'Off the beaten track' camp grounds

Hawke’s Bay is the place to be this summer. FACT.

And nothing says summer more loudly than CAMPING. Hawke’s Bay is well served for camp grounds from north to south, and everywhere in between. We’ve compiled six of the best ‘off the beaten track’ camp grounds where you can kick back for a night or two or seven, and soak up all the serenity you could ever wish for.

For a more exhaustive list of camping options, check out the Hawke’s Bay Accommodation Guide, Department of Conservation or the New Zealand Tourism Guide.

Waiwhenua Farmstay and River Side Park

About an hour’s drive from Napier or Hastings, accessible via the Taihape-Napier Road, Waiwhenua is situated on the banks of the Tutaekuri River. With options for camping and RV parking, along with glamping and cabin facilities, Waiwhenua is a family-friendly option to reconnect with nature. As part of a farmstay, there’s also a wide range of activities to entertain everyone including guided trout fishing, farm tours, unguided walks and guided hunting adventures.

Waipatiki Beach Holiday Park

30 minutes north of Napier, this holiday park is terraced to make the most of views over the stunning Waipatiki Beach. Campers can enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, diving and even launch small boats from the bench. Accommodation options include cabins, power and non-powered sites. There’s a heap of walks accessible from the campground, while the starting point for the popular Tangoio and Te Ana Falls walks is just a short drive away.

Mountain Valley Adventure Lodge

Mountain Valley sits atop one of the most scenic spots in the region, perched above the Mohaka River, about 45mins north of Napier on the Napier-Taupo Road. They have all the accommodation options you would expect, plus they’re pet-friendly. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the wide range of activities on offer (also available to non-campers) including horse trekking, archery, claybird shooting, paintball, rafting, fishing, swimming and mountain biking.

Mahia Holiday Park

Mahia Peninsula has been the getaway choice for generations of kiwis since ages ago. And there’s no better way to ‘do’ Mahia than the holiday park. With “beds for every budget” and an on-site café, this sprawling camp site is about as close to Mahia Beach as you can get. Neighbouring Mokatahi Lookout offers stunning views across the area, while the nearby Mahanga Beach means there’s always another beach option if the wind gets up. Bonus, the Rocket Lab launch facility is at the end of Mahia Peninsula – so watching a rocket launch has never been so relaxing.

Beach Road Holiday Park

12 miles of golden sand at Porangahau Beach are just a short walk from Beach Road Holiday Park in Central Hawke’s Bay, located about 50km from Waipukurau. Beach Road is about as family friendly as they come, with mini putt, a play area and loads to space to ride bikes. The neighbouring Porongahau Country Club offers golf, tennis and lawn bowls, while the village has all the supplies you could need. Did we mention the stunning beach just down the road?!

Waikaremoana Holiday Park

Managed by the Department of Conservation, Waikaremoana Holiday Park can accommodate a range of groups across its powered and non-powered sites, and various cabin configurations. Located on the shore of the stunning Lake Waikaremoana, the park can be used as a starting point for a host of short or long walks, not to mention fishing for rainbow and brown trout on the lake, and just generally relaxing in one of the region’s more spectacular settings.

Hawke's Bay road trips

Nothing like a summer roadie. Good music, great company, tasty food, windows down, arm out (with sunscreen on of course). 

And where better to do a summer trip than Hawke’s Bay. We’ve put together a super selection of trips to supercharge your summer holiday.


Here's some more great ways to explore Hawke's Bay this summer:

Things to do

Hawke's Bay road trips

5 reasons why Hawke's Bay this summer

Explore the Bay

5 summer picnic spots

Top Tips

12 top Instagram spots for summer

Top 6 Hawke's Bay Playgrounds

Real fruit ice cream stops

Pack a car like a pro