Waitaki Lakes camping

Council offers six affordable, kiwi-style camping grounds in the beautiful Waitaki Lakes area. The sunny and sheltered camping grounds provide easy access to the lakes, rivers, local townships (Kurow, Otematata, Omarama and Twizel), a golf course, playgrounds, and walking and cycling tracks.

Camping season

The Waitaki Lakes camping season opens from the third Saturday of September until the Monday of Queen's Birthday Weekend.

Please note: no set-up is permitted prior to opening day.


Camping fees

  • Site fees apply to any vehicle, caravan, or tent stationed on the camping ground, irrespective of occupancy.
  • Season tickets apply to the family units named on the ticket butt only, which shall comprise of no more than two adults and children under 15 years of age. Extra adults need to complete a separate registration form.

Please note that camping at any of these sites without paying the required fee is considered to be trespassing.


Activity Basis for charge 2022/23 charges (incl GST)
Waitaki Lakes camping areas and services (unless Leased)

Season ticket - excluding Ohau C (from 19 September 2022 to 7 May 2023) 

Per site (2 adults, up to 3 children under 16 Free) 550.00
Half Season ticket - excluding Ohau C (from 14 January 2023 to 7 May 2023) Per site (2 adults, up to 3 children under 16 Free) 350.00
Daily Ticket occupied site Per site (2 adults, up to 3 children under 16 Free) 25.00
Daily Ticket unoccupied site Per site 8.00
Additional adults Per night 10.00
Dump station (non-camping fee paying)
Boat Ramp Daily Ticket Per Boat 5.00

Boat Ramp Annual Ticket - Excluding Ohau C (from1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023)

Per Boat 60.00
Ramp fees apply to powerboats and yachts, not to rowers, kayaks, coracles
Dunback Domain Camping Grounds
Season ticket (from1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023) Per site (2 adults, up to 3 children under 16 Free) 400.00
Per person (free for children under 16) Per night 5.00
Duntroon Domain Camping Grounds
Per person (free for children under 16) Per night 10.00
Additional for powered site Per night 5.00
 A2O cycle trail
 Commercial users Per day per client 5.00


See below for information on how to purchase and pay for season tickets and casual camping.

Season tickets

Full Season and Half Season Tickets can be purchased from:

  • Council’s office in Oamaru (cash, Eftpos, internet banking). Please note, if you are paying by internet banking, you must contact the customer service team on 03 4330 300 or service@waitaki.govt.nz prior to making your payment so they can log all the relevant details for your ticket.
  • Registration booths (cash only)
  • The Camp Supervisor by calling 027 686 6901 (cash, Eftpos)*
  • Kurow Autos
  • Otematata On the Spot

If purchasing a season ticket at the campground, please go to the registration booth, complete the details on one of the envelopes, then contact the camp supervisor to arrange payment and to get your season ticket issued. Full season tickets are non-transferable and apply only to the family unit named on the butt.

Please ensure you display your full season ticket so it can be easily seen.

Note: Otematata Boat Harbour Season tickets are only available from Waitaki District Council or Camp Supervisor

* Limited cell reception at Falstone Creek - pre-purchase season tickets or cash only for casual camping

How to purchase a season ticket by credit card or internet banking

Step 1: Contact the Customer Liaison Team on 03 433 0300 or email service@waitaki.govt.nz

Step 2: They will give you bank account details so you can make an online payment or take your credit card payment over the phone.

Step 3: Once your payment is confirmed, your ticket will be posted to you. 

Casual camping

Fees for casual camping must be paid on arrival. Go to the registration booth and complete the details on one of the envelopes provided. You can either place cash in the envelope, seal it and place it in the red collection box, or contact the Camp Supervisor on 021 686 6901 to arrange payment by credit card or Eftpos.

Casual camping tickets are non-refundable. Please ensure you display your ticket so it can be easily seen.

For enquiries regarding lakes camping (including emergencies), see our camping contact phone numbers below. 

Campsite size

  • Campsite sizes must not exceed 60m2
  • No camping within 10m of lake edge

Camping rules


We want everyone to enjoy their time at our camping grounds. When you visit, please keep in mind the following rules:

Speed limit 10km

  • The speed limit is 10km within all camping grounds at all times
  • Please watch out for children

Dogs on leads

  • Dogs must be on a lead and under control at all times
  • Must not cause nuisance
  • Should be dosed for worms and other parasites before camping

No fires

No open fires are allowed at any of the camp sites

No motorbikes

Trail bike riding is banned from all camping grounds

No firearms

Firearms are not permitted in any camping grounds

Low noise

Noise is to be kept to minimum levels between 10pm and 7am

Camp site 60m2 max

  • Campsite size not to exceed 60m2
  • No camping within 10m of water

No vegetation removal

  • Please notify the camp supervisor if tree branches require removal.
  • Unauthorised removal of vegetation in the campgrounds is prohibited and can result in prosecution

No fees - no camping

camping without paying is considered trespassing

Caravan and campervan waste

  • Portable toilets must be emptied in dump stations NOT camp toilets
  • There are caravan and campervan dump stations available at the Parsons Rock, Boat Harbour, Sailors Cutting and Falstone Creek camping grounds. They are free if you have purchased a camping ground ticket – otherwise there is a $5 fee to use them

Registration and camp sites

  • Fees must be paid prior to campsite set-up
  • Tickets are non-refundable
  • Tickets only apply to the family/individuals named on ticket
  • Sites are not bookable. First in, first served
  • Sites may not be cordoned off before camp set-up
  • Sites can’t be claimed on behalf of other campers



Contact information

Contact phone numbers

Camp Supervisor 027 686 6901
Emergencies 111
Non-emergency (Police) 105
Harbourmaster/Environment Canterbury 0800 324 636
Department of Conservation (Middleton) 03 435 0802
Waitaki District Council
Enquiries & Camp Administrator 0800 108 081