Cowshed Bay

Image: Johnny Joseph | DOC


Explore Kenepuru Sound by boat, walk or mountain bike the nearby Queen Charlotte Track or relax by the water surrounded by native bush.

Campsite overview


  • Boat
  • Campervan
  • Car
  • Caravan


  • Coastal


  • Category


  • Bookings

Bookings not required - first come, first served


  • Non-powered/tent sites
  • Shelter for cooking
  • Shower - cold
  • Toilets - flush
  • Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
  • Wheelchair accessible with assistance
20 non-powered/tent sites


  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Mountain biking
  • Walking and tramping

Seasonal restrictions

NZMCA/DOC Pass not valid between 20 December and the day after Waitangi weekend.

Fires are not permitted at any time.

Dog access

No dogs

About this campsite

Camp near the foreshore or on the inland side of the road. Portage is nearby (500 m) where there is accommodation with a bar and restaurant.


A camp warden is in residence for most of the summer.

Getting there

Turn off Queen Charlotte Drive at Linkwater into Kenepuru Road and follow for 28 km. The road is sealed, narrow and winding.


Portage Bay, Kenepuru Sound.

NZTM2000 coordinates: E1699586, N5438191
Latitude: -41.20147238, Longitude: 174.02783069


From 1 May to Thursday before Labour weekend:

  • Adult (18+ years): $8 per night
  • Child (5 - 17 years): $4 per night
  • Infant (0 - 4 years): free

From Friday of Labour weekend to 31 April:

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


  • Cash (bring the correct amount as we cannot give change)
  • Sounds Campground Passes, pre-purchased through i-SITEs
  • Credit card / eftpos, only when host is in residence November to March


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.

Backcountry Hut Passes cannot be used at this campsite.


It is not possible to book at Cowshed Bay. It is a popular campsite so we recommend you arrive early. There are good alternatives nearby at:

Know before you go

Camp rules

  • All groups must include a responsible adult 18+.
  • Quiet hours are from 9:30 pm – 6:30 am.
  • Generators allowed from 5:30pm -7:30pm only
  • Music players must be used with headphones or played at a level not audible to neighbouring campsites.


Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 5
Nelson 7042
Waitohi / Picton Office
Phone:   +64 3 520 3002
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Port Marlborough Building
14 Auckland Street
Picton 7220
Postal Address:   PO Box 161
Picton 7250
Back to top