Cable Bay Campsite

Image: Bev Bacon


Set in a sheltered bay with stunning coastal surrounds, Cable Bay is a great place for families to relax on the beach, swim, kayak, fish or explore the nearby walking tracks.



Campsite overview


  • Boat


  • Coastal


  • Category


  • Bookings

Bookings required


  • Non-powered/tent sites
  • Shower - cold
  • Toilets - non-flush
  • Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
20 non-powered/tent sites


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Walking and tramping

Seasonal restrictions

Fires are not permitted at any time.

Dog access

No dogs
  • Stop kauri dieback and protect kauri
    • Kauri dieback disease is spread through soil.
    • Scrub soil off shoes and gear and check it's all removed before you go.
    • Use a cleaning station when you enter and leave.
    • Always stay on the track.

    How you can help save kauri

  • Check you are pest-free

    Check, clean, and seal your gear to ensure you don't bring pests, soil, and seeds.

    See island biosecurity requirements.

About this campsite

Tent sites are a mix of beach front and pohutukawa shade.

There are two zones:

  • Pohutukawa: maximum 40 people/10 tent sites
  • Titoki: maximum 40 people/10 tent sites

View a map of the campsite (PDF, 393K)

How to set up your site

Set up your site so that the mess/gazebo/cooking area is located on the back part of your site with the accommodation at the front. 

Facilities and services

  • Composting toilet.
  • Camp host from 26 December to Waitangi weekend (6 February).
  • A rubbish barge operates every 2-3 days from Boxing Day to Waitangi weekend. Campers are responsible for taking their rubbish to the barge ($5 per bag) or taking it back to a mainland refuse station. Outside this period, campers must take their rubbish back to the mainland.
  • There is limited mobile coverage on the island. 021 and 027 coverage is available on some parts of the island.
  • Restaurant/cafe located in Otehei Bay.
  • Russell is the closest town for shops and other services.

When to visit

The busiest time is between Christmas and mid-January and is a popular time for families with children. Advance bookings are essential at this time.

The campsite is quieter from the beginning of February through to Easter.

Getting there

Getting to Urupukapuka Island

Water taxis run on demand year round (weather permitting). The Paihia i-SITE takes bookings for boat transportation to the island.

Passenger ferries go from Paihia and Russell to Otehei Bay every day in the peak summer season.

Private boats can leave from boat ramps in the Eastern Bay of Islands:

  • 30 minutes from Waitangi boat ramp on Te Karuwha Parade
  • 15 minutes from Te Uenga Bay beach ramp on Russell Road
  • 10 minutes from Kaimarama Bay boat ramp at the end of Rawhiti Road
  • 45 minutes from Opito Bay and Doves Bay

Getting to Cable Bay Campsite

From Otehei Bay it's a 15 minute walk over the ridge to Cable Bay – follow the track signs.


NZTM2000 coordinates: E1712583, N6102014
Latitude: -35.22641799, Longitude: 174.23398447


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


DOC/NZMCA campsite passes cannot be used at this campsite.

Backcountry Hut Passes cannot be used at this campsite.


2020/2021 bookings

Bookings are open for stays from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

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.


See activities on Urupukapuka Island

Know before you go

You can help protect the islands and keep them a relaxing and peaceful place to visit by following these rules. Covered by Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park bylaws:

  • do not fly drones
  • do not light fires – take a gas cooker and gas
  • do not use generators
  • dispose of matches and lit cigarettes responsibly
  • take your rubbish off the islands – it is only collected every few days in summer
  • drink responsibly
  • keep all animals, such as dogs, cats, rats, stoats, Argentine ants, plague (rainbow) skinks, off these pest-free islands
  • only camp in the official campsites on Urupukapuka Island
  • do not use foul, abusive, indecent, or obscene language
  • do not disturb stock
  • keep noise levels down – no loud parties or amplifier systems, radios and portable generators that might annoy others
  • do not deliberately obstruct, disturb, or interfere with anyone else’s use or enjoyment.

If you see anyone breaking these rules, call the Bay of Islands DOC Office on +64 9 407 0300 or 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). 

DOC staff can issue warnings, ask you to leave, and alcohol may be seized or impounded. Where necessary, if you are found in breach of the bylaws, you can face court prosecution and be liable to fines.

Use plant-based detergent, shampoos, soaps and toothpaste when camping here or else the septic treatment system gets damaged.


Pewhairangi / Bay of Islands Office
Phone:   +64 9 407 0300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   34 Landing Road
Kerikeri 0230
Postal Address:   PO Box 128
Kerikeri 0245
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