With bright blue skies, scorching temperatures and sultry nights there’s no better way to enjoy the summer than escaping the city for a little while and basking in the glory of Mother Nature. In our beautiful neck of the woods, we have some of the best views in the world—so dig up that old tent, find your best swimmers and stock up on the lollies because we’ve found the best camping spots in Christchurch.
Orton Bradley Park
If you’re after a wee retreat, head over to Orton Bradley Park, just a short half hour drive from Christchurch over in the beautiful Lyttelton Harbour. We suggest you start your day with the Waterfall Gully Track, before checking out the Old Stone Cottage and ending things with delicious takeaway pizza from the local cafe. Really though, what could be better.
Little River Campground
Little River is a secluded slice of heaven nestled amongst the lush beauty of the South Island’s West Coast. This place is perfect for those seeking a little adventure. We suggest jumping on the giant swing hanging from a 200 year old Matai tree, or getting yourself soaked on their scary slippery slides. One of the best camping sites in Christchurch this is definitely one for the thrillseekers! For those wanting a change from #tentlife the campground also offers cabins varying from the decidely spacious 8-person Kowhai cabin to the niche little 'container of contentment' for couples. Get in.
If a bit of opulence is more your style, then Lavericks Bay is a must for those who prefer glamping. Enjoy long, hot days swimming at the beach where on a lucky day you might spot the rare Hector dolphins and seals. At night, soak yourself in a hot tub gazing at the stars or bring a picnic basket to the beach and toast marshmallows around an open campfire. Finish the evening with a glass of wine or a good book and enjoy a blissful sleep in one of their luxury tents.
Okains Bay Camping Ground
Located in the idyllic Okains Bay, on Banks Peninsula, the beachfront setting that looks out onto the harbour, makes for the perfect relaxation spot. Have a gander at the Maori and Colonial Museum or wander for miles on the Little Okains Walk, an important part of the history of Ngai Tahu settlement. With stunning oceanside views and a chance to immerse yourself in local culture, this is a true Kiwi experience.
Duvauchelle Holiday Park
Another gem well worthy of a spot on the list of Christchurch’s best campsites is Duvauchelle Holiday Park which can found on The Banks Peninsula. Here you are free to explore all the goodness the Peninsula has to offer. Have a day out on the water and take a jet boat in the harbour or sail on the Fox II where you can spot penguins, fur seals and dolphins up close. The best part is, Akaroa village is only a stone’s throw away where you can enjoy some yummy French cuisine.
North South Holiday Park
For the perfect camping spot located right in the Garden City, look no further than North South Holiday Park. With amenities up the wazoo including this ace swimming pool, this is an ideal place to also play tourist in your own city. Rediscover the magic of Christchurch by punting on the Avon, going up the gondola, or taking a tour of the CBD by tram. A stellar way to do things out of the norm and enjoy the best things this city has to offer.
Get away from it all and become one with nature at Ashley Gorge. This wee spot tucked away in Oxford (Canterbury, that is), offers a chance to soak in the beautiful alpine environment. Perhaps you'll want to swap out the tent for a stay in the camping pod pictured above which is hidden away in a secluded part of the camp surrounded by nature. There’s plenty of walking tracks that lead to scenic waterfalls and more difficult routes along exposed mountain tops for those who love a challenge. This is a great place to appreciate Mother Nature’s beauty with plenty of local wineries around to enjoy a cheeky vino or two after.
Rounding off the list of the best campgrounds in Christchurch is the beautiful Awaroa/Godley Head campsite. This place comes complete with all the trimmings—a WWII coastal defence battery site to explore, mountain biking that takes you to Taylors Mistake and a loop track to walk around the coast and check out the view. It’s close to the seaside suburb of Sumner meaning you can squeeze in a blissful dip in the ocean before the crowds rock up.
Plan your trip to the Garden City with our list of the best things to do in Christchurch.
Image credit: Wilson Ye, Little River Campgrounds, Lavericks Bay, Okains Bay Camping Ground, North South Holiday Park, Ashley Gorge