Urupukapuka Bay Campsite is the largest campsite on the island. Tent sites are along the beach front and are divided into four zones:
- Oyster Catcher: maximum 80 people, 20 tent sites
- NZ Dotterel: maximum 80 people, 20 tent sites
- Kukupa: maximum 60 people, 15 tent sites
- Cattle Yard: maximum 20 people, 5 tent sites
View a map of campsite zones (PDF, 233K)
Setting 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.
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: visit Northland New Zealand or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Urupukapuka Bay Campsite
From Otehei Bay, walk 15 minutes to the top of the hill. From there you'll see Urupukapuka Bay Campsite.
NZTM2000 coordinates: E1712349, N6101051
Latitude: -35.21763532, Longitude: 174.23846606
- Adult (18+ years): $13 per night
- Child (5 - 17 years): $6.50 per night
- Infant (0 - 4 years): free
The campsite pass for rental campervans cannot be used at this campsite.
Backcountry Hut Passes cannot be used at this campsite.
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, eg 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.