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Stunning Places in New Zealand to Camp

With its picturesque landscapes, well-preserved natural parks, stunning coastlines — New Zealand is every camper’s paradise. Plus, designated campgrounds have all the amenities you can possibly need for life under the open skies. Grab your tent or get on your campervan; an adventure awaits.

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01Stony Bay - Coromandel

Sunset view of Cathedral Cove, rock formation above the sea, New Zealand Paola Giannoni / Getty Images

Situated 55 kilometers north of Coromandel, Stony Bay is a 5-hectare campsite that’s flanked by the verdant hills of Mt. Moehau. You can spend your days fishing, swimming, or exploring the beauty of Coromandel by biking or hiking through the Coromandel Coastal Walkway. Traverse through a coastal forest and farmland with magnificent views of Great Barrier Island and Pinnacles to get to Fletcher Bay.

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02Matauri Bay - Far North, North Island

Matauri Bay is a hit with divers, golfers, and surfers. So if you’re passionate about nature and any of those hobbies, you’ll find kindred spirits here. During an easterly swell, the bay transforms into a great surfing spot. At other times of the year, the beach is perfect for holidaymakers who just want to swim and snorkel in peace. Divers will have a great time exploring the sunken Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior. Trek the ridge above the bay, and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of Cavalli Islands and the headland.

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03Poukaraka Flats - Waiheke Island

Nestled within Whakanewha Regional Park, Poukaraka Flats is the perfect campsite if you want to experience the great outdoors in a very accessible park. With cascading streams, coastal forest, child-friendly beach, spacious wetland, and picturesque headland, you’ll never run out of things to do, even if you camp out here for days. You can go kayaking in the park’s many inlets and bays. Or go birdwatching along the coast and in the wetlands. Or laze the day away in one of the many picnic grounds available.

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04Spirits Bay - Aupouri Peninsula

On the northern end of the Aupouri Peninsula lies a remote bay which makes for the perfect campsite if you want to get away from it all. Spirits Bay has a scenic camping ground with a wide, golden sandy shoreline and lush forest nearby. A leisurely stroll in the walking track along the bay will get you to Pandora, another beach and campsite within the vicinity. Along the way, take time to watch the numerous shorebirds.

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05Waitoetoe Campsite - Taranaki

Waitoetoe Campsite offers the opportunity for you to camp in a picture-perfect surrounding that overlooks Waitotoe’s black sand beach. And since this campground is well situated in Taranaki, the outdoor enthusiast’s mecca on the west coast, there are lots of things to do to fill your day. You can hunt for the perfect wave, hike the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, explore Egmont National Park and capture the perfect image of the majestic Mt. Taranaki.

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06Urupukapuka Bay Campsite - Urupukapuka Island

The largest camping ground on the island, Urupukapuka Bay Campsite, is a beachfront area so you can expect a breathtaking view of the bay with its resplendent headlands to welcome you. And while you’re on the island, you can hike Urupukapuka's many walking tracks to explore the entire island within the day. Steep rocky cliffs, countless beaches, sprawling green landscapes, and stunning views of neighboring islands await you.

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07Mt. Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park - Bay of Plenty

Situated in a peninsula with a panoramic view of the Bay of Plenty, Mt. Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park makes you one happy camper. The walking track leading up to the top of Mt. Maunganui is also a stone’s throw away. Scaling the 232-meter extinct volcano rewards you with a 360-degree view of the Bay of Plenty and surrounding islands. When you’re done conquering the mountain, you can unwind at the Main Beach, often touted as the "Best Beach in New Zealand.”

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08Totaranui Campground - Abel Tasman National Park

On the northern end of Abel Tasman National Park, Totaranui Campground can be your excellent base station if you’re bent on exploring the impressive park. You’ll be setting up a tent near the golden sands and pristine waters of Totaranui Beach. During the day, you can hike the world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track and revel in the beauty of golden sand beaches, amazing rock formations, huge kanuka trees, lush coastal bush, and its resident wildlife.

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09Opoutere Coastal Camping - Coromandel

If you like to get off the grid for a couple of days, Opoutere Coastal Camping could be the remote hideaway you’re looking for. This private campground borders on Wharekawa Wildlife Sanctuary and has the Onukuhou Stream meandering through it. A short walk through the sanctuary will lead you to Opoutere beach. You can fill your day swimming, lounging around the beach, kayaking, or biking. At night, you can picnic under a canopy of stars.

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10Blue Lake Holiday Park - Rotorua

Wake up to an amazing view of Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake), the sound of chirping birds, and the verdant landscapes all around. Covering 14 acres of space, the campground would make for an excellent temporary crib. You have the famous Blue Lake right in your backyard so you can swim, fish, kayak, paddleboard to your heart’s content. Plus, Rotorua City Center is just a few minutes drive away, so everything you need for a memorable camping experience is right at your fingertips.

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