Beautiful location right by Lake Rotoiti. Campsite well set up with kitchen facilities, toilets and hot showers (token system, $1 per token for 6 mins of hot water). We stayed in a powered site for $23 per adult. Non powered sites were $20 pp.
If arriving before 4.30pm, register at the DOC office about 200m before the lake on the right-hand side. You can buy tokens for the showers there too. If coming after hours, there's an onsite host (but they can't give you a campsite until after the DOC office closes).
As others have said, plenty of sandflys about so bring repellent.
Lake 100m away from campsite, where you can swim, hire canoes, get a water taxi and there's a playground for kids.
Campsite has rubbish and recycling bins and a dump station.
Saw some American tourists feeding eels off the jetty.. which I'm glad I only saw after I'd had a swim!
Fantastic facilities at this campsite...best I've experienced.
And a beautiful setting on the lake with a lovely walk around the lake and the option of boat ride to lake head and walk back to camp.
A great DOC site, lake Rotoiti is just beautiful. We were delayed arriving due to bad weather so missed checking in at the visitor center. The camp hosts were then not around until later & had no shower tokens on them. We managed to park up in the right area with our tent as per our booking email though.
The new toilets are fab, didn’t use the showers due to no tokens.
Be warned, the sand flies are a pain!!
Stayed for 2 nights because of the beautiful lake surrounding. Nice camp hosts. Payed 35 $ for 2 persons and a campervan on a non powered site. Facilities were old but clean, not very welcoming. Showers run by tokens. Starting point for several great walks. Register in visitor centre if arriving before 4.30pm. If later present to the hosts at the site.
Our favourite DoC campsite from our NZ visit. This was a surprise find, so near the town of St Arnaud. Flat campsites, with power. Kitchen with a great lake view. Clean modern toilets. We visited in September and found the showers locked, and a laundry with no machines but the DoC ranger explained these are available in high season. Some easy walks start from the camp, including one that leads back to the town. Shine a torch from the jetty in the lake after dark to bring out the long finned eels. Crystal clear water you can see the trout! Lots of birdsong in the morning, and an owl at night. While it didn't snow while we were here there was a good cover on the mountains that surround the lake, and clouds rolled in after dark that made the whole scene surreal. Check out the displays at the DoC office - lots of info there on walks, wildlife, history and the management plan for the area. The DoC ranger was incredibly helpful. We were fortunate enough to find a water taxi active on the day we arrived, and took a tour up to see Whiskey falls and the head of the lake which we recommend.
The location is great, easy to find, even if you arrive at night like we did. Bathrooms were clean but had no showers open. Kitchen had no doors, so it was a bit cold.
The view when you wake up is priceless.
Arrived late and got a little lost in the dark, didn't get a chance to use all the facilities but seemed very well maintained.
BUT, the walks and scenery here in the morning are incredible. Worth every penny, make sure you get up early and enjoy the Mirror Lake.
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Stunning location and clean toilets and showers. Hot showers $1 for 5 mins. We got a powered site for our campervan. Was $21 per person, per night. A little expensive, when you have to pay for showers, but the beautiful walks and birds make up for it. Host is lovely and got an overstayer to move from our spot at 1030am when we checked in. Short walk to general store with the best cheese scone I've ever had (I'm quite the connoisseur). No jet skis allowed on the lake, but good visitor centre told us to go to Lake Argyle, which was awesome with hardly anyone there and only 30 min drive.
Superb location, fantastic facilities - not the usual bare necessities you might expect from DoC.
So one star? Well, that was thanks to appallingly incompetent management. First of all, it states you MUST make bookings. So we did, back in November. When we arrived, however, we found that someone was backed up so far they were blocking off half our site. We raised the issue with the camp host, but he didn't care as that person was there for the week and we were only staying the night. Ok. Fine. We can work around that.
Later that night, we heard an engine outside. The host was arranging with late strivers who didn't have a booking to make themselves at home on the front of our site. Given his earlier belligerence, we knew that any conversation would be unproductive.
It was hugely annoying as this was supposed to be a two site spot... but by the time we woke up, there was another vehicle shoved onto the front of our site. So, to recap, we had one party taking up a big portion of our (booked and paid for) site. Then two more vehicles were shoved onto the site at the camp host's instruction (without asking us, of course).
This sloppy attitude and disregard for the signposted and widely publicised rules was upsetting and ruined our stay. I would discourage anyone from paying $21 per person for a powered site and suggest that they head to a professionally managed campground instead. At least there you know that when you wake up in the morning there won't be random people sprawled out on the site that you thought you paid for to enjoy to yourself.
Shameful stuff, DoC. You do such great work, but you need to get the administration of this place under control. It makes a mockery of the whole system.
Nice spot. Lake is absolutely stunning. Paid $10 a head for a non powered site, was a little bit crowded. $1 for a hot shower. Nice facilities. Can also purchase a hot shower here for $3 if not staying at campground.
The campsite is great in itself. Great views, great facilities. BUT: can't enjoy the campsite because of thousands of sandflies!
Really nice camping, just 2 blocks from town.
$10 per person unpowered, $15 powered. Pay at i-site.
Kitchen and bathrooms excellent. And it's supposed to have hot showers ($1) but they are closed in winter.
The views are amazing. The terrain is not even everywhere, so be careful picking your spot.
Marked 6 only due to the price and lack of facilities in winter. This site is in a great location, right next to the lake but sheltered by the forest. Stunning location in winter.
Good spot right by the lakefront, great views. Great spot for stargazing. Not so many tenting places, can get crowded. Met a sleepy possum on the tree on the way to toilets. Beware of mice though, they are active in the night eating food supplies lying on the ground, no matter how packed they are. Caught one of them in the car's trunk, has been hiding there for several days. At the end it was a very expensive stay due to the damage done.
Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.
Beautiful well appointed, pristine toilet, washing, etc facilities. Lovely clear lake, lots of walks need more time to do it justice....but go with a good supply of repellant, you will have to use it, it's worth it!
Location alone makes this place worth a stay. The lake and mountain backdrop is stunning. Facilities are fairly basic and showers require $1 tokens (to be purchased from DOC visitor centre) - slightly frustrating when you arrive after it closes at 5pm, but understandable given the public access to lake / boating facilities. NB: the sandflies are everywhere. Even doused in repellent and with smoke sticks burning, we couldn't sit outside for more than a few minutes.
Nice setting although not the tranquil experience we were looking for with motorboats all day on the lake.
Good but more toilets/showers could be useful in busy times.
Near lakefront, but no direct views of Lake from most sites. Pay at I-site. Visited in early May, all hot water appliances had been removed for winter (therefore no hot water, showers or laundry) but still paid full price for powered site ($18 per person). They should provide a cheaper winter rate to compensate for the lack of these facilities.
Nice Camp site at Nelson Lake. Good facilities. Many sand-flies.
A fairly basic camp ground in beautiful surrounds - but with good, well maintained facilities.
Non-powered sites were of varying degrees of 'levelness' so getting a level one for the motorhome was a bit of a challenge.
Plenty of space for the kids to run around.
PS - we had the best meal (breakfast) of our entire trip around the south island at Clinkers Cafe (behind the service station in St Arnaud).
Nice campground but it gets pretty crowded - they stuff in more vans and tents than there are sites. Lovely location, uber fancy cooking shelter.
Expensive but nice.
Great campground. Bumble bees a problem.
Fantastic location. Peaceful, myriad of bush walks from the campsite. Excellent food at the lodge a short walk up the hill. Minus one for sandflies!!
Too many sandflies - we hated it. Kids were really itchy and covered in bites despite being soaked in repellant.
Location superb, right by the lake, very small site, but good clean facilities.
Great spot next to the lakes. Hot showers and facilities at bargain rate. Just need to stock up on mossie repellant.
Christoph & Maria
Nice place at the lake, hot showers and kitchen, access to many walks, but heaps of sandflies.
Good DOC facilities at a good price.
Great setting, spacious and quiet, except for bees and sandflies.
Schubert, Wolfgang & Claudia
Wonderful, beautiful place at the lake.
Simple but good.
Great views, great location
Huge!!! mosquito's bring repellent!!
Beautiful location and good walking. Terrible weather and millions of sandflies.
Great spot with wonderful lake and mountain views. DOC campsite with good facilities.
Small camp, good facilites, clean. One of the nicest places to wake up.