Mistletoe Bay Eco village campground in picton, New zealand

The Best Campgrounds in Picton, New Zealand!

Last Updated: 21st July, 2023

Picton is a charming coastal town nestled by the water of the Queen Charlotte Sound in Marlborough. It is an awesome place to stay if you are planning to travel and explore this amazing region, and one of the best ways to see it is to get out in nature and stay at one of the many campgrounds. In this post, I’ve collected my favourite campgrounds in Picton, New Zealand. Enjoy!

Campground in Queen Charlotte Sound, picton, New zealand

If you’re planning a memorable camping trip in Picton, be sure to check out my accompanying post on the “10 Best Free Things to Do in Picton.” This post highlights some fantastic cost-free activities and attractions that you won’t want to miss during your visit! From exploring sections of the incredible Queen Charlotte Track to relaxing at one of Picton’s many secluded beaches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy without breaking the bank!

10 Best Campgrounds in Picton

1. Waikawa Bay Holiday Park | Waikawa

Located just a short drive from Picton, Waikawa Bay Holiday Park offers a peaceful and scenic setting overlooking the picturesque Waikawa Bay. This family-friendly campground provides a range of accommodation options, including powered and non-powered sites for tents, campervans, and caravans. The park features modern facilities, a children’s playground, a swimming pool, and easy access to the beach and water activities.

Waikawa Bay in Picton, New Zealand

2. Tasman Holiday Parks | Picton

Tasman Holiday Parks is located only a few minutes from the heart of Picton, and is an awesome place to stay while exploring the area. With a wide range of accommodation from self-contained villas to powered grass camping sites, there is something to suit every family size and budget. They offer some incredible facilities for guests, including a heated outdoor pool in the summer months, and a hot tub for a relaxing evening after a day of adventures! There is a shared lounge, kitchen, and BBQ facilities, as well as an awesome ablutions block with decent showers!

campground in picton, New zealand

3. Whatamango Bay Camping Area | Whatamango Bay

This is one of the closest DOC-maintained campgrounds to Picton, and is perfect if you need somewhere to sleep before catching the ferry! The camping area is huge, located right beside the beach, with native NZ flax giving you privacy from the road and other campers. It is around 15-minutes drive away from Picton, around the windy coastal road. As with most DOC campgrounds, the facilities are extremely rustic – with long-drop toilets and water from the stream (needs to be boiled), however the peace and tranquility of this pace makes up for it! Also, it’s one of the cheapest places you can stay in the region, at only $10 per night! Bring cash, or pay online before you arrive.

DOC campground in Whatamango Bya, picton, New Zealand

4. Momorangi Bay Campground | Queen Charlotte Sound

This is another DOC-managed campground near Picton, located on the stunning shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound in Momorangi Bay Scenic Reserve. It is a slightly more up-market DOC campground, including both tent and powered sites for campervans. Facilities include hot showers ($1), a communal kitchen with fridges and an electric hob, wheelchair accessible toilet blocks, and a playground on the foreshore. This is a fantastic spot for families, with a calm bay, jetty and playground all within walking distance. There is also a glow worm cave only a short walk from the campground!

Ngakuta Bay, Picton, New Zealand

5. Aussie Bay Campsite | Queen Charlotte Sound

Just a little further around the Queen Charlotte Drive from Momorangi Campground is the smaller and more secluded Aussie Bay Campground. A steep driveway takes you down to this tranquil Bay, where you can park up by the waters edge and take in the incredible scenery! It is perfect for a night or two, with limited facilities including toilets and water (that should be boiled prior to use). This felt like a magically campground to stay at, nestled in nature and away from the hustle and bustle of town. Get in early, however, as it can get filled up fast in the summer months!

Native forest near campground in picton, New zealand

6. Smiths Farm Holiday Park | Linkwater

This campground gives you the proper kiwi experience! Situated on a working farm, Smiths Farm Holiday Park offers accommodation surrounded by rolling hills and rural gardens. Guests can enjoy feeding and petting the friendly farm animals, which include sheep, cows, pigs and goats.

Sheep at campground in picton, New zealand

Smiths Farm Hliday Park has a variety of accommodation options, including self-contained rooms and studios with access to shared facilities. Setting into this incredible accommodation and enjoy the mountain and rural views! This holiday park is located around 30-minutes drive from Picton around the Queen Charlotte Drive, and is close to a number of attractions – including the start of the Queen Charlotte Track in Anakiwa and the charming coastal town of Havelock.

7. Mistletoe Bay Eco Village | Mistletoe Bay

This was one of my absolute favourite campgrounds in the Sounds, and Timo and I have been back a few times since hiking the Queen Charlotte Track in 2021! Although not technically in Picton, this campground is easily reachable by water taxi from the Picton Marina, and is an incredible place to stay for a few nights!

This campground is nestled into the lush forest along the secluded Mistletoe Bay. It has accommodation options ranging from a grassy field for campervans and tents, to small cosy cabins, and a large self-contained cottage that is perfect for families or friend groups! It is located just off the Queen Charlotte Track, and so this is how we stumbled across it, however you can also reach it by car or by water taxi from Picton! It was amazing, set out in the bush so it is incredibly peaceful, with a small track taking you down to the wharf, which is perfect for a swim or a fish! The campground facilities are great, with a huge communal kitchen, good hot showers and clean bathrooms, and a cafe and small shop onsite if you want to stock up.

mistletoebay Eco village and campground in picton, New zealand

8. Rutherford Backpackers | Havelock

Rutherford Backpackers is an awesome budget accommodation options located in the heart of Havelock, only 30-minutes drive from Picton. It offers a variety of accommodation options, from cheap-as-chips dorm rooms, private rooms, and the option to park up your caravan for the night. It has a large cozy communical lounge (with a fire place for the winter months!), a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, and fantastic showers and toilets.

It is in the perfect place to explore the Marlborough region, being close to both Pelorus Bridge and to the Queen Charlotte Sound. Havelock is filled with interesting things to see, including art galleries and mussel farms, and you should definitely try some of their fresh seafood while you’re there!

9. Picton Campervan Park | Picton

If you’re looking for a place to park up your camper and get out into the heart of Picton, then Picton Campervan Park is for you! This park is located a stones-throw from the ferry terminal and the marina, as well as Picton’s cafes and restaurants.

They offer awesome facilities, including free wifi, a (spotless) communal kitchen and dining area, as well as good hot showers and toilets block. There are also laundry facilities available! This is a fantastic place if you are just planning a stop-over before or after catching the InterIslander ferry!

picton marina, picton, New zealand

10. Parklands Marina Holiday Park | Waikawa

Situated in Waikawa, just 3.5 km from Picton, Parklands Marina Holiday Park is a perfect place to stay for families wanting to camp in the area! It offers guests access to an outdoor pool, jumping pillow, and children’s playground with a trampoline. The spacious holiday park is surrounded by plenty of leafy trees and grassy areas and is home to many species of native birds.

There are a variety of accommodation types available, from cosy cabins, self-contained studios (with a kitchenette), and powered and unpowered tent sites. Guests have access to a communal kitchen with modern appliances including stove-tops, ovens and a microwave. The amenities building offers shared bathroom facilities and a self-service laundry. It is a 10-minute walk from the campground into Waikawa marina, where you can launch your boat, or try your hand at fishing!

If you are looking for other budget accommodation options around Picton, but would prefer to have a roof over your head, there are heaps of cool options for ya! Check out my post on the 10 best Budget Accommodation Options here!

Hello, fellow campers! I hope this post helps you find an awesome place to park and pitch your tent in the stunning areas around Picton! It was one of my favourite places to camp, just because the scenery is just incredible to wake up to!! If you are looking for other awesome places to camp in the South Island, check out my post on camping on the West Coast here!

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