Bev goes camping in the Bay of Islands and finds utopia on Urupukapuka

Department of Conservation —  16/06/2015

By Beverley Bacon, DOC Web Team

On a trip around Northland earlier this year we spent a night camping on Urupukapuka Island.

Urupukapuka is the largest island in the Bay of Islands and is managed by DOC as a pest-free island.

Campsite on the beach at Cable Bay, Urupukapuka Island. Photo: Beverley Bacon.

Our campsite at Cable Bay

We caught the scheduled ferry service that runs between Paihia, Russell and the island several times a day.

There are three campsites on the island. We chose to stay at Cable Bay—it has plenty of space and isn’t the furthest one to walk to.

The effort required to organise our gear for the 30 minute walk over a hill was well worth it. If you can’t afford a waterfront property, a campsite at Cable Bay is a fine alternative.

Checking out the walking options on the DOC interpretation sign on Urupukapuka Island. Photo: Beverley Bacon.

Checking out the walking options

A network of tracks allow to you explore the island from one end to the other.

Around the top, the views are just spectacular.

Views from the top of Urupukapuka Island.

Views from the top of Urupukapuka Island

The numerous sheltered bays are perfect for a mid-walk swim in summer.

We spent a peaceful evening at ‘our bay’ and caught the scheduled ferry back to Russell the next morning—invigorated after our time in this beautiful place.

Urupukapuka Bay and campsite on Urupukapuka Island. Photo Beverley Bacon.

Urupukapuka Bay and campsite— just over the hill from Cable Bay

We visited Urupukapuka Island in mid-February. It’s a popular place between Christmas and mid-January and advance bookings are essential for all three campsites on the island during that time.