Introduction

Camp next to the clear waters and golden sands of Totaranui beach at the northern end of the Abel Tasman National Park. It's a great place to relax on the beach, swim, kayak, fish or explore native bush on one of the nearby tracks.

Campsite overview

Access

  • Boat
  • Car
  • Motorhome
  • Caravan

Landscape

  • Coastal

Category

  • Category
Serviced

Bookings

  • Bookings

Bookings required

Facilities

  • Boat launching
  • Campfires permitted (except in fire bans)
  • Dump station
  • Shower - cold
  • Water from tap
  • Wheelchair accessible
269 non-powered/tent sites

Activities

  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Mountain biking
  • Swimming
  • Walking and tramping

Dog access

No dogs

About this campsite

This is a large campground next to Totaranui beach and backed by an estuary. You can access the Abel Tasman Coastal Track from here.

Campsite details

Totaranui is a large campground catering for up to 850 people. Sites are across the camp road from the beach and alongside the estuary. Camping is available on the beach side of the camp road for Abel Tasman Coast Track walkers only.

The campground is divided into 23 zones separated by shelter belts, with six modern amenities blocks spread throughout.

All sites are unpowered and vehicle accessible. No specific areas can be reserved or places held for campers still to arrive.

Totaranui 'Ngarata' Homestead functions as an education centre and may be booked for private stays when not used by school groups.

Read more about the Totaranui campground

Facilities and services

Totaranui campground. Photo: Diana Paar.
Totaranui campground

Totaranui campground. Photo: Hugh Mytton.
Totaranui campground

Camp office

This is staffed from Labour Weekend to mid-April, open 9 am to midday and 1 pm to 3 pm. It displays orientation maps, camp notices and transport information. It also sells items including insect repellent, stamps, postcards, phone cards, gas canisters, candles, sunscreen and snack items.

There is a phone that takes Telecom phone cards only.

Fires and cooking

Fires are only allowed in the fireplaces provided, and bbqs must only be lit in areas adjacent to fireplaces. Gas cookers may be used outside these areas.

Rubbish and recycling

Rubbish collection and recycling is available for campground users only. For Abel Tasman Coast Track walkers and day visitors, a pack in pack out policy applies.

A dump station is available for campground users only. For day visitors, the closest dump station is in Takaka. See the CamperMate website for other dump stations.

Wheelchair accessible facilities

All campsites and amenities blocks are wheelchair accessible, but advise the camp manager when booking.

Getting there

By car

It takes about two and a half hours to drive to Totaranui from Nelson. Take SH6 south out of Nelson and turn onto SH60 (the Coastal Highway) once past Richmond. Follow SH60 over the Takaka Hill to Takaka.

From Takaka follow signs to Pohara and Tata Beach, which will lead you past the Abel Tasman Memorial and onto Totaranui. The last 12 km is a narrow, winding, unsealed road.

A bus service operates seasonally.

By boat

Daily boat services operate from Kaiteriteri, Marahau and many of the beaches in the Abel Tasman National Park. The boat ride from Marahau, the southern end of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, to Totaranui takes about two hours.

The following Abel Tasman water transport operators provide services to carry campers and their gear to and from Totaranui:

Location

NZTM2000 coordinates: E1600414, N5481379
Latitude: -40.81860657, Longitude: 173.00490919

Fees

Summer (1 Oct - 30 Apr)

  • Adult (18+ years): $15 per night
  • Child (5 - 17 years): $7.50 per night
  • Infant (0 - 4 years): free

Winter (1 May - 30 Sept)

  • Adult (18+ years): $10 per night
  • Child (5 - 17 years): $5 per night
  • Infant (0 - 4 years): free

Register and pay your fees at the camp office on arrival before you occupy your campsite. When the camp office is closed, register and pay your fees at the registration booth outside the camp office.

Bookings

You need to book well in advance for peak periods (summer, school and public holidays) and a minimum deposit of $200 or full payment is required at the time of booking.

Bookings up to 10 February 2015

There is limited availability up to 10 February 2015. Contact the campground directly to make a booking in this period:

Totaranui Campground
Phone: +64 3 528 8083
Fax: +64 3 528 4128
Email: totaranui@doc.govt.nz

Bookings from 11 February 2015 to 30 April 2015

Book online or contact:

Totaranui Campground
Phone: +64 3 528 8083
Fax: +64 3 528 4128
Email: totaranui@doc.govt.nz

From 1 May 2015

Bookings are not required.

Before you book

Activities

Below are some suggested ways to spend your time if you are:

Passing through

  • Cool off with a swim or snorkle in the clear waters at Totaranui beach or take the kids for a swim in the safe waters of the estuary when the tide is in.
  • Explore one of the several short walks in the area such as the Puketea Walk. This 30 minute botannical ramble takes you through some superb native bush, the only part of Totaranui to escape fire and axe during the days of farming development.

Overnight

  • Take one of the longer walks in the area such as the Headlands Track. This 1 hour walk offers great views over Totaranui.
  • If you are visiting in the winter months, go mountain biking on the Gibbs Hill Track from 1 May - 1 October. The track is 10 km one way from Totaranui to Wainui.

Several days or more

  • Totaranui is ideal for water activities, so bring your kayak and explore the estuary. Or bring your boat and go waterskiing or head out to find a perfect fishing spot.  
  • Walk south along the coast to Goat Bay and on to Awaroa, where you can have a leisurely lunch at the Awaroa Lodge, then walk or catch a boat back to Totaranui.

In the area

The nearest shops are in the settlement of Pohara, a 25 minute drive away. Pohara has a shop, takeways and a good choice of cafes. 

Takaka is the nearest town (45 min away) and has a supermarket, petrol stations, information centre, banks, cafes and restaurants, museum, art and craft galleries and a movie theatre.

Awaroa Lodge is a 1.5 hour walk south on the Abel Tasman Coast Track or a short boat ride away, and is open daily with both a cafe and restaurant.

Know before you go

When to visit

The busiest period is between Christmas and mid-February and is a popular time for families with children. Advance bookings are essential. Mid-February through to Easter is a good option – the days are still long but there are generally fewer people.

Time your visit to coincide with local events:

  • Golden Bay A & P Show – held at the Golden Bay Recreational Park, Park Ave, Takaka in mid-January.

Know before you go

  • Mobile coverage is patchy at Totaranui. The Vodafone and 2degrees networks currently receive the best coverage.
  • Checkout is 11 am in the Totaranui Campground booking period 16 December - 10 February. Outside this period checkout is 5 pm.
  • The gate to the camp entrance is locked from 9 pm to 8 am between 31 December - 4 January.
  • Phone to check for vacancies before making the long drive to Totaranui campground. This campground is very popular and is often booked out.

Contacts

Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 546 9339
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
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