Archives For Camping

Protecting New Zealand’s native species can be as simple as putting that apple core in your backpack.

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Pauline and Jim Moore of Wellington are volunteer wardens at Anaura Bay campsite. We talked to them about why they return to this popular holiday hot-spot every year and why they volunteer for DOC.

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Christine and Barry Stephenson share their experience volunteering as DOC camp hosts on Great Barrier Island/Aotea.

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Today’s photo of the week was taken during a calm summer morning at Totaranui beach in Abel Tasman National Park.

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DOC’s Beverley Bacon goes camping on Urupukapuka Island, the largest of seven islands in the eastern Bay of Islands on Northland’s east coast.

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By Daniel Deans, Department of Conservation Intern

This year, for the New Year’s break, my friend and I decided that we’d had enough of big cities, flashing lights and inebriated masses, and that what we were really craving was some space, fresh air, and waking up to the unmistakable smell of a tent.

A blue tent at 12 Mile Delta campsite.

Waking up to the unmistakable smell of a tent

So camping, we decided, would be the plan of attack this New Year.

We grabbed two more friends and scoured the DOC website for a suitable campsite, and settled on 12 Mile Delta, around 20 minutes from Queenstown.

While the campsite itself isn’t exactly the lap of luxury, the lakeside beaches and the stunning views of the Remarkables certainly made it well worth the $6 a night.

Sitting by the lake.

Relaxing by the lake

We spent four days camped by the bush, being woken by the ‘whoosh-whoosh’ of kereru flapping overhead. When the sun took the courtesy to appear, we took several dips in the rather icy Lake Wakatipu, including a swim at the idyllic, azure blue Bob’s Cove.

Amazing mountain views from 12 Mile Delta campsite.

Out in the fresh air

A good walk from the campsite took us to Lake Dispute, nestled in a valley between some rugged looking mountains.

When the rain did arrive (which was unfortunately rather frequently), we retreated to the tent and busted out the Monopoly (in which I discovered, rather too late, that everyone else had been cheating, and I’m still bitter). The rest of the time was spent lying on the lakeside with a good book and a glass of wine, or strumming away on the guitar.

Beautiful blue lake and mountain views.


The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly New Year’s Eve. Rather than face the chaotic madness of Queenstown itself, we took our sleeping bags down to the lake front to stare at the stars and listen to the lapping of the lake. When it hit midnight, we could see the flashes of light in the distance as the Queenstown fireworks went off, and heard the occasional thundering boom. All in all, it was exactly the kind of New Year’s break we were looking for!

Jumping into Lake Wakatipu.

Taking a dip

Last week James Jubb shared a lovely video he’d put together about a recent weekend trip his family took to Curio Bay on the Catlins Coast in Southland.

It’s two minutes of sea, sand, sunshine and happiness and well worth watching:

“Great times all on our own soil. Who needs to go overseas.” ~ James Jubb

You can sometimes see Hector’s dolphins/papakanua playing in the surf at Curio Bay during the summer and autumn.

New Zealand fur seals/kekeno and sea lions/rāpoka/whakahao also frequent the area, and lucky visitors may even see yellow-eyed pengins/hoiho (the rarest penguins in the world).