The upper North Island of New Zealand is great for camping with its warm tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and unique natural features.

If you want to really make the most of the summer school holidays, the upper North is the place to do it. 

Here are some of our favourite spots:

This is a camping trip for families that like active vacations–there are certainly plenty of unique landscapes to explore here! Rotorua has a ton of activities for any age, including bike tracks and high adrenaline adventures, and The All Seasons Holiday Park is a great place to base yourselves, especially if you have a Dinosaur fan in the family!  


Hot Water Beach -Coromandel

If you want to experience science in action, treat the kids to a Hot Water Beach camping trip. 

Visit the beach within two hours either side of low tide, bring a shovel, and dig your own hot pools in the sand! 

There are two camping grounds near Hot Water Beach: Seabreeze Holiday Park 8km away from the beach (they provide free spades) and Hot Water Beach Top 10 which is also a short walk away. 


At the edge of historic Waitangi and the beautiful Bay of Islands, Paihia is a dream camping spot. With it’s gorgeous natural surroundings, sandy beaches, bike and walking tracks, places to kayak, and plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from–everything about Paihia shouts “Holiday!”

The Top 10 Holiday Park is very family friendly, however staying in Paihia is a little more expensive than some camping spots. 

Saphire Springs, Katikati

The biggest bonus of staying in this campground is the hot pools! Three heated outdoor pools and two hot tubs surrounded by beautiful bush make this an affordable, luxury camping trip! There are a number of forest walks and a sparkling stream nearby with water holes for the kids to play in. 

Awhitu Regional Park Campground 

If you’re looking for a peaceful secluded spot, this is it. The campgrounds are simple but the views are incredible. Walk along the beach, swim, and explore the tidal wetlands. The walkways and beaches are best for older children and are not very stroller friendly.  


North Island Doc Campsites

There are plenty of cheap Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites dotted all over the Upper North Island.

Maitai Bay is one that’s popular with families over summer. Swim at the white sand beach or take a family friendly walk around this beautiful bay, situated near the very top of New Zealand.  


For more camping ideas in the North Island check out our blog here.