Coes Ford Camping Ground

Coes Ford Camping Ground

Lake Ellesmere


34 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face


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This is a designated freedom camping area supported by the Selwyn District Council. Coes Ford can be found just off the Lake Road.
Please use the rubbish bins and toilet facilities that are provided.

Do not light fires.
The maximum length of stay is 4 weeks.


Feature Value Info


South IslandCanterburyChristchurch


  • Basic Camping
  • Free

Operating Season And Hours

The whole site is now open for the 2018/2019 summer season.


Showing 13 reviews of 34.

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JuneC's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Lovely spacious campground. Toilets in camp area 1 were very clean, with outside sink for dishes. Large bins provided for rubbish too. We thought it was worth the drive out, would definitely recommend

Reviewed 8 days ago

K&J's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Nice grassy areas for camping, good toilets

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Kaukau's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Busy but peaceful because everyone is here to chillax and enjoy themselves. Gorgeous weekend of weather and water was divine! Lots of space!

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Chieco Family's avatar

Chieco Family

Ranking: 3/10

The facilities, toilets and recycle rubbish bins are excellent. The area is grassy and you can park a camper easily. The reason for low score was the site was average- I think we were spoilt by mountains and lakes. A algi filled river was not calling us to jump in. The locals were hooning and had loud music till after 9pm. When they stopped it was actually a very peaceful night sleep. Only stayed here as is 30min to Christchurch. Skip if you can or use as a stop if your wanting to save $ before you fly out.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

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jasper's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

Camping was unexpectedly closed, be sure to call first. Also the bridge to lakeside was impossible to cross due to high water levels.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Aleisha's avatar


Ranking: 5/10

Place is massive so plenty room for everyone. Unfortunately the freedom campers were being rather free of clothes should I say not pleasant for a family to see two separate incidents in 12 hours. Hoons coming in at 1am to do donuts scared the kids too. Not like it used to be at all.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Jackie Sue's avatar

Jackie Sue

Ranking: 7/10

We stayed one night and it was peaceful, quiet and spacious. The toilets were clean and modern. The recycling and rubbish facilities were good. Unfortunately there is a warning sign that the river has ecoli and the water is not potable. The sign says Chamberlain Ford is not contaminated. We stayed 2 Jan 2019.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Daniel P's avatar

Daniel P

Ranking: 10/10

Hey Guys, we saw the review below and almost bypassed this place. But we thought we’d check it out. My gosh, it’s such a beautiful site and wow it’s huge. There are 3 sites you can choose to camp. We tried out all 3!! Great toilet facilities, rubbish and recycling too. Got speaking to the park ranger and he was lovely. Lots of people around to have a chat with and exchange experiences. We will defo be staying here again! Best of all, you can stop for 28 nights!! Please bypass the negative comment below as this place is beautiful!!

Reviewed about 2 years ago

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Pheng Taing's avatar

Pheng Taing

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

The facility provided here is amazing. There's toilet at 3 different parts of the camp. They were very modern, flushing and even provided toilet papers.

We had a whole section to ourselves because it was closed to vehicles in winter but we were cycling. The speed limit of 20 makes the area quiet from cars and safe to walk around.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Matthieu Berdugo's avatar

Matthieu Berdugo


Ranking: 8/10

We stayed at the end of March for one night. We had a pleasant stay, very quiet and lots of place. Toilets were clean with toilet paper.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

estelle D's avatar

estelle D

New Caledonia

Ranking: 6/10

free campsite pour motorhome autonome
à 30km au sud de Christchurch
beau site, au calme
un très grand site sur la droite, et un plus petit en face, il y a le choix de l’emplacement
par contre, des quad / personnes et chiens vont et vient la soirée – comme des rendez-vous furtifs. Nous avons eu un doute sur la sécurité, mais ça a été.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Hamish's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 1/10

Thirty years ago this was the gem of Canterbury. Now, the ford is heavily polluted and health warnings have been in place for many years. Do not swim or get in the water! Apart from that you'll share campsite with cows, local boy racers or people waiting for you to leave your camper or tent site unattended. Until the Selwyn district council and dairy industry tidy up their act my recommendation is to stay away. Head for Banks peninsula instead.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Megan Jurgensmeyer's avatar

Megan Jurgensmeyer

United States

Ranking: 9/10

This was the first campsite we stayed at after arriving into Christchurch and we had a wonderful night, we could hardly believe it was free!! The bathroom was clean and it had a great dish washing station.

Reviewed about 4 years ago