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Source: Department of Conservation

Date:  15 November 2023

Popular holiday destinations include the Coromandel, Hauraki Gulf Islands, and Northland, some of which are expected to sell out during the peak season.

DOC takes pride in providing affordable holiday options in pristine natural settings and staff have worked hard to address the aftermath of last summer’s cyclone which impacted some campsites across the North Island says DOC’s Heritage and Visitors Director, Cat Wilson.

“DOC’s campsites have long been a fixture of summer holidays for many Kiwis. Although a number are booked out over the busy two-week period, some still have space – and many do if you look to book in off-peak times.”

The cyclone recovery efforts have included repairing water infrastructure, rebuilding internal roads within the campsites, fixing bridges and culverts, repairing toilets, and clearing debris and fallen trees.

“The main impact visitors will experience from last year’s turbulent summer is reduced capacity of around 25 – 30 per cent at some Coromandel and Northland campsites.”

DOC campsites are particularly popular through the peak Christmas-New Year season, and during any summer long weekend. They draw campers looking to enjoy fishing, swimming, boating and walking in sometimes isolated locations. Visitors planning to head to these locations are urged to go properly prepared and keep up to date with weather conditions and road network alerts, especially in the northern Coromandel.

Adjusted capacities for DOC campsites


  • Port Jackson: Reduced from 250 to 185 visitors.
  • Fletcher Bay: Reduced from 300 to 200 visitors.
  • Fantail Bay: Reduced from 80 to 60 visitors.


  • Uretiti Beach Campsite: reduced from 1000 to 750 visitors. Although floodwaters have receded over the past year, two main pools alongside the ring-road appear to be permanent.

DOC campsite availability for the upcoming summer


  • Otamure Campsite: Full from December 24 to late January.
  • Puriri Campsite and Urupukapuka Campsite: Full from December 25 to the end of the first week of January.
  • Trounson Kauri Park Campsite, Puketi Campsite, Uretiti: All have space available for Christmas/New Year bookings.


  • Port Jackson Campsite, Fantail Bay Campsite, and Waikawau Bay Campsite: Full from December 25 to the end of the first week of January.
  • Fletcher Bay Campsite and Stoney Bay Campsite: Have space available for Christmas/New Year bookings.
  • Kauaeranga Valley campsites: Plenty of capacity, but visitors are encouraged to book early, particularly for the busy Christmas-New Year period.

Inner Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana:

  • Motuora Island Campsite: Full from December 25 to the end of the first week of January.
  • Home Bay / Motutapu Island Campsite and Motuihe Campsite: Space available for Christmas/New Year bookings.

Aotea/Great Barrier Island:

  • Akapoua Bay, Awana Beach, The Green, Whangapoua, Harataonga, and Medlands Beach Campsites: All have space available for Christmas/New Year bookings.

Some campsites do not need to be booked and operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Advice for campers

  • Be prepared – learn about the wildlife you’ll see, the best walking tracks, and the gear you’ll need before setting out.
  • Check out the campsite rules, such as where to pitch a tent and when to boil water.
  • Look after river, lake and ocean wildlife by using biodegradable products and washing away from water bodies.
  • All DOC campsites have toilets.
  • Most DOC campsites have special areas for your cooker, fireplace, or BBQ. Before you light any fires outdoors, check if any fire bans or restrictions are in place at Check its alright
  • Not all DOC sites have waste disposal – make a plan to take your rubbish away with you.
  • Book in advance where possible to secure a campsite.