Like tacos and Tuesdays, and gin and tonic, New Zealanders and camping are a classic combo. With the buzz of summer in the air, it’s time to dust off the tent, load up the car and hit the road to some of New Zealand’s best camping spots. But for some of us, there’s a catch! What to do with our beloved pets?! Most camping spots aren’t pet-friendly but there are a handful that will welcome you and your four-legged loved one with open arms.
These camping sites are situated all across the country and allow you to BYO pooch provided that you keep it under control, for both your fur baby’s and other campers safety.
Excited?! We thought so. Think of it as you and your dog’s joint camping bucket list. Here are seven pet-friendly campsites in New Zealand. Don’t forget the doggy treats!
Wentworth Valley Campground
Ah, the Coro. It’s basically the North Island’s playground, especially during summer. We found 30 awesome things to do in the Coromandel during summer but the fact that you can enjoy them with your pup is the icing on the cake. Wentworth Valley Campground was once a massive gold mining settlement lively with houses, shops and even schools. These days it’s a gorgeous campground for 60 tents as well as barbecues, hot showers, a cooking shelter and a small waterfall/swimming hole. She’s a beauty.
Twelve Mile Delta Campsite
If you a) love Lord of the Rings and b) love pretty places, the Twelve Mile Delta Campsite near Queenstown has you and your pup’s names written all over it. Set on a river delta, this camp was where the Ithilien Camp (where Frodo, Sam and Gollum watched the Harad army and Oliphants walk by) was filmed and delivers the goods in real life, too. Pitch your tent on one of the 100 sites and get ready for an action-packed few days. The camp is a short stroll from the scenic shores of Lake Wakatipu where you can swim, fish or boat (or all three!). There are also walking tracks around which we’re sure your furry friend will be stoked about—just be sure to keep him/her on a leash.
Picnic Bay Camping Ground
This is one New Zealand camping spot that you’ll want to plan in advance but trust us, you’ll be glad you did. Picnic Bay Camping Ground only has room for around four tents and you’ll need a DOC permit if you’re bringing your dog (it’s easy to obtain here) but what awaits is a coastal sanctuary that will force you into total relaxation. Swim in the bay, hop in a kayak or embark on one of the many tramps. You and your pooch will have a blast!
Anaura Bay Campsite
Open from October to April (prime camping time!), Anaura Bay Campsite is a winner if you find yourself in and around Gisborne. This campground is next to a beautiful beach surrounded by lush bush and has plenty of space to set up camp. There are stellar diving and snorkeling or if that’s not your thing, use your time there to relax, go for strolls and embrace camping in all its glory. Your dog can come, too! Just don’t forget the leash.
Glenfalls Camping Ground
If you dabble in fishing, you and your four-legged bub are going to be in heaven. Glenfalls Camping Ground near Hawke’s Bay is set on the Mohaka River where you can fish, swim, raft or kayak. There’s only room for 20 tents so it’s fairly intimate and your dog will need to be on a leash but it really is a slice of paradise. Better yet, you can drink the water directly from the stream!
Otaki Forks Campsite
Tararua Forest Park
Not too far from our lovely capital of Wellington and you’ll find a stellar dog-friendly camping spot. Otaki Forks Campsite is one of the main entrances to the pretty Tararua Forest Park and is a great place to base yourself while you and your pup explore the area. It’s rich in farming, mining and sawmilling history plus offers quality white water kayaking, trout fishing and swimming. Since its a bigger campground (room for 150 tents), your dog will have to be on a leash but we’re sure he or she will just be stoked to be in Mother Nature for a day or two.
Corner Creek Campsite
As if the Wairarapa wasn’t epic enough...now you can bring your pooch! Corner Creek Campsite is a gem of a campsite, no matter what kinda outdoor adventuring you’re into. Surf, fish, walk, hunt, mountain bike, swim—you name it, Corner Creek Campsite will deliver. It’s also a five-minute stroll from Palliser Bay where you can climb the iconic lighthouse (the view of the rugged coast is something special) or, if you’re lucky, spot a seal or two.