Waikawau Bay

Image: Ronald van Schaik | Creative Commons


This spacious, family friendly, scenic campsite is nestled beside a stunning white sand beach. The untouched Waikawau Bay is a fabulous place to relax on the beach, fish, swim, kayak or explore.


Campsite overview


  • Campervan
  • Car
  • Caravan


  • Coastal


  • Category


  • Bookings

Bookings required


  • Non-powered/tent sites
  • Powered sites
  • Shop
  • Shower - cold
  • Toilets - flush
  • Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
  • Wheelchair accessible with assistance
120 non-powered/tent sites
12 powered sites


  • Boating
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Walking and tramping

Seasonal restrictions

Fires are not permitted at any time.

Dog access

No dogs

About this campsite

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.

Campsite details

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.

  • Number of unpowered/tent sites - 120 (maximum 5 per site)
  • Number of powered sites - 12 in zone 4 (maximum 5 per site). These can only be used by visitors with caravans and campervans that have a current Electrical Warrant of Fitness and who want power. No other forms of camping are permitted in zone 4.

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 and within close proximity to the camp office. 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.

Facilities and services

Camp office

Office hours are displayed on the camp office notice board/kiosk. If you arrive without an online booking, visit the office. If the office is closed when you arrive, use the self-registration facility. You will need the correct amount of cash for this.

  • Peak season (mid-December to early February): the office is staffed periodically
  • Off-peak season: office hours vary, and may close for some periods

Eftpos is available at the camp office during office hours only. A public payphone is located in the day-use area.

Camp store

An on-site store operates during the peak summer season that sells basic items such as ice, milk, bread, other basic food items, cold drinks, ice creams and bait.

No cooking facilities

There are no cooking facilities provided at this campsite. Bring your own gas-operated equipment.

Rubbish and recycling

This campground is Pack In Pack Out. There are no rubbish or recycling facilities except for composting for food waste only. 

The closest refuse transfer station is 525 Hauraki Road, Coromandel Town. See Thames Coromandel District Council website for opening hours and other transfer stations.

Bringing a container for rubbish with a sealed lid is recommended.

Getting there

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


Non-powered site:

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

Powered site:

  • Adult (18+ years): $18 per night
  • Child (5 - 17 years): $9 per night
  • Infant (0 - 4 years): free


Register at the camp office on arrival.

If the camp office is closed and you have an online booking, go to your selected camping zone and check-in at the office during opening hours.

When the camp office is closed and you do not have an online booking, register and pay your fees using the self-registration system outside the camp office. You will need to carry the correct amount of cash with you for the self-registration system. 

If you do not register at the office or self-register you may be charged a 100% penalty fee.


The DOC/NZMCA Campsite Pass can be used at this campsite except between the Friday before Christmas and the end of Waitangi weekend. In 2020/2021, this is 18 December 2020 to 9 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.


2020/2021 bookings

Bookings will open at 9:30 am on Wednesday 1 July 2020, for stays from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

You'll need an account on our booking system for campsites, huts and lodges to make a booking - create an account from Tuesday 23 June 2020.

Bookings are required all year.

Book Waikawau Bay campsite online

A $10 service fee applies to all phone, email and in-person bookings.

Your booking will be for a site, which will be allocated or selected on arrival.


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.

Walking and tramping

The Matamataharakeke Walk begins at the campsite, with the Coromandel Walkway a further 20 km north.

Know before you go

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 is available only during the peak summer season. 

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.

Read the full campground rules.


All motorhomes using power outlets in pod 4 must have a current Electrical Warrant of Fitness (WOF), to be presented to Camp Office staff. 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. On arrival, collect the key to access power from the camp office. If you're arriving outside the office hours, contact the staff during office hours on +64 7 866 1106 to arrange key collection.

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.


Camp manager

Waikawau Bay Campsite and Lodge
Email: waikawaubaycampground@doc.govt.nz

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