Camping in New Zealand
New Zealand has some of most beautiful campsites in the world, with tens of thousands taking their tents there every summer.
New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC) operates more than 300 campsites from Kapuwairua (Spirits Bay) in Northland to Rakiura/Stewart Island, and these are cheap (or free) to use and often come with basic facilities such as water and toilets.
The most popular campgrounds in the North Island are Maitai Bay (Northland) and Waikawau Bay (Coromandel) with more than 30,000 visitors (bed-nights) going there over the summer season.
In the South Island Totaranui is the most-used with about 29,000 users over summer.
Campsite managers' reported high numbers of campers over the 2012 Christmas-New Year period in Northland, the Coromandel and upper South Island.
All five popular coastal Coromandel campsites (Fantail Bay, Port Jackson, Fletcher Bay, Stony Bay and Waikawau Bay) were busy with record numbers at the Waikawau Bay campsite, which peaked at 1,400 people.
This year the 1,000 campers at the popular Totaranui campsite in Golden Bay enjoyed good weather. The beach-side site, at the northern end of Abel Tasman National Park, was full from Boxing Day and into January with mostly family groups tending to stay for up to 2-3 weeks.