Ruakaka Beach Reserve

Ruakaka Beach Reserve

Overnight Campervan Parking


24 Rankers Reviews

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One night maximum
Vehicles must be self contained
You must park in the designated site that is indicated by signage
If the site is full, you must move on


Feature Value Info


Whangarei District Council

Local government organisation


North IslandNorthlandWhangarei


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 24.

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PRB's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Arrived after dark to one other campervan. Woke up and there were 4 of us total. Tight fit meant not much space between & ground was a bit uneven. Can’t see the ocean due to dunes but super close to walkway. Toilets were on the other side of the car park. No rubbish bins. Would stay here again as beach is gorgeous and we didn’t have any issues.

Reviewed 2 months ago

Gordon's avatar


Ranking: 1/10

Tiny, not level, not suitable for large campervans. After 5 minutes of arriving, a council staff member told us basically to move on as our vehicle was too long. The locals and the council don’t seem to want freedom campers. We were told we should be grateful and were lucky that we were allowed there at all. Would not recommend. We support local businesses, buy food/ coffees, have repairs done etc. We are quiet, tidy, love New Zealand and love freedom camping. Pity we feel unwelcome by certain councils and locals. Towns like Thames are wonderful, they support freedom campers, what an amazing town!

Reviewed 3 months ago

James's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Lovely place right beside the beach but had a bad experience youths throwing stones and fireworks at tbe vans after midnight. All vans had to move off around 1am. No sunrise for us

Reviewed 3 months ago

Laura D's avatar

Laura D

New Zealand

Ranking: 6/10

The spots at Ruakaka beach had been filled up (only really room for the 4 motor homes but might fit a couple more smaller vans) however the town had also designated an area of the River Side Reserve (on the way to the beach) as a SCC overnight spot as well. No toilets or facilities there but the beach is easy walking distance and the reserve is in a great location to just wake up and drive to the beach in the morning. Very safe. Not very private.

Reviewed 4 months ago

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Ramona's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Great spot for parking. Short walk to the beach. You can hear the ocean all night. Recommended max vehicle length 6.5m. Spot for 3 vehicles to stay the night.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Louise's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Felt extremely safe here. Overnight parking is on the opposite side to the toilets. Clean toilets. Lovely little cafe at the reserve entrance where we got coffee and hot chocolate the next morning. Friendly staff and residents. Beautiful place to wake up to the next morning. 4other campers there at the same time as us, one of these was a motor home, didn’t get moved on but this could be because it’s winter? Would definitely stay again.

Reviewed 10 months ago

Marg Dale's avatar

Marg Dale

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Super clean toilets. Amazing beach where we watched sun come up. View of mar point refinery. Woken to yummy smells from cafe over road. One other van also using

Reviewed 10 months ago

Tessie's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

A great spot nestled behind the sand dunes right beside a gloriously long beach. Pohutukawa trees provide shade on one side. Beautiful sunrise views Stars overnight with the smelter flames firing up on the northern vista. Cars driving closely past on the gravel road throughout the day but mostly slowly and mindful Public toilet clean and available 24/7.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

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John Russell 's avatar

John Russell

Ranking: 8/10

Great little spot handy to an awesome sandy beach with a toilet and cafe nearby. But we were moved on because the signage said vehicles must be less than 4 metres long ? I know no such thing . The Guy from the council was letting vans stay, just not motor homes. Was told the Council is soon to ban all freedom camping.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Debbie's avatar


Ranking: 4/10

Great site but we got moved on because the Max vehicle length allowed is 4metres. Not many campervans fit in that category! Have to say the council guy was very helpful and told us we could park at the domain down the road by the river.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Asia's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

Very busy. Get there before dinner to get a spot and squeeze into one of the five spots available in a parking lot. A beautiful wild beach is on the other side a small sand dunes. Lovley cafe that closes at 3pm. Be careful of grumpy hotel owner/manager next door who feels he has the authority over the freedom campers.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Michael S's avatar

Michael S

Ranking: 10/10

6 Stellplätze, genau markiert wo man stehen darf. Tolle windgeschützte Location hinter den Dünen. Platz ist in der Nacht beleuchtet und Toiletten sind vorhanden mit Waschbecken.
Strand ist in traumhafter Bucht gelegen!

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Ashleigh's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Nice little car park behind the sand dunes with space for about 6 vans. Clean toilets which were open all night but no showers or water tap. Really quiet & lovely beach to walk along.

Reviewed over 3 years ago