Absolute silent free campsite, directly at the Waipu Caves. One of the two toilets was out of order, outdoor shower was working. The photo here doesn't match the signs at the parking, but no one cares about campervans all over the parking area in this wilderness. Tents are also possible at the great grass area surrounding the graveled parking.
Great spot next to the caves with flushing toilets. Lots of room!
Beautiful campsite with plenty of space and decent toilets. Cave system was an amazing experience saw countless glow worms and several eels. Definitely bring swimming shorts or something similar in to the caves as it does get waist high if you choose to venture all the way to the end.
Can't argue with free!
Very good spot with free access to glow worm caves just next to the campsite. Toilets were adequate but struggled with the locks, and there is a cold outdoor shower. Quite off the beaten track with a long gravel road to get there. Caves were definitely a highlight, much easier to walk in trainers/flip flops in the river rather than on the rocks/mud. WiFi didn’t work which was a shame as no service down there for our first night camping
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Great free spot for a night by the caves. Place filled up end of Jan but not over crowded. No cell reception. Good serviced toilets and cold outdoor shower.
Caves were mind blowing - wear shoes to get wet and a torch. You can go in quite far to the caves. they get quite narrow but really amazing rock shapes. Glow worms aren’t in too far at all.
Richard & Chris, UK
The dirt road to the site appears to be recently re-laid, and is like driving over corrugated iron for about five kilometers, but it'll feel longer. Grit your teeth so your fillings don't fall out, and drive very, very slowly! Once there, the glowworm caves are amazing, and well worth the breakages and the fact that any milk in your fridge will have churned into butter. The site wasn't managed, so it was full of vans and people sleeping in cars etc, well beyond the marked spot, and at least a dozen tents on the field next to it. Surprisingly quiet however, so thanks everyone for being so respectful of others. Beautiful surrounding countryside. Toilets were dirty, cold outside shower if you're desperate. No fresh water, no dump site. But it's free, so you get what you pay for.
Backpack On Fire
Camping is good, caves are incredible. Amazing place to see glow worms for free. As mentioned in previous comments once in the cave go left, cross the river 3 times and stop once you get to where the river goes under a section you would have to wade through. This part has the best glow worms. You can duck and wade through the river to the next cave for an added adventure but the glow worms are less in the next cave. Good toilets and cold shower. Highly recommend you add this onto you trip. We loved it so much we are doing a full YouTube video on just the caves!!!
A little off the beaten track but worth it once there. Quite busy but nice little community. Cool to see the glow worm caves.
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Great spot! Large gravel parking area and a massive mown grass paddock for tents and games. The cave is just across the paddock (less than 1min walk) and the glow worms are 30m inside it. Good idea to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet in the underground stream. And a torch...so you see the holes and slippery bits. The toilets are adequate and there’s an outdoor cold water shower. Access is along a gravel road but it’s an easy drive in.
Already quite crowded in November. Nice place to see glowwormd
Campsite is fairly off the beaten track, have to go quite a few miles on dirt tracks to get there and there is no cell reception once you get there. Toilets weren’t in good shape and only a cold shower available. However worth it if you want to see the glow worms for free (would recommend, were ace), just make sure to bring a torch and go all the way into the cave to see them best
What an amazing spot! Stayed 16/7/19.
Really far off the main road through the mountain, so no highway cars to be heard. You go over a bridge into the parking lot and the toilets are right there. The Waipu caves are only a 2min walk across a empty paddock and into the forest and are stunning! 10steps in and you can see the glistening glow worms. The only reason this isn’t a 10/10 is due to no kitchen fascilities and no showers (but there is a foot shower just next to the toilet) really nice location for self contained, non self contained and tents! Highly recommend this spot one of my favourite places, can’t believe it’s free! My self and my partner had no cellphone reception until we came back onto the highway.
The caves are nice and the hike up to the top of the hill is very lovely. The hike is kind of hard to find, but basically just go to the left of the caves and you'll find it. There is no service out there, so make sure you know how to leave before you go to the site. Offline maps helped us.
the picture is not up to Date. there is lot of space for camping. we think for more than 30 cars. the cave is nice to visit. many glow worms.
Arrived around 6pm and several campers were already set up, got full throughout the evening despite the listed 5 campervan restriction. The parking area was large enough so it wasn't an issue.
Short walk to the cave and there were plenty of glow worms right inside the entrance - no reason to wade through the water unless you want the experience.
Toilets were decent and there's an open shower for washing your feet after the cave. Some people went to the cave in the morning around 9 or 10, but the tour groups show up then so I would recommend going at night.
Very quiet and lovely place. Toilets were clean and had water and soap.
It is a bit in the middle of nowhere, but worth it.
Good parking spot for one night. Toilets were not really clean in the evening but have been cleaned the next morning. Toilet and parking area has light in the night. There is a cold shower for the visitors of the Waipu Caves (which is a 1 minute walk away) to clean their muddy feet, but it doesn't have doors and walls. There are houses that aren't so far away so we felt save. Place we're quite busy the next morning but in the evening before we were the only ones in the caves for half an hour or so. Only one other campervan there over night (in September).
Down a very bumpy and some one lane corners but ok for a nights stay if you’re looking at the caves but the walk way they have there is for a look out that isn’t that great and very muddy!! The only caves are through the trees on the bottom by the car park, paid WiFi here too but bit pricy
Good spot! Road was s bit scary with a big mobilhome in the darkness. Place was busier than expected.
Decent camp area. It’s free so can’t complain too much really.
The bathrooms were alright for a nights stay. No shower. No drinking water. Small area for campers. It was jam packed as it is peak season for campers in New Zealand. Says only 5 permitted but was about 18 vehicles all parked up close together.
If you want to stay get there early on. We arrived at 2pm and after 4 was when the whole lot of people started coming in.
Cool caves and nice hike to the top of the mountain.
Waipu Caves - Overnight Campervan Parking responds:
Whangarei District Council here. This is not a campground, it is a public place where overnight camping for one night is permitted. The majority of 'free' camping areas that are not on Department of Conservation land are the same - public parks and reserves but NOT campgrounds, so please do not expect any facilities other than a public toilet. There are signs saying you have to park within the designated area, but the sign does not say only 5 vehicles permitted. Hope this helps.
Lots of space in parking lot. Seems to fill up but was quiet and friendly crowd. Good toilets, well lit. Beautiful setting; perfect for visiting the glow worm caves.