Just 2.5 hours north of Auckland you will find this hidden gem. The Kauri Coast Top 10 Holiday Park. The park is set amongst lush native bush and a beautiful river that run’s along the boundary of the park. We camped here over summer with a big group of friends which was so much fun. The campsites are huge with plenty of space for your tents and gazebos too!
After setting up the tents, we all decided to take an early evening dip in the river to cool off because it was pretty hot! Anyway everyone slowly makes their way across some stones and off course the kids are in first. The next thing I hear my daughter (the oldest) scream out really loud that something bit her! I’m thinking we are in a river there are no sharks what’s the problem?? Well let me tell you it may not be sharks but there were lots of eels!!! I was outta there like the superhero Flash, actually I could have been faster than him, and I left Adam and the girls behind….oops! The thing is, because people feed the eels, toes must look like nice juicy food for them. This didn’t detour us too much people still swam, but we were just extra cautious.
The campground had such great spaces, plenty of room for the kids to ride their bikes around the place. We also set up a few games, like swing ball and badminton.
There is also a big play area for the kids with two trampolines, a sandpit and swings. It’s surrounded by lots of trees so there is plenty of shade for the kids.
The facilities at this holiday park is brilliant and always clean. There were two camp kitchens and free showers. Plenty of seating areas to have your dinner, whether inside the dining area or outside. We had a roster system with dinner’s where each family had a turn to cook dinner for everyone. So during your whole stay you only cook dinner once! Loved that idea. There are a lot of sand flies, so make sure you have insect repellent. For our girls I bought them insect repellant bands from Kathmandu, which they wore around their ankles the whole time and we never got bitten.
Further along the park you will find a great swimming hole with a swing, and yes I was brave enough to do it, just wish someone caught that on camera…actually maybe it’s a good thing they didn’t.
There was lots of fun had by all swinging into that! If you were after something a bit more relaxing, then you could always float down the river on rubber tubes, which a lot of people got into.
At night you can take your torches and explore the park where you will find lots of glow worms that light up the place. It was so magical and the kids were in awe of them all. The park is really peaceful and you can hear all the sounds from the surrounding bush. The park managers are very strict on noise control as well, they patrol the park when it is close to the curfew, I know this because our group was told to quieten down, we were obviously laughing too loud. But it’s good to know they are vigilant.
The park is just a stone throw away from so many great places to visit. Just 30km away you will find the Waipoua Forest where you can visit the legendary Tane Mahuta. It’s a beautiful drive up to the forest and the walk is not too far if you have little kids with you.
If you want a great place to swim at then well you need to visit the Kai Iwi Lakes. I cannot believe that this place is even in New Zealand, seriously you will think you’re at some tropical island! The lake used to be bordered with Pine Trees however, a lot of these were cut down due to them being a hazard of falling onto the campsite I believe. So if you are going to visit you will need to take some sort of gazebo or shade tent with you. During summer there are also food trucks that are there were you can grab something to eat.
If you want to drive further along then head to Omapere Bay. It has white sandy beaches and lovely grass areas to have a picnic. There are giant sand dunes on the other side of the Hokianga harbour, which you can take a water taxi to get across.
This was one of the best camping holidays that we have been on, and we look forward to returning to Northland.