Tōtaranui early morning

Image: Samuel Mann | Creative Commons


Camp next to the clear waters and golden sands of Tōtaranui 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


  • Boat
  • Campervan
  • Car
  • Caravan


  • Coastal


  • Category


  • Bookings

Bookings required


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


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

Seasonal restrictions

From 22 December – 8 February there is a minimum charge of $30 per site per night and bookings must be for a minimum of 3 nights and a maximum of 14 nights. 

Fires are permitted if there is no regional fire ban in place. Check for fire bans on the Fire Emergency New Zealand Authority website.

Dog access

No dogs

About this campsite

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

Campsite details

Tōtaranui 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.

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

Facilities and services

Camp office

Open from Labour Weekend to mid-April 8 am to 4 pm. Outside these dates it is open 8 am to 11:30 am.

It displays orientation maps, camp notices and transport information. It also sells items including insect repellent, stamps, postcards, phone cards, gas canisters, candles, ice, sunscreen and snack items.

There is a pay phone that takes Spark phone cards only.

Fires and cooking

Outside of a fire ban, any fires including solid fuel BBQ’s may be lit but only in the fireplaces provided. Bring your own firewood.

Gas cookers and BBQ’s may be used outside these areas.

Rubbish and recycling

Tōtaranui Campground is part of Abel Tasman National Park and you must ‘Pack In, Pack Out’ by removing your own rubbish. The camp is aiming for zero waste by 2025.

Tasman District Council rubbish bags are available from all the main supermarkets and will be sold at the camp office. Campers should bring their own rubbish bin to protect their bags from scavenging birds. The nearest transfer station is at 45 Scott Road, off Abel Tasman Drive, a 40 minute drive from Tōtaranui on the way to Takaka - view a map

Food scraps will be collected for composting by staff daily. Fish waste and shells must be returned to the sea. Keep food out of rubbish bags to reduce smell, pests and litter - this will make the experience much better for everyone at Tōtaranui.

Ideas for minimising waste before you come:

  • Food: minimise packaging by repacking food supplies in reusable containers.
  • Drinks and water: use cans as they can be crushed and stored easily. All water at Tōtaranui is filtered so bottled water is not necessary.
  • New equipment: unwrap and dispose of packaging at home.

Getting there

By car

It takes about two and a half hours to drive to Tōtaranui 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 Tōtaranui. The last 12 km is a narrow, winding, unsealed road.

The gate at the camp entrance is locked overnight.
1 October to 31 March opening times: 7.30 am to 8.30 pm
1 April to 30 September opening times: 7.30 am to 6.30 pm

A bus service operates seasonally.

By boat

Daily water taxi 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 Tōtaranui takes about two hours.

See commercial operators for Abel Tasman National Park for a list of water transport operators who can provide services to carry campers and their gear to and from Tōtaranui. 


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


Staying between 1 October – 30 April

  • Adult (18+ years): $15 per night
  • Child (5 - 17 years): $7.50 per night
  • Infant (0 - 4 years): free
  • From 22 December to 8 February: minimum fee $30 per night, and minimum stay of three days with no maximum stay restriction


  • Full payment is required at the time of booking.

Staying between 1 May – 30 September

Until 30 June 2019:

  • Adult (18+ years): $13 per night
  • Child (5 - 17 years): $6.50 per night
  • Infant (0 - 4 years): free

From 1 July 2019:

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


  • Register and pay your fees at the camp office on arrival before you set up your campsite.
  • When the camp office is closed, register and pay your fees at the registration booth outside the camp office.
  • If you don't register at the office or self-register you may be charged a 100% penalty fee.


The campsite pass for rental campervans cannot be used at this campsite.

The DOC/NZMCA Campsite Pass can be used at this campsite except between 20 December and the end of Waitangi weekend.

Backcountry Hut Passes cannot be used at this campsite.


Bookings for 16 December 2018 – 30 April 2019 are now open.

Book online (see yellow button at top of page). 

Before you book:


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

Passing through

  • Cool off with a swim or snorkel in the clear waters at Tōtaranui 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 botanical ramble takes you through some superb native bush, the only part of Tōtaranui to escape fire and axe during the days of farming development.


  • Take one of the longer walks in the area such as the Headlands Track. This 1 hour walk offers great views over Tōtaranui.
  • 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 Tōtaranui to Wainui.

Several days or more

  • Tōtaranui 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.
  • Children can earn a free Toyota Kiwi Guardians medal. 

In the area

The nearest shops are in the settlement of Pohara, a 25 minute drive away. Pohara has a shop, takeaways 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 2.5–3 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

  • If you have not booked online and intend to arrive outside camp office hours (8 am to 4 pm), bring the correct cash amount for self-registration - failure to register will incur penalty fees.
  • Tōtaranui is pack in, pack out, come prepared to manage your own rubbish and recycling.
  • No dogs or any other animals, including in vehicles.
  • No unauthorised use of drones.
  • Mobile phone coverage is unreliable at Tōtaranui, pay phones are onsite and prepaid cards are available from the camp office.. 


Tōtaranui Campground
Phone: +64 3 528 8083
Address: 62 Commercial Street
PO Box 166
Takaka 7142
Email: totaranui@doc.govt.nz
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