The Pines

The Pines - Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road

The Pines

Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road


149 Rankers Reviews

15 Face-to-Face

17 Freedom Camping

1 Twizel


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Self Contained Vehicles Only in Lake Pukaki

No facilities. Great views! Self Contained Vehicles only are allowed along the whole of Lake Pukaki.


Feature Value Info


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Freedom Camping
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 149.

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Alydia's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

This spot gets a 10/10 because of the pure natural beauty of the lake + small alpine forest!! 😍 definitely the BEST most beautiful free camping spot you can find. No facilities so must be self contained - it’s you and beautiful nature! Enjoy & remember to leave it even better than you found it!

Reviewed 24 days ago

Liv's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

The best freedom campsite we have stayed at in the South Island. Drive all the way along Lake Pukaki and pick a quiet spot sheltered by the trees... it was so magical to watch the moon over the still lake at night. There are toilets at some locations but if you can bare to be away from them for the night you will have a much nicer spot.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Christopher's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

A truly amazing spot, definitely the best on our South Island adventure. Amazing views, plenty of space and a magnificent view of the stars. Seriously, this is what freedom camping is all about. A far cry from the dusty building site charging $50 a night in Lake Tekapo, well worth the 30 minute drive.

Reviewed 6 months ago

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me's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Wow a fantastically beautiful place, take everything with you as there are no facilities at all just nature.
Very peaceful and quite with a stunning dark sky at night and beautiful views of the ranges and mount cook

Reviewed 6 months ago

Lauren's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

HEAPS of spots for SC campers along the banks of the lake. There are some spots closer to drop toilets if you prefer. Can be quite windy but there are some spots with a bit more shelter from the pines, if need be.
There are several spots to turn off the gravel road and would suggest using google maps satellite mode to find the best entry point.

Reviewed 9 months ago and experienced in March 2020

Samantha Williamson's avatar

Samantha Williamson

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

This is by far the most beautiful lake and freedom camping area in the south island. Haymen Road is quite a long road so The Pines camping ground is spread out along this road. There are multiple areas of beauty to freedom camp in your campervan, no Tents though so be aware.Lots of eating benches/tables to have your snacks on etc. I think there was a cycling track that passed along Hayman Rd so just be courteous and polite. As the name suggests there are loads of pine trees here to give you a bit of shelter on hot sunny days. Easy to find on the map. Not too busy when we went in March 2020. The view of the lake is great. Take your rubbish with you please as no rubbish bins.No toilets or facilities just pure nature. The beach area of the lake had a lot of pebbles and large rocks scattered about along with some driftwood but made the place seem more beautiful. Its really breathtaking here with great far views towards Mount Cook and beyond. I could have stayed there on a fulltime basis!!!!

Reviewed 10 months ago

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Maria's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

BEST CAMP EVER! We complained the day before that no freedom camp is like in the tourist magazines but then we found this magical site, some parts along the road has views over mt cook. Not many vehicles and you feel all by yourself. No facilities so you will use your porta potty but since no one around - who cares?
Dont forget to watch the stars at night! Magical!

Reviewed 11 months ago

Thangs's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Facing Lake Pukaki, this was a great stay for the night. No facilities available. You may also walk along the Lake, which is lovely! The site is easy to get to from the main road. This is part of the dark sky reserve so on a clear night, you will be able to stargaze at night.

Reviewed 12 months ago

Liz Wade's avatar

Liz Wade

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

As others have suggested, it’s worth travelling along the road as far as the power station to see what’s available but we didn’t find it very busy at all. On a large area just down from the power station there were just 4 vans. It’s a shame that some people don’t respect the rules of these sites and insist in leaving mounds of toilet paper amongst the trees. But, if you stay out of the trees, it’s a lovely place where you can swim in the lake and appreciate the beautiful location.

Reviewed 12 months ago and experienced in January 2020

Award-2-24px Congratulations The Pines - Lake Pukaki Overnight Campervan Parking - Hayman Road

Top Ranked NZ Awards 2016 Freedom Camping Finalist

Meyana Barnhart's avatar

Meyana Barnhart

Ranking: 10/10

Absolutely gorgeous location and totally free. You turn off the intersection and go down the road about 5km until you get to a power station. There are about 3 main pull-offs, but it seems you’re able to stay anywhere along that 5km stretch. As a result, no worries about it being full. We were there in early February and barely saw another camper van near our camp. No facilities except an outdoor toilet at the very beginning of the road. But the views are astounding.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Almudena's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

It was AMAZING. Only two more vans so it was incredibly paceful. Beautiful views of Mt Cook, blue color of the lake. At night there was completely dark so the sky was beautiful, full of stars.
It’s only for full contained vans, as there are not abilities.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Angela's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Prime location to view Mt Cook from Lake Pukaki we almost cried seeing it for the first time! Toilets are bearable, camping spots available at the lake and then around the corner on top of the hill. Got there around 8pm and found a spot by the lake which was perfect

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Javier Williams's avatar

Javier Williams

Ranking: 10/10

Nice spot to overnight between Christchurch and Dunedin. It is probably the best campsite during our trip around NZ. If you have a self-contained one, you will enjoy to stay in touch with real and pure nature!

Reviewed about 1 year ago