Government Gardens Thermal Area

Government Gardens Thermal Area

Overnight Campervan Parking


41 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face

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Self-Containment Warrant and Responsible Camper stickers must be displayed at all times on your vehicle.
Please take your rubbish with you.
Alcohol may not be consumed in any public places.


Feature Value Info


Rotorua Lakes Council

Local government organisation


North IslandRotorua RegionRotorua


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 41.

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Sharlene's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Nice parking space, still about 8 spaces left at night, nice gardens to walk around, toilet just across the park 2 mins, museum just up the street, lovely sounds from the frogs in the pond with a fountain in the morning, close to the shops also

Reviewed 5 months ago

Ashleigh's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

This was a nice enough camp spot, however it gets very busy. Make sure to get there early. We got there at around 3 and there was only 3 spots left. By 4 they had all gone (around 12). The parking is right by a park which is lovely. It did get noisy at one point with people passing through the park at 2am.
For those that don’t know, Rotorua smells due to the sulphur, therefore we would recommend keeping doors and windows closed.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Rebecca's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Great spot, so close to town. Can walk everywhere! Lots of parks and campers were coming and going all day so easy to get a spot. Definitely recommend going to the polynesian spa across the road too!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

sharon armstrong's avatar

sharon armstrong

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Easy to locate, great signage. Right next to the gardens and short walk into town.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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Lisa J's avatar

Lisa J

Ranking: 9/10

Right in town which is handy. We got there around 4pm and took last spot. Very busy. Toilet close by.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Roy Swan's avatar

Roy Swan

Ranking: 10/10

You could not get a better in town spot close to everything we arrived at 7pm and still spots free

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Lucy's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Plenty of spots here at 1pm, if not the whole car park. I think most kiwi campervans have returned home from the school holidays. No toilets but public ones within walking distance. They do shut at night apparently but just make sure you got before they do! :) nice sunny spots, and away from the main road traffic! Love it.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Kate's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Such a lovely camper van spot with lots of parking slots. Right in front of the Polynesian spa, gorgeous trees and ponds surrounding the area. Public toilets nearby open all night.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

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Celeste's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

After reading some reviews for the two free camping sites in Rotorua we went straight to Hatupatu carpark as recommended by others. It's not entirely clear if it's a freedom camping spot as there were no signs related to camping, but it was very busy there with at least 30 campervans and motor homes plus two tents. The coastguard drove through around 8:30pm but didn't take any notice of all the parked vehicles. The toilets were close and open when we needed them (20:15 and 07:00) and didn't appear to have been closed during the night. In the evening we had no trouble with bugs but there were swarms of them in the morning. It's a beautiful place to park up for the night and we would recommend staying here if you're looking for a site near Rotorua.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Emily's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Place got full around 4, so it is very hard to get a spot. We didn’t get one at all, and we stayed there for three nights. Toilets are a 5 minute walk away, but get locked at night.
We ended up staying at Sudima car park like everyone else, and that’s a 10 minute walk from the toilets. Other than that, a pretty decent place to stay, just a shame there’s not more parks. To the people complaining about the smell, it’s Rotorua! That’s the fun of it :))

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Serena's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

This campsite was full when we got there at 2pm, but there is another overflow campsite by the hotel which the security guard kindly showed us. Make sure you only park in designated areas as they do check. Quite smelly but this is inevitable in Rotorua and street lights mean it’s lit up all night. No toilets, but there is another car park with loos 5 minute drive further through the Government gardens (we moved here for breakfast as much more scenic right by Lake Rotorua)

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Almudena's avatar


Ranking: 3/10

The smell from the lake was terrible even we had our campervan totally closed (we couldn’t sleep because of it).
It’s well located in the town.
It’s small, we arrived at 5pm and took the last place.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Mike Smith's avatar

Mike Smith

Ranking: 7/10

Paved car park right by government gardens. We were worried after reading other reviews we wouldn’t get a spot but we got the last open spot at about 1530pm in January high season. Easy walk to downtown restaurants and bars. Public toilet is close but not sure if open late...can go to close by shops if necessary. In the morning there were a few campers parked outside the allowed camping spots with no problems.

Reviewed over 2 years ago