IntroductionSet 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.
- Non-powered/tent sites
- Shower - cold
- Toilets - non-flush
- Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
- Bird and wildlife watching
- Diving and snorkelling
- Walking and tramping
Fires are not permitted at any time. See fire rules on conservation land.
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
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
- Camp host from 26 December to Waitangi weekend (6 February). Contact the host by calling +64 27 387 5730.
- Composting toilet.
- 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.
- Conservation centre in Otehei Bay, 26 December to 6 February every year.
The conservation centre has historical info about the island, info about project island song, info about bottlenose dolphin’s in the Bay of Islands. It also serves as a base for children's’ activity days and a pop-up library.
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.
9 February to 25 December
- Adult (18+ years): $15 per night
- Child (5–17 years): $7.50 per night
- Infant (0–4 years): free
26 December to 8 February
- Adult (18+ years): $18 per night
- Child (5–17 years): $9 per night
- Infant (0–4 years): free
The DOC Campsite Pass can be used at this campsite.
Campsite Pass bookings must be booked online before occupying a site. If you do not pre-book, bookings may be made by campground staff (if present) and will incur a $10 service charge.
Bookings are required all year. Book well in advance for the peak period from 1 December - 28 February and for public holiday weekends.
A $10 service fee applies to phone and in-person booking. This is a limited service – book online first. An in-person booking is dependent on there being space available.
Your booking will be for a site, which will be allocated or selected on arrival.
For booking enquiries contact Kauaeranga Visitor Centre.
Getting to Urupukapuka Island
Water taxis run on demand year round (weather permitting). The Paihia isite 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. See Explore's website for sailing times and to book.
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
To get to Urupukapuka Island you need to go through Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary. Before you go check the restrictions for this marine mammal sanctuary.
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
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.
Urupukapuka Island is within Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary. Restrictions apply to different activities such as boating, swimming, and diving.
If you see a marine mammal you need to follow the restrictions for this marine mammal sanctuary.
If you plan to enjoy the water, learn how to stay safe when swimming, boating and fishing.