Purakaunui Bay Campsite

Purakaunui Bay Campsite

Catlins Coast



70 Rankers Reviews

35 Face-to-Face

108 Basic Camping

8 Owaka



What more is there to say?
Purakaunui Bay - primo
Plenty of room
Purakaunui Bay Camping Ground


DOC campsite, small fee, basic facilities

What a place! Not too far off the main road, down a narrow unsealed section - watch out for sheep. Beautiful beach, vast grassy areas, seals, striking cliffs as well as a good surf beach. The famous Purakaunui Falls are not far away. This camp site is definately well worth the trip.


Feature Value Info


South IslandSouthlandOwaka


  • Basic Camping



  • Purakaunui Bay Campsite

    Unpowered Campsite

    Camp on the coast. Striking cliff faces can be seen from the campsite and Purakaunui Falls are not far. There is a good surf beach to the south of the camp. Cosgrove Island, a wildlife refuge, is off the coast and Jacks Blowhole is 10 km to the north.






Showing 8 reviews of 70.

Monkeyalan's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Great spot after a 10 minute drive from the turn off. Great scenery but limited parking if the ground is wet. Easy access to the water and the surf. Big shame to see most people who stayed didn't pay the DOC fees or show any pass. Note there is likely to be sheep grazing nearby.

Reviewed 28 days ago

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Ross's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

Incredible location, the cliffs are stunning. The road in is fine for larger campervans. Early winter and it was still busy. There are very few flat areas for campervans, the grass is a no go at this time of year or after rain. Toilets are smelly but I gather this is a popular site.

Reviewed 4 months ago

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Lauren's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Probably our most favourite camping spot to date, which we’ve been to several times throughout the year. Standard DOC campsite with a block of drop toilets at the entrance to the campground. Plenty of flat campsites at sea level with a few spots up the top on the hill for those with smaller vans.
Great surf spot with easy access. Usually a few seals on the beach and a big sea lion or two!

Reviewed 5 months ago and experienced in February 2020

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Rebecka's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Stunning view! Majestic cliffs and ruff sea. Camping area is very big, was quit a few vehicles here, 20-25. But still lots of space. Saw 2 sea lions hanging out in the sand dunes.

Reviewed 9 months ago

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Andrea's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

At the end of a gravel road, plenty of space for everyone, drop toilets, everyone was super friendly, our pooches loved it just as much as we did. Amazing spot for the sunrise and playing at the beach! Definitely coming back here.

Reviewed 12 months ago

RYAN's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Best campsite in the Catlins ! Sheltered from the southerly winds and first to see the sun ! Nice to watch the seals play on the beach!

Reviewed 12 months ago

Award-1-24px Congratulations Purakaunui Bay Campsite - Catlins Coast

Rankers TravellerVoted Awards 2011 Basic Facility Camping Winner

Sally Sargeant-Hu's avatar

Sally Sargeant-Hu

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Spectacular location! It was dreamy to wake up next to the beach and the gorgeous ocean. The site was a little busy, but everyone was respectful and outside having a great time! Facilities were simple, but well kept.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Lisa Greenfield's avatar

Lisa Greenfield

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Loads of space. Right by the beach. Excellent toilets. Water supply (not drinking water). Lots of very happy dogs around. Seems to be a haven for pets. Totally recommend.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner