Tuesday, March 5, 2024

DOC prepares for sell-out camping summer

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is gearing up to host approximately 60,000 campers over the upcoming summer at more than 300 campsites spread across New Zealand.

While popular holiday destinations include the Coromandel, Hauraki Gulf Islands, and Northland, the main impact visitors will experience from last year’s turbulent summer is reduced capacity of around 25 – 30 per cent at some Coromandel and Northland campsites

“The staff have worked hard to address the aftermath of last summer’s cyclone which impacted some campsites across the North Island,” says DOC’s Heritage and Visitors director, Cat Wilson.

The cyclone recovery efforts have included repairing water infrastructure, rebuilding internal roads within the campsites, fixing bridges and culverts, repairing toilets, and clearing debris and fallen trees.

Adjusted capacities for DOC Campsites:


  • Port Jackson: Reduced from 250 to 185 visitors.
  • Fletcher Bay: Reduced from 300 to 200 visitors.
  • Fantail Bay: Reduced from 80 to 60 visitors.
  • Uretiti Beach Campsite: reduced from 1000 to 750 visitors. Although floodwaters have receded over the past year, two main pools alongside the ring-road appear to be permanent.
DOC campsite availability for the upcoming summer:

Northland Campsites

  • Otamure Campsite: Full from December 24 to late January.
  • Puriri Campsite and Urupukapuka Campsite: Full from December 25 to the end of the first week of January.
  • Trounson Kauri Park Campsite, Puketi Campsite, Uretiti: All have space available for Christmas/New Year bookings.

Coromandel Campsites

  • Port Jackson Campsite, Fantail Bay Campsite, and Waikawau Bay Campsite: Full, from December 25 to the end of the first week of January.
  • Fletcher Bay Campsite and Stoney Bay Campsite: Have space available for Christmas/New Year bookings.
  • Kauaeranga Valley campsites: Plenty of capacity, but visitors are encouraged to book early, particularly for the busy Christmas-New Year period.

Inner Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana Campsites

  • Motuora Island Campsite: Full from December 25 to the end of the first week of January. Pest Free Island.
  • Home Bay / Motutapu Island Campsite and Motuihe Campsite: Space available for Christmas/New Year bookings. Pest Free Islands.

Aotea/Great Barrier Island Campsites

  • Akapoua Bay, Awana Beach, The Green, Whangapoua, Harataonga, and Medlands Beach Campsites: All have space available for Christmas/New Year bookings.

Some campsites do not need to be booked and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. To book a campsite: www.doc.govt.nz


Be prepared – learn about the wildlife you’ll see, the best walking tracks, and the gear you’ll need before setting out. If visiting a pest-free island, check your vessel and gear for pests before you leave the mainland.

Check out the campsite rules, such as where to pitch a tent and when to boil water.
Look after river, lake and ocean wildlife by using biodegradable products and washing away from water bodies.

All DOC campsites have toilets.

Most DOC campsites have special areas for your cooker, fireplace, or BBQ. Before you light any fires outdoors, check if any fire bans or restrictions are in place at www.checkitsalright.nz

Not all DOC sites have waste disposal – make a plan to take your rubbish away with you.

Book in advance where possible to secure a campsite.

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