Have you been wondering about camping in the Coromandel Peninsula? I’ve got you covered!
As someone who’s been lucky enough to call New Zealand home for most of my life, I’ve spent many weekends over the summer exploring the Coromandel Peninsula. I also love camping and reckon it’s one of the best ways to experience the more remote parts of New Zealand – often it’s where you’ll find the best beaches too!
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or someone brand new to the experience, I’m here to offer guidance, share some local secrets, and help you plan an unforgettable camping trip in this picturesque corner of New Zealand.
So, if you’re not sure where to start or where to go for your holiday, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s dive into the world of Coromandel camping and make sure your trip is nothing short of amazing.
The Best Camping in Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula is a treasure trove of stunning places to explore, and choosing where to go can be a delightful dilemma. Fortunately, I’ve done the hard work for you with this list of the best campgrounds in the Coromandel.
Camping in the Coromandel is not only a fantastic way to experience its beauty but also one of my all-time favourite summer adventures!
1. Hahei Beach Resort
The resort offers a diverse range of accommodations, from powered campervan sites to self-contained chalets – there’s something for every type of traveller. For those seeking tranquillity, the resort features a heated pool and hot tub where you can unwind. And if you’re in the mood for adventure, there are kayaks and stand-up paddleboards available for hire.
Hahei Beach Resort has recently added a glamping experience! Perfect for those seeking a more luxurious experience or a relaxing couples getaway. Sea-view villas are also on offer, located just steps away from Hahei Beach.
Garden cabins, studios and coastal cottages are available for those who want the Coromandel camping experience without having to worry about pitching a tent and bringing everything but the kitchen sink with you.
Then of course there are your classic campsites available too. Opt for a beachfront campsite if you’re travelling with a campervan or caravan to get the best views! Otherwise, settle for a powered or unpowered site depending on your preferences.
In terms of resort facilities, you can get your morning coffee fix without having to leave the campground! Plus there is a small general store to grab those handy items you might have forgotten to pack.
If you’re a burger and pizza lover then you’re in luck! From Labour weekend (October) through to Easter (March/April) Hahei Beach Resort runs their very own restaurant and garden bar. However if you prefer BBQ style, free gas BBQs are available to use for all guests.
A communal dining area is available to sit down and enjoy your meals too. You’ll find a main kitchen equipped with everything you need, fridges, freezers, ovens, stoves, toasters, microwaves and kitchen sinks to wash your dishes.
There are shared bathroom and shower facilities available within the resort. Showers are free for guests and different toilet blocks are conveniently located throughout the campground.
At the end of the day, if you want to unwind, there are hot tubs you can soak in while enjoying the views over Mercury Bay. Be sure to book a time slot with reception when you first arrive so you don’t miss out!
What makes Hahei Holiday Resort truly stand out is its closeness to some of the Coromandel Peninsula’s most renowned sights. A mere skip and a hop away, you’ll discover the globally celebrated Cathedral Cove – a marine sanctuary celebrated for its breathtaking limestone formations.
Unfortunately, Cathedral Cove is currently closed due to bad storms that hit the peninsula last summer. Fingers crossed it becomes safe to reopen soon because it really is beautiful and is one of my favourite walks in the Coromandel Peninsula.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Hahei Beach Resort here!
Closest beach: Hahei Beach
Even though Cathedral Cove may not be accessible at the moment, it is very much still worth staying at Hahei Beach Resort as it is just a stone’s throw away from another incredibly beautiful beach – Hahei.
Hahei is voted as one of the top beaches is New Zealand and you’ll be able to directly access this gorgeous stretch of coastline directly from Hahei Beach Resort.
This beach is up there with one of my favourites in New Zealand and trust me there are some pretty gorgeous beaches in this country! I love how clear the water is here, on a calm day you can just float in the water and soak up the warm summer sun.
2. Fletcher Bay
Looking for an off-the-beaten-path camping adventure in the Coromandel Peninsula? Look no further than the Fletcher Bay DOC Camping Ground. Tucked away in this pristine corner of New Zealand, it’s a hidden gem that promises a truly authentic outdoor experience.
Now because it’s a DOC campsite, that means facilities are very basic but don’t let that scare you off. DOC campsites are usually located in some of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand so they are definitely worth visiting!
Fletcher Bay is no different, this beachfront campsite in a farm setting will make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere – in a good way. With unpowered sites and limited amenities, it’s the perfect choice for those seeking a true escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Long drops and cold showers may not be your thing but I bet stunning beaches are…plus if you camp here during the heat of summer, cold showers aren’t all that bad anyway.
There are just 45 sites so if you are planning on visiting in peak season make sure you book in advance. It’s easy to do this through the DOC website. You won’t be allocated a campsite when you book, they are on a first come first served basis. On the day you plan to arrive, it’s a good idea to get to the campsite at a reasonable hour (2 pm is check-in time) so you can secure your spot.
Overall Fletcher Bay is a place where you can truly disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with nature, all while enjoying a gorgeous slice of coastal living. In my opinion, you just can’t beat it, it is one of the best ways to experience camping in the Coromandel.
But remember, with minimal amenities, it’s essential to come prepared. Bring your own supplies and ensure you’re self-sufficient. There is water available at the campground but it’s not treated so you’ll need to boil it before use and because there’s no power, you’ll probably need a portage gas cooker for that!
This is the kind of camping experience that rewards the self-reliant adventurer.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Fletcher Bay Campground here!
Closest beach: Fletcher Bay
This beach is next-level beautiful, the remoteness of this place adds to the serenity. It was soo high on my bucket list and I actually had a trip booked here last summer which I had to cancel because of the bad weather.
I’ll make it here one day, I’ve heard so many amazing things about it and I can’t wait to see it with my own eyes. For those who seek solitude and unspoiled landscapes, this hidden gem is a dream come true.
So if you have the chance to visit Fletcher Bay, don’t pass it up, it’s well worth the drive!
3. Hot Water Beach Holiday Park
Camping in Coromandel Peninsula offers an extraordinary blend of nature and relaxation, and one of the best spots to experience it is at the Hot Water Beach Holiday Park.
Hot Water Beach Holiday Park is personally one of my favourite campgrounds in the Coromandel Peninsula. The facilities are top notch and it’s got everything you need for a relaxing weekend away.
It caters to all campers too, from couples wanting a quiet getaway to families seeking quality time outdoors. You also don’t need to bring a whole lot of camping gear with you, depending on which accommodation you choose.
The park offers a range of accommodations, including camping sites, cabins, and self-contained units. Each time I’ve stayed here I’ve booked the Deluxe Villa which sleeps two adults, is fully self-contained and comes with kitchen facilities. Linen and towels are also provided so it’s a great option if you don’t want to bring too much with you.
Smaller cabins are also available for those on a tighter budget or if you’re travelling with a group there are some larger cabins to choose from. Then being a campground, of course your standard power and non-powered sites are available.
Facility wise there are communal kitchen and dining areas, it is advised you bring your own cutlery and cooking utensils in peak season though. Fridge and freezers are also available so you can store your food – just make sure you label it.
Whether you prefer the simplicity of camping or the comfort of a cabin, there’s something here for everyone.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Hot Water Beach Holiday Park here!
Closest beach: Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach, famous for its underground hot springs, is a stone’s throw away. Here, you can dig your own hot pool in the sand for a unique experience. Just make sure you go at low tide and don’t forget to bring a spade!
If you haven’t got one though, don’t worry, you can hire one from the Hot Water Beach Holiday Park. You can also surf boards and body boards but do take care in the water as it can be a bit on the rough side.
4. Cooks Beach Resort
At Cooks Beach Resort, you’ll find a range of accommodations, from charming beachfront cabins to conveniently powered campervan sites – catering to campers of all stripes. The lush surroundings set the stage for your ultimate outdoor escape.
What sets Cooks Beach Resort apart? Well there’s a reason it’s another one of my favourite campgrounds, it’s super handy for accessing some of the Coromandel Peninsula’s top-notch attractions like Cathedral Cove* and Hahei Beach just a 10-minute drive away.
If you’re in need of relaxation, the resort offers a large pool and hot tub, where you can unwind after a day of exploring. The communal areas are really well maintained and a large shared kitchen area provides the perfect spot for cooking up a delicious meal.
There is a good range of accommodation options too with a mix of cabins and campsites. I usually opt for the standard cabin when I stay here which is pretty cosy yet comfortable.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Cooks Beach Resort here!
*Unfortunately the Cathedral Cove walk is closed due to slips but you can still access Cathedral Cove by boat.
Closest beach: Cooks Beach
Not far down the road from Cooks Beach resort is where you’ll find Cooks Beach, a beautiful white sandy stretch of coastline. Part of the essence of Cooks Beach is it’s a quieter beach town loved by locals so you will be able to escape the crowds here.
If you have a car then close by you’ll also find Hahei and Cathedral Cove. Hot Water Beach is also within reach, located a 15-minute drive away.
5. Stony Bay Campground
This hidden gem is the real deal. It’s got the basics covered with no-frills facilities and unpowered sites that’ll have you fully immersed in nature. Leave your gadgets behind, because here, it’s all about embracing nature.
Located close to Fletcher Bay, this DOC campground is the picturesque getaway you’ve been dreaming of. With 6 sites and 5 hectares of land, there’s lots of space so whether you’re up for some quiet sunbathing or trying your luck with beach fishing, this place has it all.
You can also access the popular Coromandel Coastal Walkway from Stony Bay Campground where you can walk around Fletcher Bay.
Just remember, at Stony Bay DOC Campground, you’ll need to pack your own supplies and savour the simplicity of camping in the Coromandel Peninsula. Like Fletcher Bay you can expect long drops and cold showers but that’s the trade-off for being able to camp in the stunning remote parts of New Zealand.
Another good point to be aware of when planning to stay at Stony Bay is there are no rubbish or recycling facilities which means everything you bring with you, needs to leave with you.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Stony Bay Campground here!
Closest beach: Stony Bay
The closest beach is Stony Bay but like the name suggests it’s a stone beach, not a sand beach which can sometimes make it a bit uncomfortable to walk on. It is however known as a good place to go fishing and diving.
If you’re after a beautiful swimming spot then I’d suggest making the walk over to Fletcher Bay. It’ll take you about 3 hours one way so it’s a solid day trip, you definitely would’ve deserved the swim by the time you get there!
If you think you want to swim a bit more frequently then you’re probably better off staying at Fletcher Bay instead.
6. Whangapoua Holiday Park
Whangapoua Holiday Park is a hidden gem of New Zealand’s northeast coast and has access to some of New Zealand’s best beaches.
Wake up to the soothing sound of waves, that fresh sea breeze, and the sun caressing your face. You can start your day with a leisurely beach stroll, indulge in some water sports, or just kick back by the shore. Whangapoua Beach is the real deal – it’s got those golden sands and waters that you just can’t get enough of.
Whangapoua Holiday Park offers you a bunch of choices for where to lay your head – from campsites for tents or campervans to recently renovated cabins. So whether you’re the adventurous camper type or someone who prefers easy access to the essentials, this place has got your back.
The campground is complete with modern bathroom and kitchen facilities. If you book a cabin then this includes a small kitchenette with a fridge. There are two-person cabins or family cabins available. You can choose to eat in your room or in the communal dining area.
The park has hot showers, it’s $1 for 5 minutes which is pretty good so make sure you’ve got some coins handy.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Whangapoua Holiday Park here!
Closest beach: Whangapoua Beach / New Chums Beach
Whangapoua is the clear choice here for the closest beach but the amazing thing about Whangapoua Beach is that you also access the walk to New Chums Beach from here.
Only accessible on foot, New Chums is well worth visiting. It’s incredibly beautiful and super remote! If you haven’t heard of it just know that it’s rated as one of the top 20 beaches in the world! The sand is amazingly golden and the water is so clear that it makes the perfect spot for a summer dip – a great way to cool off after the walk too.
7. Kuaotunu Campground
Another hidden gem in the Coromandel Peninsula is Kuaotunu Campground. I’ve stayed here the past two summers and I would happily go back again and again. It’s such a lovely spot and I guarantee once you stay here you’ll want to keep coming back too!
It’s not a very big campground, a lot of the campsites have permanent caravans parked on them but there are a number of campsites you can book. I would highly recommend staying near the stream, the sunrises from these campsites are stunning and well worth the early wake-up call!
There are some units you can book too. They all vary quite a bit and offer different amenities so it’s best to check out Kuaotunu Campground’s website to see what best suits you. The campground is open all year round and different rates are charged at different times of the year so you could save a bit of money by visiting in the off season.
You’ll need coins for the shower so it’s good to keep some handy but if you get stuck you can always kindly ask reception if you can get some coins out.
There is also a campground shop with some basic groceries and essentials which is handy when you run out of something or perhaps realise you forgot it! Toilet and shower blocks are located throughout the campground. Low-cost wifi is offered too which is handy because the cell service can be a bit spotty.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Kuaotunu Campground here!
Closest beaches: Kuaotunu, Otama and Opito Bay
This campground is located just across the road from Kuaotunu which is a gorgeous white sand beach but I’ve also included Opito Bay here because it is just a 20-minute drive away.
If you get the chance to visit Opitio Bay you absolutely should, no doubt you’ll leave thinking it’s one of the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen – no exaggeration here, I promise.
On the way you’ll also pass by Otama Bay which again is incredibly stunning, there are just some insanely beautiful beaches in this part of the Coromandel Peninsula and honestly, I would visit here every weekend if I could!
8. Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park
If you’re on the hunt for a dreamy escape on the Coromandel Peninsula, the Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park should be your go-to. This slice of paradise offers a top-notch experience in the heart of this coastal wonderland.
There’s certainly no shortage of accommodation options at Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park, from deluxe cabins to studios, to villas to campsites there is literally something to please everyone!
If you’re in the mood for some relaxation, the holiday park offers excellent amenities, including a heated pool which is open all year round. Lie back on the loungers after a day of exploring for a bit of RnR.
The location is excellent too, you’re just a 5-minute walk from Coromandel Town cafes, beaches and bush walks. You’ll certainly have plenty to do here with camping in the Coromandel Peninsula.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park here!
Closest beach: Long Bay
Located just 5 minutes away by car, Long Bay is the closest beach to the Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park. Here you can rent a kayak or paddleboard or simply enjoy the beautiful blue water.
It’s a great place to watch the sunset too!
9. Opoutere Coastal Camping
At Opoutere, you’ll find yourself in a world of unspoiled wilderness. With its remote location and minimalistic amenities, it’s a place where you can disconnect from the digital realm and fully immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Coromandel.
This campground is open from October through to April and as it’s located two and a half hours from Auckland it’s a pretty handy weekend getaway.
This coastal haven is bordered by the Opoutere Wildlife Refuge, home to a rich diversity of birdlife. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise as they explore the lush surroundings.
Cabins and campsites (powered or unpowered) are on offer at this small campground. The cabins range in size, sleeping 3, 4 or 5 people. If you’re booking a cabin you’ll want to remember to bring a top sheet and duvet as just a bottom sheet and pillows with pillowcases are provided.
Toilet, shower and kitchen facilities are shared, with BBQs available for guests to use. There is also a general store for some basic amenities otherwise Whangamata town is a 15-minute drive away.
Cold showers are free otherwise it’s $1 for a 5-minute hot shower.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Opoutere Coastal Camping here!
Closest beach: Opoutere Beach
For beach lovers, Opoutere boasts a pristine, uncrowded beach where you can unwind, build sandcastles, or stroll along the shore in solitude. It’s 5km of stunning unspoilt New Zealand coastline.
And when the night falls, the lack of light pollution provides an unparalleled opportunity for stargazing.
10. Port Jackson Campground
Tucked away at the northern tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Port Jackson Campground is a true gem for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. This rugged paradise offers a camping experience like no other.
What sets this campground apart is its seclusion. You won’t find the crowds and commotion of more popular spots. Instead, you’ll wake up to the soothing sounds of nature, from birdsong to the crash of waves.
Port Jackson is your base for exploring the untamed beauty of Coromandel, it’s a bit of a drive to get here but it’s so worth it once you make it. Pitch your tent under the native Pohutukawa trees or park your campervan next to the beach for a real Kiwi camping experience.
Another DOC campsite equals more cold showers and non-flushing toilets but that’s all part of the fun. There is a shelter for cooking if you need a break from the weather.
It’s a smaller DOC campground in comparison to Fletcher Bay and Stony Bay so it’s good to be aware that only one vehicle per group is allowed due to the limited space. The water also comes from a stream so you’ll need to boil this before drinking.
So, if you’re looking for a camping adventure off the beaten path, Port Jackson Campground is your ticket to Coromandel’s hidden treasures.
✅ Check reviews and prices of Port Jackson Campground here!
Closest beach: Port Jackson
Since this campground is located at the water’s edge next to the beach, you really can’t get closer to the beach than this! Port Jackson is a gorgeous golden sand beach, perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing and diving.
Enjoy your days relaxing here or make your way to the eastern end and take the Muriwai Coastal Walk along the coast to take in the stunning scenery.
Why the Coromandel is a great place for a holiday
Why choose the Coromandel? Well, for starters, it’s a haven for camping in the Coromandel Peninsula. With its lush forests, pristine beaches, and abundant camping grounds, it’s a camper’s dream come true.
Nestled just 134 miles (216 kilometres) from Auckland, this coastal paradise is a mere 2.5 to 3 hours’ drive away, making it the perfect getaway for city-goers in need of a break or an easy location to get to from Auckland International Airport.
Whether you’re pitching a tent or parking your caravan, you’ll find plenty of options to connect with nature. There are also plenty of free things to do!
But the Coromandel offers more than just camping. The region is famous for its stunning natural attractions, including the iconic Cathedral Cove, the hot waters of Hot Water Beach, and the scenic Driving Creek Railway. You can explore ancient forests, dig your own thermal spa, or take a scenic train ride through the hills.
Camping in Coromandel – FAQ
Can you freedom camp in the Coromandel?
Freedom camping, the act of camping in non-designated areas, is a hot topic in the Coromandel, and here’s what you need to know.
The Coromandel Peninsula is known for its natural beauty, and it’s no surprise that many travellers are drawn to the idea of freedom camping in this picturesque region. However, it’s essential to be aware of the rules and regulations in place.
In recent years, the Coromandel has seen an increase in visitors, leading to concerns about environmental impact. To protect the stunning landscapes, many areas have restrictions on freedom camping. It’s crucial to research specific locations and their regulations before you set out on your adventure.
Some places offer designated freedom camping spots, complete with basic facilities, while others strictly prohibit it. You are also only allowed to stay at these freedom campaign sites if you have a self-contained sticker on your vehicle.
Being self-contained basically means you can live totally off grid for a few days and not leave any trace that you were there behind.
So, while the Coromandel Peninsula beckons with its allure, it’s essential to respect the environment and follow the local rules to ensure everyone can continue to enjoy this pristine piece of New Zealand.
Is the Coromandel worth visiting?
Absolutely! By now it’s no secret that I absolutely love the Coromandel Peninsula for a summer camping getaway and I’m sure once you visit, you’ll feel the exact same way.
The beaches are some of the BEST in New Zealand and being pretty accessible from the city of Auckland, it makes for a popular destination. From pristine beaches to lush forests and geothermal springs, the Coromandel has it all.
But it’s not just the incredible beaches and gorgeous landscapes that’ll steal your heart. The Coromandel boasts a vibrant arts scene, with galleries and studios dotting the region. The charming towns like Whitianga and Coromandel Town are bursting with character, offering delicious local cuisine and unique shopping experiences.
And let’s not forget the iconic landmarks, such as Cathedral Cove and the natural wonder of Hot Water Beach, where you can create your own thermal pool in the sand.
Where is the Coromandel?
So, you’ve heard about the magical Coromandel Peninsula and you might be thinking, “Where exactly is this place?” Well, it’s time for a quick geography lesson!
Picture New Zealand’s North Island – that’s where you’ll find the Coromandel Peninsula, nestled on the northeastern coast.
To make your way there, most travellers kick things off in the lively city of Auckland. From there, it’s a leisurely two to three-hour drive however if you’re heading to somewhere further up the peninsula like Port Jackson you can expect the drive to take a little over 4 hours (Auckland motorway traffic dependant!).
You’ll wind through some pretty spectacular scenery and pass through charming coastal towns, leaving the city hustle behind. The roads can be pretty windy in the Coromandel so make sure you allow plenty of time for your journey to take the drive at your own pace.
No doubt you’ll want to make some stops along the way too!
When is the best time to visit the Coromandel?
Ultimately, the best time to visit the Coromandel Peninsula depends on your preferences but if it was me, I would visit in the summer in order to make the most of the beaches! Also, summer is the best time for camping in the Coromandel Peninsula due to the warmer weather.
Summer (December to February) is the high season so it can be a bit on the busy side although nothing like the likes of Italy in peak season! Warm temperatures and extended daylight hours make it ideal for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Picture yourself basking in the sun on pristine Coromandel beaches or hiking through lush forests. It’s a paradise for water activities like snorkelling and kayaking.
Autumn (March to May) is a hidden gem. The crowds thin out, and the weather remains pleasant. You can still enjoy the outdoors without the summer heat. Plus, it’s harvest time, so indulge in fresh local produce and wine tasting.
Winter (June to August) offers a serene escape. Although it’s the off-season, it’s a fantastic time for exploring without the crowds. Crisp mornings and cosy evenings by the fire add to the charm. Don’t forget to soak in the thermal springs for the ultimate winter relaxation.
Spring (September to November) brings a burst of life to the Coromandel. The landscapes are vibrant with blooming flowers and newborn wildlife. It’s an excellent time for hiking, birdwatching, and embracing nature’s rejuvenation.
What is the Coromandel famous for?
One word. Beaches!
First up is Cathedral Cove, the poster child of Coromandel’s beaches. This iconic stretch of golden sand and turquoise waters is framed by massive natural rock formations. The Cove has graced many a postcard and movie screen, thanks to its surreal beauty.
Then, there’s Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own thermal spa in the sand. It’s an otherworldly experience, a geothermal marvel that’s world-famous.
If you seek solitude and nature’s unspoiled beauty, head to New Chums Beach. It’s a hidden paradise accessible only by foot or boat, offering a tranquil escape.
Hahei Beach, with its family-friendly atmosphere, and Whangapoua Beach, where the lush forest meets the sea, are among other favourites.
The Coromandel’s beaches aren’t just places to soak up the sun. They’re gateways to an adventure-filled paradise, where you can snorkel, surf, or explore walking trails that wind through native bush. Plus the beach towns in the Coromandel have a fun, laid-back vibe that will leave you wanting to return again and again.
Conclusion: Camping in Coromandel Peninsula
Have I convinced you to go camping in Coromandel Peninsula yet?! Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a newbie, there’s a spot that’s got your name on it. From hiking to swimming to just chilling by the campfire under the starry skies, there’s something for everyone.
In a nutshell, camping in Coromandel during the summer is the stuff of dreams. Seriously, I would look forward to my camping trips here all year! There’s honestly something so special about all of these Coromandel camping sites and once you head here for yourself, you’ll understand what I mean.
But it’s not just about the great outdoors; it’s about the small-town charm, the artsy vibes, and the friendly locals. And, of course, you’ve got to check out the must-sees like New Chums Beach and Hahei Beach.
So, if you’re on the hunt for a summer adventure, put camping in Coromandel at the top of your list!