MATAKOHE HOLIDAY PARK
Location: Matakohe, Kaipara, behind the Kauri Museum
- Powered and unpowered sites for campervans and tents. The tent sites are grassy and either bordered by plants to provide privacy and shelter, or they back onto a paddock populated by cows and sheep with views across to the Kaipara. Motel units and cabins are also available.
- Clean ablutions with free hot showers.
- An immaculate, country-style kitchen, dining and living area. Stoves, fridge, sinks, toasters, kettles, all the utensils you need to cook and eat with are provided, plus convenient extras like dishcloths and condiments. A couple of sofas, flat screen TV and dining tables and chairs, add to the homey feel.
- Laundry with a sink, coin operated washing machine and dryer.
Down-home country in a lace and lavender kind of way. I can see why European visitors (usually touring in campervans) love this place. It feels like the quintessential kiwi home stay with some sheep and cows thrown in for good measure.
Cost: NZD 40 for two people (non-powered site) in high season.
Matakohe Holiday Park is a happy surprise. We're utterly charmed. The tranquil, picture-postcard setting, friendly owners, best-ever campsite . . . We didn't realise we were stressed-out city dwellers until we arrived here.
Wind rustling the poplars. Bird calls and cicadas. Sheep baa-ing, cows moo-ing and chewing.
Getting the primo tent site in the park, Number 30, which is extra spacious and private. It's shady with expansive rural views and backs onto the paddock. A bunch of friendly calves settled in and spent the night next to us.
Having to leave to go home.
The only potential downside is that because it's a smallish park, the spaces are quite intimate. When it's busy you find yourself sharing the kitchen with other travellers in a way that makes it impossible not to interact. Depending on who they are, that's either a good or a bad thing.
There's often a heavy dew fall overnight here. Our big canvas tent is fine, but the lightweight one can be quite drippy by morning. We've found covering it with a tarpaulin helps.
Wifi is available from the Gumdiggers Cafe, over the road from the Kauri Museum.
In the Area:
The Kauri Museum, Gumduggers Cafe, Fried Earth Petting Farm and the Kaipara. A short cut across the paddock next to the campground (the cows will ignore you) gets you to a dirt road which leads to the water's edge.
That's just in the immediate vicinity. The staff in the office will be able to give you additional info on local attractions.