Our Top 3 Freedom Camping Spots Around Taupo

Nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, Taupo offers a canvas of natural beauty that beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. For those seeking to immerse themselves in the rugged charm of Taupo, freedom camping provides a wonderful experience. Here are the top three freedom camping spots around Taupo, each with its own unique charm and offerings.

1. Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve

Campervan parked on the lawn at Whakaipō Bay Recreational Reserve with view over Lake Taupo

Just a short 10-minute drive from the heart of Taupo, Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve stands as a testament to tranquility. Nestled along the lakefront, this gem promises serenity in abundance. The vast expanse of space provides campers with a sense of freedom, while the nearby Great Lake Bike Trail invites adventurers to explore the area by pedal power. Although the absence of water views is a minor trade-off, the proximity to both nature and the town center make this spot a true winner.


–> Ample space for campers

–> Access to the lake

–> Great Lake Bike Trail nearby

–> Quiet ambiance ( might get busy over summer)

–> You need to be self contained to park here

Pro Tips:

–> Embrace the quietness, go for a stroll on the beach or hop on a Stand Up Paddelboard

–> Consider bringing a bike to make the most of the nearby trail.

2. Aratiatia Freedom Camping Overnight Park & Public Toilet

For those seeking a blend of convenience and natural beauty, Aratiatia Freedom Camping Overnight Park is an ideal choice. While the number of spots is limited, this spot compensates with its proximity to both bike and walking tracks. Be aware, however, that this gem becomes a hive of activity in the morning as guests gather for the river cruise, which is a testament to its popularity.


–> Car park-style camping

–> Access to bike and walking tracks

–> Public toilet facilities available

–> You need to be self contained to park here

Pro Tips:

–> Arrive early to secure your spot, especially during peak times.

–> Make the most of the nearby tracks for a refreshing morning stroll.

3. Hipapatua Recreational Reserve

Perched above the Waikato River, Hipapatua Recreational Reserve offers a panoramic view that will leave you breathless. However, with limited spots and uneven terrain, early arrival is key to securing your slice of this picturesque paradise. The dramatic vista over the river makes every effort worthwhile, offering a unique camping experience that’s hard to rival.


–> Stunning views over the Waikato River

–> You do not need to be self contained to park here

–> Limited spots available

–> Uneven terrain and muddy in inclement weather

Pro Tips:

–> Come early to snag one of the sought-after spots with a view.

–> Bring levelling ramps to deal with the uneven terrain.

Before embarking on your freedom camping adventure, remember to respect the environment and adhere to local regulations. Clean up after yourself, use designated facilities responsibly, and be mindful of noise levels.

With these top three freedom camping spots around Taupo, you’re set to embark on a journey that will leave you with cherished memories of New Zealand’s natural wonders. Pack your camping gear, relish the wild, and let Taupo work its magic on you. Happy camping!

Create Memories of a Lifetime in one of our campervans available for hire from Auckland/New Zealand. Book your adventure with Camper4Hire here.

Your Camper4Hire Team

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1 thought on “Our Top 3 Freedom Camping Spots Around Taupo

  1. Thank you for recommending „ Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve“.
    It is such an amazing campground and is definitely in our top 5 Freedom camping spots for North Island.

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