The days are getting shorter and the air a little bit crisper, but don’t let summer slip away that easily. We say pack up the tent and chuck an extra layer on to make the most of the last bit of warmth we’re going to see for the season. Nothing beats getting back to your roots and enjoying our beautiful country, especially when it’s so darn cheap! To help you out, we’ve rounded up some FREE (yes, you read that right) spots in Auckland to set up camp.
And if your budget can be stretched the tiniest amount, we’ve included some primo spots that are cheap as chips!
Hamilton’s Gap is a secluded slice of heaven along the Awhitu Peninsula that gives you complete access to the amazing west coast beaches. Marvel at the steep black sand dunes while you walk along your own private beach at sunset taking in all the beauty. The campsite is completely free and offers fresh water showers and toilet facilities. Freedom at its absolute best!
Te Toro Scenic Reserve
A little further along from Hamilton’s Gap is Te Toro Scenic Reserve. The large stretch of grass leads onto a beach overlooking the Manukau Harbour and makes for the perfect spot to escape the city for some peace and quiet. You’ll often find only one or two other campers around, feeling like you’ve got the entire beach all to yourself. Peg up your tent at the reserve and wander for miles along the beaches for some much-needed rest and pure relaxation.
If you love a bit of freedom camping, we’ve got just the spot for you! The Gulf Harbour has opened up their carpark for any and all RV’s to camp out. With access to the boat ramp and free bathroom facilities for all campers. The little seaside town is accommodating and has everything you could need for a peaceful getaway. Set up a beachside picnic and watch the world go by.
Rays Rest Reserve
It’s first come first served at Rays Rest Reserve on the east coast so make sure you’ve packed the RV and hit the road early to secure your spot at one of the most beautiful spots right on our doorstep. The reserve sits alongside the white sand stretch of beach and gives every camper a front row view of the waves. Make sure you’ve packed the fishing rod!
There’s a good reason Splore picks this stellar spot to host their infamous summer festival at Tapapakanga and that’s ‘cause it’s bloody beautiful! You can choose a seaside spot and have your tent’s front door open right onto the beach for only $15 a night pp. There’s lush native forest to explore, a pohutakawa lined beach, and wildlife roaming everywhere – what’s not to love?!
Become one with nature and escape mobile reception along the east coast at Tawharanui Regional Park. The regional park is often visited by kiwis, dolphins, and stingrays to name a few friendly creatures and you can camp right amongst the excitement for only $15pp. What’s even better is Matakana Village being just up the road for when you need to restock the tent with some delish market treats!
Sitting right in the heart of Piha’s village is the Piha Domain Camp, a $15pp campsite to fully submerge yourself into breezy west coast life. The campsite has all the usual trimmings, as well as a tennis court, bowling green, and cooking site. But the best thing of all? The beach is a short 2-minute walk from the campsite and a spread of delicious spots, including our fave The Piha Café!
On the slightly pricier side of luxury campsites is the Takapuna Beach Holiday Park, for when you need a quick and easy getaway. If you’re going to go glamping in the city, this is the way to go. Panoramic views of the Gulf Harbour’s blue waters with the added bonus of being only a very short ride away from some of Auckland’s best coffees, cocktails, restaurants, and bars!
Rosa Birch Park
We all have those nights when we just want to be anywhere but home and just take a nights rest outside your usual comfort zone. This is when Rosa Birch Park in Pukekohe. Just a quick one hour drive from the CBD, it’s the perfect distance to make you feel as though you’re on a wee little retreat. Overlooking wide, spacious and vibrant green fields and Pak N’ Save located nearby in case you get the rumbles, park up your car for the night and enjoy your semi-getaway!
Image Credit: Gary Lisbon