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Places to camp in the Nelson region


Many camp grounds and holiday parks in NZ provide powered sites, un-powered sites, and cabins, from simple bunk style, through to self-contained motel style. During the school holidays, most holiday parks will be extremely busy, as camping is a very popular activity in NZ. There are also many Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites. These campsites have very limited facilities - usually no hot showers - but are generally in very beautiful locations.

We recommend the following camp sites in the Nelson region:

Tahunanui Beach Holiday Park. This is a huge camp, right on the beach just 10 minutes from central Nelson. Plenty of space to find a quiet spot.

Nelson Top 10. This is a small camp located in Nelson city. You will find Top 10 Holiday Parks throughout NZ and they are always very well maintained. 

Maitai Valley Motor Camp. This is a council owned camp ground in the Maitai Valley, 10 minutes from Nelson city. This camp is located beside the Maitai River, where there are many lovely swimming holes. There is also a walking/biking track from the city to the camp. The many trees on the site make it lovely and shady in the summer.

Queen Street Holiday Park.  This holiday park is located in Richmond, 15 minutes south of Nelson city. This is a very tidy campsite, popular with camper vans. This holiday park is located very close to the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route.

Cable Bay Holiday Park. This is a small, family owned camp site at Cable Bay, 30 minutes north east of Nelson. Cable Bay is a great spot for swimming as you can swim at any tide, and it is popular with locals.

Mapua Leisure Park is a large camp site at Mapua, 30 minutes west of Nelson city. There are a wide range of cabins and motels here. The Leisure Park has a private beach and also a swimming pool and sauna. There is a lovely café on this site, the Mapua Boatshed. It is a very quiet location. Mapua is located on the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route. 

Motueka Top 10. This is a medium-sized camp ground located in the Motueka township. It is very well-kept and facilities include a swimming pool. Motueka is located on the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route.

Kaiteriteri Beach Camp. This is a medium-sized holiday park located directly across the road from Kaiteriteri Beach. It is very busy during the summer, particularly during school holidays. Kaiteriteri is located at the eastern end of the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route. 

Bethany Park Kaiteriteri. This is a large camp site at Kaiteriteri. It is located 5 minutes drive from the beachfront in a sheltered valley.

Marahau Beach Camp. This is a medium sized camp site close to the beach at Marahau. Marahau is right on the boundary of the Abel Tasman National Park track and from here, you can walk into the Park. 

Kerr Bay Campsite. This is a DOC campsite at St Arnaud, on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, and on the boundary of the Nelson Lakes National Park. This is a very scenic camp in an alpine environment.