Wellington’s calm summer days and beautiful surroundings make it an ideal destination for family camping trips.
Here are some of our favourite spots:
This would have to be my number one place in Wellington region to spend the summer! Kaitoke is 45 minutes out of Wellington city, at the base of the Tararua Ranges. Camping is available all year round and, with so much space, you don’t even need to book a spot. Camp next to the river or in amongst the trees. There are even electric barbeques to use! As long as they are well controlled, dogs are also welcome at this campsite, so you can bring the entire family on holiday.
Akatarawa Valley in Upper Hutt
For a spot not so far out of town, you can’t go wrong with Upper Hutt. It has everything you could want for a fun summer vacation–a river to swim in, biking, bush walks, barbeque areas and playgrounds. Wellington’s Kiwi Holiday Park is a nice option for family camping, right next door to Harcourt Park. Lord of the Rings fans will love it too–you can take the kids to see Rivendell, Isengard, and Helms Deep!
For stunning beach views, Paraparaumu is the place to go. Camp near the beach at Kapiti Holiday Resort and enjoy the long sandy shores and safe swimming offered by the Kapiti Coast. The Holiday Resort has campsites that are a little more expensive but also have individual bathroom facilities for each site. No sharing needed!
For beautiful, river-side spot, Catchpool valley is the perfect place to holiday. We have spent many family holidays enjoying the swimming holes, walking through the forest, and playing with the kids here. Catchpool Valley Campsite is a DOC site and so more affordable than some other places.
Wellington summers can be very hot and sunny, so remember to bring lots of sunscreen, hats, long sleeved light shirts, and rash tops for swimming to protect you and the kids from sunburn.
There are sometimes sand-flies and bees around so be prepared for that too. The dragonflies are huge in these areas (with wingspans up to 13cm!) but, other than looking scary, are relatively harmless–you can occasionally convince one to land on your hand if you’re lucky.
River shoes can be a good idea for more comfortable swimming and walking up stream in the gentle rivers around these areas, which is a great adventure to do with the kids.