IntroductionThis Kaitaia area campsite is popular with families. Camp in a sheltered bay nestled amongst beautiful pohutukawa trees.
- Non-powered/tent sites
- Shower - cold
- Toilets - flush
- Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
- Wheelchair accessible with assistance
- Bird and wildlife watching
- Diving and snorkelling
Fires are not permitted at any time. See fire rules on conservation land.
Maitai Bay Campsite is a picturesque, beachfront campsite on the Karikari peninsula in Northland. There is a grassy area for camping, located beside a white sand beach with rocks at either end to snorkel around.
This campsite is very popular. It is usually full during the Christmas and New Year period, over January, during school holidays and on long weekends (particularly if the weather is good).
- Adult (18+ years): $15 per night
- Child (5–17 years): $7.50 per night
- Infant (0–4 years): free
The DOC Campsite Pass can be used at this campsite.
How to pay
Christmas to Waitangi weekend
You'll need to pay using cash or EFTPOS to camp managers during the peak period.
Outside of Christmas to Waitangi weekend
You'll need to pay using only cash to the iron ranger at site.
Maitai Bay is located on the outer Karikari Peninsula, on Maitai Bay Road, about 44 km northeast of Kaitaia.
From Kaitaia, head north on SH1 until you reach Awanui, then turn right onto SH10. Continue on SH10 for 14.6 km, then turn left onto Inland Road. Continue along Inland Road for 15 km, then turn left onto Maitai Bay Rd and continue for 5 km. The Maitai Bay Campsite entrance is signposted on your right.
Note: You travel 2 km on a gravel road.
NZTM2000 coordinates: E1637275, N6145711
Latitude: -34.82958635, Longitude: 173.40807865
Maitai Bay is a family-friendly campground. Respect other guests and keep noise down. We recommend storing your belongings securely to prevent theft.
The grass gets soft when there has been lots of rain. Test the ground hardness by walking on it before parking your vehicle.
This campsite is very popular
Maitai Bay Campsite is usually full during the Christmas and New Year period, over January, during school holidays and on long weekends (particularly if the weather is good).
If you are planning a trip at these times, have a back-up option in case Maitai Bay Campsite is full.
There is usually plenty of space outside the peak times and the off-season can be a great time to visit Northland.
There is a high level of fire danger on the Karikari Peninsula.
Fireworks are not allowed at any time of year. Take great care with candles and gas cookers, and we ask that you do not use floating lanterns lit with candles.
No rubbish bins on site. During the peak season from December to February, rubbish is collected daily (as per council fees per bag – subject to change). At all other times, remove your rubbish. There is a 'take in, take out' policy. Food scraps attract vermin.
Nearest rubbish transfer station located at Whatuwhiwhi (1 km past the Whatuwhiwhi garage).
Northland reserve bylaws apply to Maitai Bay Recreation Reserve.
Mosquitoes are prolific – take insect repellent.
No boat access
There is no boat access at Merita beach. Pedestrian access is still available. There are boat ramp access points at Tokerau beach, Perehipe Bay or Rangiputa.
If you plan to enjoy the water, learn how to stay safe when swimming, boating and fishing.
No horses allowed at this campsite.
Walk around the coast or relax on the picturesque white sandy beach.
Tracks and walks
The campsite is a handy starting point for some family friendly walks. Walk along the Maitai Bay Headland Track for scenic views of Waikato Bay and Maitai Bay. Take a longer walk from Karikari beach to Rangiputa along the coastal marginal strip via the Karikari Bay Track.
Enjoy diving, snorkelling and swimming at the beach, a short walk away from the campsite. Note: A rahui is in place so fishing is not permitted.
Explore historic sites.
Keep an eye out for endangered bird species like the New Zealand dotterel and oystercatcher. If you find a nesting area, do not disturb and take special care.
Cultural significance of the area
There are many areas of spiritual and cultural significance within the general vicinity of the camp. Of particular significance is the headland on Maitai Point between the two beaches that are accessible from the camp. Access around the rocks is permitted, but local iwi would prefer people stay away from the elevated parts of this point.