Views along walk to Octopus Bay
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15 Best Coromandel Campsites: Ultimate Coromandel Camping Guide (2024)

It’s hard to imagine a better camping destination than the Coromandel Peninsula.

With an almost unfair amount of gorgeous beaches—and excellent places to camp close to them—I probably don’t need to tell you that the Coromandel is truly one of New Zealand’s ultimate places to go camping.

In fact, there are so many campsites to choose from that it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to go!

That’s where this guide will help. After years of camping around the Coromandel at every chance I can get, I’m sharing my top spots to pitch a tent or park your campervan.

This guide includes Coromandel campsites that are great for both tents and campervans, and some of them also have cabins and glamping available. 

Along with each campsite, I’ll also give you ideas on fun things to do nearby. 

So let’s get to it. Get your camp gear in order, and read on to discover the best places to go camping in the Coromandel!

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the link provided, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate your support!

Quick Guide: The Top Camping Spots in the Coromandel

Don’t have time to read this whole list? No worries. Here are my top picks for campsites in the Coromandel:

Coromandel Campsites Map

Map Legend:

🔶 Holiday Park = orange

🍃 DOC Campsite = green

🚐 Thinking of Hiring a Campervan for your Coromandel Camping Trip?

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Best Holiday Parks and Private Campgrounds in the Coromandel

These Coromandel holiday parks and private campgrounds all have both powered and unpowered campsites, drinking water, communal camp kitchens, flush toilets, hot showers (sometimes free, sometimes coin-operated), and laundry facilities as a bare minimum. 

That being said, some of these campgrounds also offer a lot more than just the basics, so I’ve included any extra facilities you’ll find at each of these camping spots. All of these places even have camping cabins, which are awesome for camping in the Coromandel in winter!

While prices for these Coromandel campgrounds can vary depending on the campsite type and season, expect to pay at least $22 per adult per night (with lower rates for kids). 

Camping cabins in the Coromandel usually range from $90-$150+ per night for two people (although you can often find better deals in the winter months).

1. Opoutere Coastal Camping

A wooden sign with a flag banner for Opoutere Coastal Camping New Zealand.

🌟Top Choice🌟

⛺️ Facilities: beach access; free BBQs; general store with coffees and basic groceries; fish filleting bay; wastewater dump station; hangout room 

🐶 Dogs allowed? No

📍 Opoutere Coastal Camping address: 460 Ohui Road, Opoutere | Google Maps

Opoutere Coastal Camping isn’t just one of the best camping grounds in the Coromandel—it’s also one of the best places to go camping on the North Island!

This family-run campground is a summertime dream. You’ll get to camp right next to a gorgeous white sand Coromandel Beach: Opoutere Beach. You can wake up, roll out of your tent or campervan, and walk to the beach within 5 minutes.

There’s an old-school charm at the Opoutere campground, and I love that about it. It’s one of those places where families have been spending their summer holidays for generations, and there’s a kind, friendly vibe here.

In addition to being right near the beach, you’ll also get to camp next to a beautiful pine forest. This means that the birdlife is wonderful—listen for kākā flying ahead (their screeching calls are hard to miss!). It’s a pretty magic spot with the pines backing right up to the sandy beach. 

In addition to powered and unpowered campsites, there are some rustic cabins on offer here. The chalet is my pick of the bunch, if you’re lucky enough to snag an opening to book it!

For campsites, I recommend booking one of the upper sites if possible. You’ll be closest to the beach that way.

Tips: Bring $1 coins for the showers. There is limited cell reception here and no WiFi available, so you’ll have no excuse but to unplug!

✅ Things to do near Opoutere Coastal Camping:

  • Hang out at Opoutere Beach! Honestly, this is one of the best beaches on the North Island, and it’ll be right at your doorstep—you won’t want to leave. You can surf, swim, go for a long beach walk, read your book in your beach chair…you get the idea. 

  • Visit the awesome coastal town of Whangamatā. Hang out at the beach, kayak to Whenuakura (Donut) Island, have brunch at Port Road Project, or eat a delicious burger at Soul Burger.

  • Have a picnic and swim at Octopus Bay (Pakahakaha Bay). Getting to this secret beach requires a small hike, but it’s a gorgeous walk along the cliff tops and in the bush, with stunning sea views.

    It takes about 30 minutes each way to walk to Octopus Bay and there are some uphill sections. 

    Access is at a trail leading south from the upper carpark at Onemana Beach. Please remember to pack out any rubbish you bring in!

2. Hahei Beach Resort

A view over Hahei Beach and Hahei town from the Te Pare Pa Reserve walking track.
How gorgeous is Hahei Beach?!

🌟Top Choice🌟

⛺️ Facilities: Beach access; cafe and general store; seasonal takeaway restaurant & bar; free gas BBQs; covered outdoor dining area; playground; fish filleting station; dump station; ocean-view hot tubs for hire 

🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, but with restrictions (i.e. dogs aren’t allowed in peak season or in cabins/units) and only with prior approval!

📍 Hahei Beach Resort address: 41 Harsant Avenue, Hahei | Google Maps

If you’re after beachfront camping in the Coromandel, it’s pretty hard to beat the Hahei Beach Resort.

This Hahei camping ground lives up to its title as a “resort”—if you’re looking for an epic campground with basically every amenity you could imagine, then this is the place!

Seriously, once you get to the Hahei Beach Resort, you can kick off your shoes and simply relax. This campground is just steps from Hahei Beach and has everything you need for a Coromandel camping holiday.

In addition to powered and unpowered campsites, the Hahei Beach Resort also has camping cabins and glamping tents. If you’re after something even more spacious, they also have villas and baches available.

You can get barista-made coffees onsite, and there’s a seasonal restaurant at the campground, too! The restaurant serves up delicious burgers and woodfired pizzas and is open from Labour Weekend until Easter.

Besides excellent facilities (free BBQs, wifi, and both indoor and outdoor showers, to name a few), the Hahei Beach Resort also has gorgeous outdoor hot tubs for hire—with ocean views at that! Enquire about hot tub hire when you check in with reception; they’re popular, so you’ll want to book ahead.

The best part about camping here, though, is that it’s the closest campground to Cathedral Cove.

In addition to all of these perks, you’ll also be just a 10-minute drive from Hot Water Beach. So, when you camp at the Hahei Beach Resort, the Coromandel’s top attractions will all be within easy reach. The location truly couldn’t be better.

✅ Things to do near the Hahei Beach Resort:

  • Visit Cathedral Cove. Usually, you can walk from the campground to Cathedral Cove, but unfortunately, the track is currently closed due to cyclone damage. Instead, I recommend taking a scenic boat tour to view Cathedral Cove from the water.

🚤 I recommend this boat tour of Cathedral Cove

  • Relax at Hahei Beach—it’s right at your doorstep when you camp here!

  • Wander down to the south end of Hahei Beach and walk up to the Te Pare Pā Historic Reserve. There are two historic Ngati Hei pā sites here and the views are absolutely stunning. 

  • Walk into the Hahei township for a meal; I recommend the Pour House for pizzas and housemade craft beer.

  • Drive to Hot Water Beach (it’s just 10 minutes away).

3. Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park

A teardrop-shaped timber camping cabin with a deck with wooden chairs at the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park .
My favourite camping cabin at the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park

🌟Top Choice🌟

⛺️ Facilities: Walking access to Hot Water Beach; fish & chip shop; camp store with basics for purchase; free BBQs; 2GB free WiFi per day; fish cleaning station; bouncing pillow; playground; go-karts for hire; surf/bodyboard hire; spade hire for Hot Water Beach 

🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, but with restrictions (i.e. dogs aren’t allowed in peak season or in cabins/units) and only with prior approval!

📍 Hot Water Beach Top 10 address: 790 Hot Water Beach Rd, Hot Water Beach | Google Maps

The Hot Water Beach Top 10 is the crème de la crème of Coromandel holiday parks!

This campground is spacious and so well-run. The lush grounds are immaculate, the facilities are top-notch, and there are awesome camping options for everyone. 

Park your campervan or pitch your tent on a grassy site, or stay in one of the great little camping cabins or family units. 

Their “Deluxe Cabins” are such great value for money—they come complete with a cosy bed, dining table, mini fridge, and even a TV. They’re the perfect option for a couple or solo traveller. This campground is really one of the best spots for cabin camping in the Coromandel.

From the campground, you can walk right over to Hot Water Beach, so you’ll have the best access to this very popular Coromandel attraction! 

I love being able to easily visit Hot Water Beach in the early morning hours before it gets super busy. You can hire spades (shovels) from the campground—you’ll need one for digging your own hot tub in the sand! 

If you don’t feel like cooking a camp dinner every night, the campground also has a fish & chip shop on site; their hours do vary depending on the season, so check ahead of time if you’re planning on getting takeaways.

Things to do near the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park:

  • Visit Hot Water Beach! Hire spades (shovels) at reception, and walk over to the beach from camp. It’s best to visit Hot Water Beach within 2 hours either side of low tide.

  • Drive to nearby Hahei—it’s just 10 minutes away. Explore Cathedral Cove while you’re there. See #2 above (Hahei Beach Resort) for more tips on nearby activities.

  • Grab a bite to eat at the campground’s fish & chips spot or at Hot Waves Cafe.

4. Long Bay Motor Camp

A seaweed-covered beach cove by the ocean and bush-covered headland near the Long Bay campground in the Coromandel Peninsula.
Long Bay on the Coromandel’s west coast

🌟Top Choice🌟

⛺️ Facilities: Beach access to two sheltered, tidal bays; fishing opportunities; camp store with coffees and basics for sale; boat ramp & wash-down area; dump station; playground; walking tracks; kayaks & paddle boards for hire.

🐶 Dogs allowed? Check directly with the camp hosts about this; dogs are sometimes allowed but not in peak season or in cabins/units and only with prior approval! 

📍 Long Bay Motor Camp address: 3200 Long Bay Road, Coromandel | Google Maps

For a top-notch beachfront campground on the Coromandel’s west coast, head to Long Bay Motor Camp. This campground has been a longtime favourite with many in-the-know families who return year after year to spend a summer holiday in paradise!

You’ll find two different camping sections to choose from here: there’s Long Bay, which has more holiday park-style amenities and both powered and unpowered campsites, plus cabins. 

The second option is camping at Tuck’s Bay, which has back-to-basics unpowered campsites and is perfect for people who want to enjoy peace, quiet, and solitude. 

If you’re planning to go fishing on your camping holiday, then you’ll absolutely love this spot. This area is particularly renowned for its snapper fishing. You can bring your own boat to launch from here, try your hand at rock fishing, or book a boat or fishing charter with the friendly camp hosts.

Long Bay Motor Camp is just 3km away from Coromandel Town, making it super easy to restock at the supermarket when your beer supplies start running low 😉

Tip: bring 50c coins for the showers here.

Things to do near the Long Bay Motor Camp:

  • Go swimming, fishing, kayaking, or SUP’ing right from camp! The camp store hires out kayaks and SUPs if you don’t have your own in tow.
  • There are two easy bush walks right from camp, too—the Kauri Bush Walk (40 minutes return) and Tucks Bay Coastal Walk (30 minutes return).
  • When you camp at the Long Bay Motor Camp, you’ll be just a 5-minute drive from Coromandel Town. There are some good cafes in Coromandel Town, including Weta Cafe and Umu Restaurant and Cafe

  • For a fun activity for all ages, head to the Driving Creek Railway, where you can take a scenic railway tour through native bush and go zip-lining if you want an adventure.

5. Waihi Beach Holiday Park

A view over the ocean and Waihi Beach from a lookout on the Orokawa Bay hiking track.
Views over Waihi Beach from the Orokawa Bay track

⛺️ Facilities: Beach access; swimming pool (with waterslide) and sun loungers; spa and sauna; gym; free WiFi; gas BBQs; jumping pillow; playground; board games & outdoor giant chess

🐶 Dogs allowed? No (but they are allowed at the Beachaven Holiday Park down the road!)

📍 Waihi Beach Holiday Park address: 15 Beach Road, Waihi Beach | Google Maps

Located at the northern end of beautiful Waihi Beach, the Waihi Beach Holiday Park is an excellent place for a camping trip.

While Waihi Beach is technically in the Bay of Plenty region, it’s right at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula, so I’ve included a couple of the best Waihi Beach campsites in this guide.

This campground has got it all, and then some. In addition to all of the facilities you’d expect from a highly-rated holiday park, it also has some bonus amenities like a heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, and gym. You’re not going to want to leave once you’re here!

The best part about camping here, though, is that it’s located right next to Waihi Beach. When you’re not making use of the many onsite amenities, you can go hang out at the beach for as long as you’d like and wander back to camp when you’re done.

Things to do near the Waihi Beach Tasman Holiday Park:

  • Hang out at Waihi Beach! Honestly, this is one of the best beaches in New Zealand, and you’ll have direct access to it when you camp here. Go for long beach walks, look for shells to admire, or go swimming…it’ll be one of the best beachside holidays ever.
  • Walk from Waihi Beach to secluded Orokawa Bay. This is one of the best walks in the Coromandel and takes around 40 minutes one-way along a stunning coastal track. Bring a picnic!
  • Another excellent hike-in beach is Homunga Bay. You can technically walk there from Orokawa Bay, but I prefer to access Homunga via the Ngatitiangata Road carpark (the hike takes about 40 minutes down to the beach, and 45 minutes back up).
  • Sip on a coffee or juice in the lush Bali-inspired gardens at the Secret Garden.

6. Beachaven Holiday Park

White sand and grass-covered dunes at Waihi Beach, New Zealand.
You’ll be steps away from Waihi Beach when you camp at Beachaven Holiday Park

⛺️ Facilities: Beach access; free WiFi; free BBQs & wood-fired pizza oven; playground; dump station; wood barrel hot tubs & sauna

🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes (choose a “dog friendly” campsite when you book)

📍 Beachaven Holiday Park address: 21 Leo Street, Waihi Beach | Google Maps

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to camping in Waihi Beach—you’ve got two awesome beachfront campgrounds to choose from!

In addition to the Waihi Beach Holiday Park mentioned above, the Beachaven Holiday Park is also a great place to camp. You’ll be just steps away from Waihi Beach, a 9km stretch of gorgeous white sand that has opportunities for swimming, walking, and just relaxing under the shade of your beach umbrella with a good book.

Back at camp, you’ll find heaps of excellent amenities on offer. The camp kitchen and bathrooms are clean and modern, and you’ll have access to free BBQs and even a pizza oven. 

There’s a lot to do nearby, too. From walks to cafes to hot pools, you won’t get bored camping at Waihi Beach.

This is one of the best dog-friendly campsites in the Coromandel Peninsula, so you won’t have to leave your pup at home when you go camping here!

Things to do near the Beachhaven Holiday Park:

  • See #5 above (Waihi Beach Holiday Park) for the best things to do around Waihi Beach!

7. Flaxmill Bay Campground

A sweeping view over Lonely Bay Beach and Cook's Beach with manuka trees in the foregound.
Don’t miss the Shakespeare Cliff Reserve and Lonely Bay Beach when you camp at Flaxmill Bay!

⛺️ Facilities: Gas BBQs; outdoor dining areas; boat wash & bait freezer; dump station 

🐶 Dogs allowed? No

📍 Flaxmill Bay Campground address: 1031 Purangi Road, RD1, Whitianga | Google Maps

At Flaxmill Bay, you’ll find a peaceful, park-like campground with immaculate grounds and pristine amenities. 

Located near Cook’s Beach, this beautiful campground is a great place to stay if you’re after an upscale camping experience with more of a deluxe, boutique feel. Their campsites are more expensive than most other camping spots in the Coromandel, but they’re in a stunning and tranquil setting. 

The campground operates seasonally, from October (Labour Weekend) through the end of April each year. 

Flaxmill Bay also offers lovely holiday homes and cabins—I particularly like their “Sleeper Cabins,” which are perfect for a couple.

Things to do near the Flaxmill Bay campground:

8. Kūaotunu Campground

A view over Kuaotunu Beach with a windblown tree and a person walking down the beach.
Beautiful Kūaotunu Beach

⛺️ Facilities: Campground shop selling basics; boat wash & boat park; dump station; playground 

🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, but not during public holidays or peak season (20th December through February), and only one dog is allowed per campsite. Check with the camp hosts before bringing your dog.

📍 Kūaotunu Campground address: 33 Bluff Road, Kūaotunu West | Google Maps

The Kūaotunu Campground is in such a great location between Matarangi and Whitianga. 

This campground is owned by shareholders who have permanent holiday camping spaces. However, they also share their awesome location with others and offer a number of campsites and cabins to the public. 

When you base yourself at this campground, you have a whole lot to explore close by—and if you don’t feel like exploring, you can just walk right across the road to the beach.

Things to do near the Kūaotunu Holiday Park:

  • Hang out at Kūaotunu Beach—it’s a great spot for swimming, fishing, or simply relaxing.

  • Enjoy a woodfired pizza and craft beer at Luke’s Kitchen, or grab takeaways from the Kūaotunu Store.

  • Explore nearby Otama Beach and Opito Bay. At Otama Bay, check out the beach swing. At Opito Bay, make sure to walk up to the Opito Pā and go find the secret Crayfish Bay!

  • Visit nearby Matarangi Beach, a gorgeous 4.5km stretch of white sandy beach that’s perfect for swimming and long beach walks (Matarangi Beach is a 10-minute drive from camp).

  • Drive up to New Chums Beach (New Chums is a 20-minute drive from camp).

  • Drive down to Whitianga for an afternoon—see #7 above (Flaxmill Bay) for things to do in Whitianga (Whitianga is a 25-minute drive from camp).

9. Whangapoua Holiday Park 

A birds-eye view over the white sand beach, turquoise ocean, and green native bush at New Chums Beach in the Coromandel.
You have to pay a visit to New Chums Beach when camping at the Whangapoua Holiday Park!

⛺️ Facilities: BBQs, indoor and outdoor dining tables, WiFi for purchase 

🐶 Dogs allowed? No

📍 Whangapoua Holiday Park address: 1266 Whangapoua Road, Te Rerenga | Google Maps

If you’re keen to visit New Chums Beach (which is quite possibly the most beautiful beach in the Coromandel!), then the Whangapoua Holiday Park is a convenient place to camp.

This holiday park is the closest you’ll find to New Chums Beach, and it’s a wonderful spot to pitch your tent or park your campervan. They also have cabins available, ranging from deluxe 2-person cabins to family cabins that sleep up to four people.

While this campground isn’t beachfront, it’s just 5km down the road from gorgeous Whangapoua Beach, which is also the starting point for the walk to New Chums Beach. 

With such great beaches within close proximity, you can go hang out by the water all day and then lazily make your way back to camp at your leisure.

You can expect to find clean facilities, a peaceful setting, and friendly hosts at this lovely campground. 

✅ Things to do near the Whangapoua Holiday Park:

  • Hang out at Whangapoua Beach: this 1.5km stretch of gorgeous white sand is a lovely beach for swimming, relaxing, and walking.

  • Walk to New Chums Beach: from Whangapoua Beach, you can hike into the remote, stunning New Chums Beach, one of the best beaches to visit on a Coromandel road trip. The walk takes about 30 minutes (one-way) and goes through a beautiful nikau forest. Bring everything you’ll want for a day at the beach, because you won’t want to leave once you’re there!

  • Pop into the Whangapoua Store for a homemade pie and coffee or other delicious takeaways.

  • Check out more amazing beaches nearby…Kūaotunu is just a 15-minute drive away and Matarangi Beach is a 10-minute drive from camp. 

10. Shelly Beach Top 10 Holiday Park

An orange sunset over Shelly Bay Beach in the Coromandel.
Sunsets from the Shelly Bay Top 10 Holiday Park are next-level gorgeous.

⛺️ Facilities: Beachfront location; heated swimming pool and splash zone; playground and jumping pillow; tv lounge and dining room; free BBQs; free WiFi; camp shop selling basics; fish filleting and boat wash area; dump station; outdoor movies in peak season; outdoor fire pit in winter.

🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, but with restrictions (i.e. dogs aren’t allowed in peak season or in cabins/units). Also, only one pet is allowed per site and pets are only allowed with prior approval!

📍 Shelly Beach Top 10 Holiday Park address: 243 Colville Road, Coromandel  | Google Maps

The Shelly Beach Top 10 is a family-friendly holiday park in a great location. It’s close to Coromandel Town but also right by the beach, so you get the best of both worlds here.

Shelly Beach itself is a tidal bay, rather than a sandy stretch of beach like you’ll find on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. This means that it’s best to swim here at high tide. 

It’s also a wonderful place to watch a sunset no matter what the tide is doing!

Kids in particular love this campground, because it’s got all of the things to keep them entertained: a jumping pillow, swimming pool & splash zone, and playground. This campground is a good place to go if you’re looking for something family-friendly.

If you’re a couple looking for a more romantic setting, check out their glamping pods. Their deluxe beachside glamping pods are cosy and comfortable and perfect for two.

✅ Things to do near the Shelly Bay Top 10 Holiday Park:

  • See #4 above (Long Bay Motor Camp) for things to do in and around Coromandel Town!

Best DOC Campsites in the Coromandel

If you’re looking for cheap camping in the Coromandel that will get you back to basics, then these DOC (Department of Conservation) campsites are for you.

At one of these DOC campgrounds in the Coromandel, expect to pay around $15-18 per adult and $7.50-9.00 per child per night (kids under age 5 camp for free).

All of the campsites listed in this section are suitable for tents, campervans, or caravans, but not all of the campgrounds have powered sites available (I’ll note which ones do). 

Unlike camping at one of the holiday parks in the Coromandel, you’ll need to be self-sufficient to camp at a DOC campsite. 

This means you should bring your own gas stove and cookware for cooking, and everything else you’ll need to enjoy a Coromandel camping holiday amongst nature.

While the DOC campsites here do have water taps, you’re meant to boil or treat the water before drinking, so I always bring my own drinking water.

Now onto the campsites—here are some of the best DOC campsites in the Coromandel!

11. Waikawau Bay Conservation Campsite

A golden sandy beach by the ocean with a green hill in the distance and grass-covered dunes in the foreground at Waikawau Beach in the Coromandel.

🌟Top Choice🌟

🏕 Types of campsites available: 120 non-powered sites; 12 powered sites

⛺️ Facilities: Beach access; camp shop in peak season; non-flush toilets; cold showers; water taps (boil before drinking).

🐶 Dogs allowed? No

📍 Waikawau Bay Campsite address: 96 Waikawau Beach Road, Waikawau | Google Maps

If you’re looking for the best DOC campsite in the Coromandel, this is it.

The Waikawau Bay Campground is located in the remote northern part of the Coromandel, so it’s a bit of a mission to get there. But that effort is well worth it for the paradise that awaits you.

As with most DOC campsites, expect a back-to-basics experience here. That’s part of the fun, though, if you ask me!

With a peachy-pink sandy beach to enjoy and the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep at night, there’s not much more you need to have an epic time camping on the Coromandel Peninsula.

At this campsite, you’ll find plenty of nice grassy areas to park your campervan or pitch your tent. There are mostly unpowered campsites here (120 to be exact), but you’ll also find 12 powered sites available. 

Whatever you do, make sure to book ahead—especially if you’re visiting in the summer months! This place books out fast, as it’s one of the best DOC campgrounds on the North Island.

When heading out to camp at Waikawau Bay, remember to pack everything you’ll need, as you’ll be in quite a remote location (and you won’t want to leave once you arrive). 

In particular, don’t forget sunblock, insect repellant, and of course all the food and drinks you’ll need for your camping trip. 

You’ll also want your own gas-powered camping stove as there are no cooking facilities here (and no fires are allowed).

The Waikawau Bay campsite has a pack-it-in, pack-it-out policy, so come prepared with plenty of rubbish bags and recycling containers to collect your rubbish/recycling while you camp. 

The nearest refuse station is located in Coromandel Town (at 525 Huaraki Road).

Things to do near Waikawau Bay Campsite:

12. Fletcher Bay Campsite

Two people sitting in camp chairs in front of a tent on a grassy campsite at the Fletcher Bay camping ground in the Coromandel.

🏕 Types of campsites available: 60 non-powered sites

⛺️ Facilities: Non-flush toilets; cold showers; water taps (boil before drinking)

🐶 Dogs allowed? No

📍 Fletcher Bay Campsite address: Fletcher Bay 3584 | Google Maps

The Fletcher Bay DOC Campsite is a real “end-of-the-road” kind of place—it’s a journey to get there, but well worth the effort! 

This spacious DOC campground is bare-bones but beautiful. With a large, grassy area for setting up tents or parking up a campervan, there’s a spot for all types of campers here. It’s one of my favourite spots for tent camping in the Coromandel!

The main draw for camping at Fletcher Bay—besides getting to relax and unwind off-grid—is that it’s right at the trailhead for the Coromandel Coastal Walkway. 

The Coromandel Coastal Walkway is one of the best hikes on the North Island, so getting to camp so close to it is really quite special!

While the whole Coromandel Coastal Walkway is around 20km and takes around 7 hours return, I like to shorten the walk by just doing part of it. I think the best part of the trail is the section close to Fletcher Bay.

From Fletcher Bay, you can simply walk to the first lookout (about 1.5 hours into the trail), then turn back from there. If you choose to do the whole thing, you’ll walk to the Stony Bay DOC campsite and turn around from there, retracing your steps on the return walk.

It’s worth noting that you should arrive with everything you need for both the Fletcher Bay Campsite and the Coromandel Coastal Walkway—you’ll be camping/hiking in a remote place with no supplies available.

✅ Things to Do Near the Fletcher Bay DOC Campsite:

  • Hike all or part of the Coromandel Coastal Walkway.

  • Go fishing or swimming at the beach—do note that the beach is a rocky one (rather than a soft sandy beach), but it’s still a gorgeous spot.

  • Enjoy the drive into Fletcher Bay. The road to Fletcher Bay is a bit rough—it’s all unsealed (gravel) past Colville, and the road can be windy and narrow in parts. The coastal scenery is stunning, though—especially the views over Jackson Bay!

  • On the drive up, stop at the Hereford ‘n a Pickle Cafe in Colville for ice cream, fresh baking, or a delicious burger made with their own Hereford beef.

13. Port Jackson Campsite

A view over green rolling hills and the Jackson Bay beach and campground in the Coromandel Peninsula.
Views over Port Jackson Beach and Campsite

🏕 Types of campsites available: 50 non-powered sites

⛺️ Facilities: Cooking shelter, non-flush toilets; cold showers; water taps (boil before drinking)

🐶 Dogs allowed? No

📍 Port Jackson Campsite address: Port Jackson Road, Port Jackson, Coromandel | Google Maps

The Port Jackson DOC Campsite is a no-frills camping spot in an absolutely gorgeous location.

Located right next to Port Jackson Beach at the northwestern tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, this is a great place to camp if you want to escape into nature. 

The beach here is a long stretch of soft golden sand, and it’s perfect for long beach walks at low tide.

After falling asleep to the sound of the sea at night, you can open up your tent or campervan door in the morning to stunning ocean views—you’ll literally be camping right at the beach here. 

Before heading to camp at the Port Jackson campsite, make sure you have everything you need, including food, drinking water, and other beverages of choice. You’ll be in a remote spot, and you won’t want to have to leave to get supplies. 

This campground also has a pack-it-in, pack-it-out policy, so make sure you have rubbish & recycling receptacles on hand. When you leave camp, the closest rubbish/recycling center is at 525 Hauraki Road, Coromandel Town.

✅ Things to do near the Port Jackson Campsite:

  • Go swimming, fishing, or kayaking/boating right at camp. 

  • For a lovely 6km walk, hike the Muriwai Walk, which starts at the northern end of Port Jackson.

    You’ll walk along a farm track towards Wharekaiatua Pā and will enjoy spectacular views over Great Barrier Island and the Hauraki Gulf.

  • When you camp at Port Jackson, you’ll also be close (under a 20-minute drive) to the Fletcher Bay Campsite and Coromandel Coastal Walkway—see #12 above (Fletcher Bay) for more details on both.

14. Wentworth Valley Camping Ground

Golden sand and Norfolk pine trees at Whangamata Beach, with Donut Island in the ocean in the near distance.
When you camp at Wentworth Valley, you’re just a 10-minute drive from Whangamatā.

🏕 Types of campsites available: Both unpowered and powered sites are available; you need to book ahead for powered sites and during peak season and holidays.

⛺️ Facilities: Hot showers ($2 coin-operated); cold showers; food prep and cleaning areas; gas BBQs; non-flush toilets; water taps (boil before drinking)

🐶 Dogs allowed? Yes, as long as you follow the camp rules 

📍 Wentworth Valley Camping Ground address: 474 Wentworth Valley Road, Whangamatā | Google Maps

The Wentworth Valley DOC Camping Ground is the closest DOC campsite to Whangamatā.

While it’s not set in a beachfront location, this campground is nestled amidst beautiful native bush and the Wentworth River. You can camp here and get a feeling of being in the remote wilderness, but you’ll just be about 10 minutes away from Whangamatā and its gorgeous white sand beach (and cafes, restaurants, and shops!).

At the campground itself, you’ll have opportunities for bush walks, swimming holes, birdwatching, and star gazing. Camp here to get away from it all—while also having the convenience of a bustling beach town close by.

This is one of the best DOC camps in the Coromandel for bringing your dog along with you, too.

One word of advice: I camped here one spring and experienced a prolific amount of flying insects at my campsite. So if you’re a mosquito-magnet like me, come prepared with insect repellant. 

✅ Things to do near the Wentworth Valley Camping Ground:

  • Hike to Wentworth Valley Falls. This is a beautiful bush walk to a waterfall that’ll take around 2 hours round-trip. 

  • Hang out at Whangamatā Beach! Seriously, this is one of the best beaches in all of New Zealand (and also home to one of the country’s most famous surf breaks).

  • Grab a bite to eat in Whangamatā—I recommend Port Road Project for coffee and brunch or Soul Burger for fantastic burgers.

  • For an adventure on a calm-weather day, hire kayaks to paddle to Whenuakura (Donut Island).

  • Side tip: if you’re camping around the Coromandel for a while but need to get some work done, check out the White Noise coworking space—I’ve worked from there on a past camping trip to the Coromandel, and it’s great.

15. Kauaeranga Valley Campgrounds

Soft lighting at sunrise with a view over rock formations and mountains at the Pinnacles Track in the Kauaeranga Valley.
The Kauaeranga Valley Campsites are the closest DOC campgrounds to the Pinnacles Track.

While there are lots of beachfront campsites included in this guide, the Kauaeranga Valley Campgrounds are a bit different. 

Instead of being by the beach, these Coromandel camping sites are located in the green, bush-clad Kauaeranga Valley, a place to go for hiking, river swims, and getting back to nature.

There are 8 DOC campsites within the Kauraeranga Valley, and they’re all peaceful, spacious,  and close to the river.

The 8 campsites are as follows:

CampgroundLocationFacilitiesNumber of SitesOpen SeasonDogs Allowed?
Shag Stream CampsiteAdjacent to Visitor CentreNon-flush toilets; swimming hole nearby30 unpowered sitesLabour Weekend (October) until 30 AprilNo
Hotoritori Campsite3km from Visitor CentreNon-flush toilets30 unpowered sitesYear-roundYes
Whangaiterenga Campsite5km from Visitor CentreFlush toilets50 unpowered sitesYear-roundNo
Booms Flat Campsite 6km from Visitor CentreNon-flush toilets65 unpowered sitesLabour Weekend (October) until 30 AprilYes
Catleys Campsite6.5km from Visitor CentreNon-flush toilets30 unpowered sitesLabour Weekend (October) until 30 AprilNo
Wainora Campsite7km from Visitor CentreNon-flush toilets; at the start of the Cookson Kauri walk30 unpowered sitesLabour Weekend (October) until 30 AprilNo
Totara Flat Campsite 7.5km from Visitor CentreNon-flush toilets30 unpowered sitesYear-roundNo
Trestle View Campsite (walking access only; no vehicle access)9km from Visitor CentreNon-flush toilets15 unpowered sitesYear-roundNo

Things to do near the Kauaeranga Valley Campgrounds:

  • Take a refreshing dip in Hoffman’s Pool, a lovely swimming hole on the Kauaeranga River. There are also good swimming holes near the Hotoritori and Shag Stream campsites.
  • Go tramping! The Kauaeranga Kauri Trail (Pinnacles Track) starts at the road end. You can hike to the Pinnacles Hut and summit as a day hike if you’re up for a challenge, but consider booking a night at the Pinnacles Hut to help break the hike up a bit (and so you can enjoy views over the pinnacles at sunset and sunrise!).

  • For a shorter walk, try the Cookson Kauri Walk.
  • Up for an adventure? Try canyoning with Canyonz.

Free Camping in the Coromandel

First things first: if you’re looking to camp for free in the Coromandel, you absolutely must be in a certified self-contained vehicle. You can get a hefty fine if you try to freedom camp in a non-self-contained vehicle, so don’t risk it!

Freedom camping in the Coromandel is quite restricted, but there are still some spots where you can freedom camp (again, in a certified self-contained vehicle only!).

I’ve focused on established (paid) campsites in this guide since they’re available to campers of all types (whether tent camping or in a van).

To find out where you can camp your self-contained vehicle for free in the Coromandel, I recommend referring to the below guide from the Coromandel District Council:

🚐 Freedom Campsites in the Coromandel: the official list

I also recommend downloading the Rankers app to search for free campsites in the Coromandel.

Tips for Camping in the Coromandel

Octopus Bay
Don’t forget your swimsuit on your camping trip—you’ll want to swim at gorgeous beaches like Octopus Bay!
  • Camping in the Coromandel is super popular in the summer months, especially around Christmas/New Year and during school holidays (basically from mid-December to mid-February). Make sure you book your camping spot in the Coromandel well in advance during that time or visit during the off-season (which is any time besides summer, really).
  • Some campsites, eateries, and attractions in the Coromandel can close during winter (May through September), so if you plan to camp during the winter, double-check online to make sure places are open. That being said, I’ve found some awesome winter deals in the past on holiday park cabins in the Coromandel, so it’s sometimes a great time to visit the Coromandel on a budget (and without crowds).
  • Pack plenty of sunscreen & a beach umbrella if you plan to hang out at the beach a lot. 
  • Keep an eye on the weather report because some hectic storms and cyclones can blow through the Coromandel, even in summer. Roads can wash out, there can be flooding, etc. Check on the Metservice website for weather reports before heading out on your camping trip.
  • Campfires aren’t allowed at any of these campsites in the Coromandel. Nor can you usually bring your own bbq; however, gas stoves are allowed! 

Final Thoughts: the Best Campsites in the Coromandel

New Chums Beach in the Coromandel
Picture yourself here…and now go book your camping trip! 🤗 🏖

I hope this guide has helped you plan your Coromandel camping holiday!

If you’re a keen camper and want some ideas for where to head next, I suggest you go camping in Northland

Like the Coromandel, Northland has heaps of epic camping spots by the beach. 

Thanks so much for reading my guide and as always, please feel free to leave a comment or email me with any questions you have.

Happy Camping!

2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much, what a great guide for a newbie to the Coromandel like myself, a great collection and description of everything anyone would need to know, it is very much appreciated. Our family can now organize a brilliant holiday away thanks to your guide and advice. Peace and love to you always

    1. Hi Sam!

      Thanks so much for your comment—I’m super happy to hear you found the guide helpful. Hope you and your family have an awesome camping holiday in the Coromandel!

      Cheers,
      Jac

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