Fires are not permitted at any time. See fire rules on conservation land.
Waikawau Bay is the largest DOC campsite. It is very popular over the summer months and Easter with families spanning generations, returning year after year. The campsite is fantastic for families, with around one-third of all campers being children.
It is at the gateway to the Northern Coromandel and in close proximity to four other DOC campsites. It is nestled beside a stunning white sand surf beach, with two estuaries and a significant wetland. The campsite backs onto native bush which can be explored from the Matamataharakeke Walkway.
Waikawau Bay DOC camp offers the visitor an isolated back to nature conservation experience so make sure you come prepared and self-sufficient.
Waikawau Bay is an expansive campground with a capacity of 660 people. Bookings should be completed online and are required for Christmas and New year.
The campsite is divided into two areas. Zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 make up the main area of the campsite; they are located on the beachside of the road. Zones 5, 6 and 7, known as Pump Paddock, are located across the road from the main camp area and backs on to native bush. Pump Paddock is only open from mid-December until the end of January.
Campers may select the zone they wish to camp, however, specific sites are not allocated and cannot be booked. Groups who wish to camp together should book into the same zone. Sites are selected by campers on a first-come first-served basis.
View a map of campsite zones (PDF, 897K)
Note: Total number of sites has been reduced and differ from those currently on the map.
The shop is only open during the peak summer period only by local volunteer group, MEG.
There are no cooking facilities provided at this campsite. Bring your own gas-operated equipment.
This campground is Pack In Pack Out. There are no rubbish or recycling facilities for compost or food waste. A container with a sealed lid is recommended for your food scraps.
The closest refuse transfer station is 525 Hauraki Road, Coromandel Town. See Thames Coromandel District Council website for opening hours and other transfer stations.
The DOC/NZMCA Campsite Pass can be used at this campsite except between 20 December 2020 and 8 February 2021.
To pay with your NZMCA pass, create/update your account on our booking system. Under 'Apply for a discount', select 'NZMCA Pass Holder' and upload a scan of your pass. Once we've verified your pass, it will be automatically applied when you make a booking.
Backcountry Hut Passes cannot be used at this campsite.
Bookings are open for stays to 30 June 2021.
Bookings are planned to open in May 2021, for stays that require bookings from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. The specific date that bookings will open will be added to this page, at least two weeks prior to the date.
Bookings are required all year.
A $10 service fee applies to all phone, email and in-person bookings.
If you arrive without an online booking, contact Kauaeranga Valley Visitor Centre or attempt to book online.
Eftpos may be available with the DOC Rangers that check registrations to assist. However, we have no cash facilities.
Your booking will be for a site, which will be allocated or selected on arrival.
42 km north of Coromandel.
From Coromandel take the Colville Road for 22 km to Whangaahei Junction, turn right into Port Charles Road, then right into Waikawau Beach Road and follow for 5 km to the camp.
Access: Port Charles Road is unsealed, narrow and winding in places. Take care especially during the holiday period.
NZTM2000 coordinates: E1826915, N5945852
Latitude: -36.60586488, Longitude: 175.53701524
The next nearest grocery stores and petrol stations are in Colville or Coromandel township.
Mobile phone coverage is poor and shouldn't be relied on. A public payphone is available in the day-use area within the camp.
Weather: The Coromandel has quickly changing weather conditions. Your safety is your responsibility – make sure you are prepared for any conditions. Check the weather before you go.
Arrival/departure times: Check-in from 2 pm. Leave campsites before 11 am - you can continue using the camp facilities for the rest of the day, but must leave your site and move your vehicle.
Check-in: You may set yourself up where you find a space in the camp. Without an online booking, complete the self-registration forms located at the entrance to the camp. Make sure you have cash for the self-registration envelopes. DOC Rangers will come through periodically to check you in. Eftpos may be available with our mobile DOC Rangers during the peak summer period.
Online bookings will take preference for sites over non-bookings due to limited space.
Parking: One vehicle per group, space is limited.
Boats storage/access: Boats over 5 metres in the campground are discouraged as space is limited. Water access from the campground isn't guaranteed.
No fires/fireworks, or devices with a naked flame including califonts. Only gas cookers, fridge/freezers and lanterns may be used.
No chainsaws, compressors, generators and amplifiers. Generators may be used at Campground Manager discretion.
All motorhomes using power outlets in pod 4 must have a current Electrical Warrant of Fitness (WOF). If you don't have this, you won't be issued with a key to the power supply and no refunds will be given.
Powered sites in pod 4 can be accessed from 2 pm on arrival day and must be vacated by 11 am on departure day.
Take all rubbish and waste water with you on departure.
The nearest public dump station is Patukerikeri Reserve, Wharf Road, Coromandel, 38 km from the campsite.
Waikawau Bay is a great place to swim, fish, walk, surf, kayak or just relax.
New Zealand dotterel and variable oystercatcher breed north of the campsite. Keep your distance from roped off breeding areas.