Waikoko Campsite

Waikoko Campsite

Kaimanawa Forest Park


cearon's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Agree with the other reviews. Just wanted to write an updated one. Nice spot. The fireplace is a wonderful bonus and a lovely stroll by the river.

Reviewed 3 months ago

Beth's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Nice spot, short drive from the shuttle car park for the Tongariro crossing. Long drop toilet, small shelter in the middle where you can make a fire and sit on benches. Lots of space, lots of bugs. Very clean and cold river nearby that you can sit in, not deep enough for swimming though.

Reviewed 8 months ago

Hugo's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Gorgeous native bush, fine toilet, tranquil river and birds, great stars, sheltered from wind. Went for a swim by the Pillars of Hercules close by the next day (take the Tree Trunk Gorge path and follow your nose down to river from a side path). Water supply good for washing dishes. Empty on a Monday night.

Reviewed 9 months ago

Tyler's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Amazing spot, surrounded by forest covered mountains and a stream running close by.

My favorite freedom camping spot.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Carl Bright's avatar

Carl Bright

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Nice Spot, kinda hard to find at night.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Tedy's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Nice spot with a little cabin in the middle where u can make a fire. Toillet OK. You can make nice walks in the surrounding :-)

Reviewed about 2 years ago

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Danielle Johnson's avatar

Danielle Johnson

United States

Ranking: 7/10

Pretty decent place for a free camp. Close to the main road, decent drop toilet, kitchen/shelter...it’s basically a big parking lot. Not many tent sites, but do-able. Quiet, no sandflies.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Gap year's avatar

Gap year

Ranking: 10/10

Good place to stay for the night before doing the alpine crossing.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Andrew Hargreaves's avatar

Andrew Hargreaves

Ranking: 7/10

Very remote and peaceful location. Relatively close to the alpine crossing starts. Room for plenty of vehicles. Big strucure in middle with wood fire and sinks. Drop toilet not great, no loo roll, plenty of bugs and no light. Wife refused to use it. Nice little stream at the bottom. Could see plenty of stars on a clear night. No bins so please take litter with you

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Sio's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Stayed Eve before tongariro crossing - less than 20 min drive to the pick up point for the following morn.
Camp had long drop, sheltered area for cooking (let the wind hold back your baked bean dreams no longer) and level areas parking up.
Visited May 2019 and only two other vehicles but guess it’s busier high season
Great spot.
Beaut stars at night 😍

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Zoe's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great overnight spot. Heaps of spots available but it fills up quick because it’s perfect stop over for the alpine crossing. Only one toilet with no light but does have a uncover area where you can have a fire if you have wood.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Julie's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Campsite was great! We got there around 6:30 and there were still some spots open. The water tasted great, and the toilet was pretty clean. We hiked Tongariro the next day, and it was an easy drive in the morning. Just a few noisy folks, but all was quiet by about 9pm.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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JuhuMel Campers's avatar

JuhuMel Campers

Ranking: 6/10

Before we got there we wished we wouldn't be the only one as it was somewhere in nowhere. The camping was full, the drop toilet smelly. Most people didn't even use it. There was a lot of rubbish in the bush. However, it was close to the tongariro crossing and free. The other campers were silent after 10pm.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Boris Clémençon's avatar

Boris Clémençon


Ranking: 10/10

Calm big grassy place ! Perfect.
Clean toilets.
Gravel road ok.
Thanks NZ for this campsite.
We love you !

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Marilli's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

We stayed here the night before our tongariro crossing!
Perfect place!
Toilet is there and a little shelter.
Easy access

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Laura's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

We came late and it was PACKED! First stop was the first one on the street on the right (packed and all partying at 9.30pm) we moved on to this one and it was also full. We found a spot, but get there early!
No cooking, dirty sink for dishes (water wasn’t working).
But: great location and free :-)

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Rachel Mudge's avatar

Rachel Mudge

Ranking: 6/10

Nice setting, but looked like a gypsy camp with all the tourists.
But it's free!!! Thanks DOC.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Grace Craven's avatar

Grace Craven

Ranking: 6/10

Its a very popular campsite as a stopover before the Tongariro crossing, even in low season it was fairly packed. Nonetheless it is still a lot better than the surrounding free DOC campsites and has access down to the river (where if you're lucky you might see some native blue ducks riding the rapids).
It is essentially a car park with a communal covered area for cooking in the centre (no cooking facilities though) and a long drop toilet. There is a rainwater tank/sink for washing up and a hilarious water sign that leads you down to the river. The river water is delicious (locals okayed it and said it was good to drink).

Reviewed over 5 years ago