The Okains Bay Camping Ground is located in the idyllic Okains Bay, on Banks Peninsula in the South Island, approximately one and a quarter hours drive from Christchurch and only 15 kms from the popular tourist resort of Akaroa.
Banks Peninsula was formed many years ago by a number of volcanoes which resulted in two large natural harbours being created - Lyttelton and Akaroa. These harbours feature many bays on the inside, which offer safe and picturesque boating and large, open to the sea bays on their outer sides. All of the outer bays are quite unique in outlook and what they offer, and Okains Bay is one of the best on the Peninsula. It offers safe, family-friendly camping in a beach front setting with a wide range of activities readily at hand.
Come and experience its unique and special qualities for yourself.
(5-15 yrs) $6
(under 5rs) free
Special Group booking rates available
Please - NO DOGS ALLOWED
PLEASE NOTE: No bookings taken until after August 1st
The Office is unattended over the Winter months but you can still come and enjoy our wonderful camping ground using our honesty box payment method. Office reopens August 1st.
We were looking for something a little away from mainstream for our family holiday and had heard that in recent years Okains Bay had become a lot more family friendly than it's history would lead you to believe.
Within the last few years they have built two new ablutions blocks that are set out exactly the same which house the only electricity you will find, cell access is non existent unless you wish to climb or drive up the hill and while you can buy wireless internet access don't expect to be able to sit in your tent and use it. Now all of that sounds pretty horrific, I trust you it's not, a forced tech holiday is wonderful! The blocks themselves are well appointed with two large chest freezers in each of them which you pay for a key to have access to and while they have recently been upgraded don't expect to keep your icecream frozen in them, they're opened so many times a day they don't work as efficiently as they could do.
One of the kitchens has electric elements and the other has gas, there are no ovens so using your own bbq (gas only) and cook tops might be preferable. Showers are $2 for 4 mins which seems to be quite a long time and have good pressure. Overall the blocks are well presented and while modest and simplistic have everything you could need including a pay washing machine and dryer.
There is a kid friendly play area which includes a rather tall rope climbing frame, two flying foxes, mini climbing wall, swings and slide. There is also a BMX track which is in the forest and heaps of fun for young and old.
The beach itself is relatively shallow and doesn't have a huge drop off, it can hold quite a good surf in the right conditions and be completely calm in others. For those that don't like the surf there is the estuary which is just as much fun at high tide as it is as low tide. There are also numerous walks around the bays, some require a reasonable level of fitness but there's heaps to do without even venturing out of the bay, such as shell fish collecting, the local Maori museum and rock scrambling.
The only downside we've found is that being a Doc camp site there are no allocated sites, actually there are no sites at all, you just set up where you feel like it, and there isn't a whole heap of completely flat ground but there's ways around that.
For supplies there's a good local store that sells pretty much anything you might need from puncture repair kits to lollies and ice creams, they also do fish and chips every night in the high season (Fridays only off season), it's a nice bike ride from the camp or a quick 2 minute drive. For the bigger items or a day trip there's a quick jaunt over the hill to Akaroa where there's lots to do as well.
Overall I think this is an excellent camp ground, if you're into glamping this isn't the place for you, however it is possible to have a great camping experience with the bare minimum and is well worth the drive which is spectacular in itself if you follow Summit Road from the road over to Akaroa.
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"I like this place, and willingly would waste my time in it."
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), As You Like It