to the council explaining the circumstances and that had the sections been marked properly, we would have camped next to the campervans. Read a review further down saying the council knocked on their van to let them know they were in the wrong place- this would have been a very nice warning as we would have got up and moved there and then but apparently the council decide who they want to help and want to fine. (Our ticket was issued at 11pm, so not too late to let someone know they are in the wrong spot)They have declined our letter and the fine must still be paid. I feel that this is unfair as there was alot of work going on and no lights to see designated areas. As a backpacker i do not have $200 spare but i guess this is just how New Zealand works.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in November 2017

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Jan Hiltermann's avatar

Jan Hiltermann


Ranking: 7/10

Although there is a clean toilet, we found the spot fairly busy (mid-November) and the views are nice but not the best we have seen. There are free spots for self contained vehicles (no facilities) along the nearby Ormond drive and Nuhaka Opoutama road with much nicer views (but without the toilets).

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Kirsty Gendall's avatar

Kirsty Gendall

Ranking: 8/10

Great little spot on this amazing peninsula. Short drive to some amazing beaches.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Sylvain Schiber's avatar

Sylvain Schiber

Ranking: 10/10

Was here in October. Very nice place close to the beach where you can do a fire (no fire in the camping place). Clean toilet and sink.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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Mr and Mrs B's avatar

Mr and Mrs B

Ranking: 9/10

Good site and location.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Elizabeth Palmer's avatar

Elizabeth Palmer

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Great place. I read the last couple of reviews (angry farmer etc) but I wonder if these people went to the wrong place. We were at the reserve shown here in the photos, and it was lovely. Quiet and peaceful, flush toilets, right by the estuary. We arrived in the dark, and parked in the wrong place - nice lady from the council knocked on our van and suggested we move before we incurred a fine - nice to be warned, as we had no idea we were on the wrong side of the road. Note - park on the left hand side of the road, behind the bollards! Happy camping :-)

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Flavio C's avatar

Flavio C

Ranking: 9/10

One of the best free camping sites we visited in New Zealand.

Reviewed about 5 years ago