Family friendly camping grounds

DSC_3819It seems all my new friends with chil’en (as my Mum and Marilyn called them, back in the day) have caravans.

We have a tent.
It was our wedding present.
It’s a Coleman.
One of those old canvas jobs , you can stand up in, with 3 rooms.
It takes a trailer to haul and an hour to erect.
We love it.

I go with the 3 chil’en to Playcentre.
Tess Gamble and Amy Mansfield, separately, gave me the idea.
Otumoetai Playcentre.
There’s a bundle of green space, books, garden, puzzles, playdough, strawberry plants, swings, sandpit, apple & plum tree, dump trucks, carpentry table, paints & easels.
It takes an hour (at least) to pack up the 3 kids with kai, nappies, clothes (after water play), hats, buggy, blankets – and a strong milo upon arrival.
We love it.

On the Otumoetai Playcentre page a ‘colleague’ questioned:
We’re looking for a child friendly campsite within a couple of hours drive (of Tauranga). Has anyone had any good experiences and can recommend one?
Here are the results of this ‘survey’ – from south to north, along with a couple of things that jumped out at me. The prices are for non-powered campsites.
NB: If you’re wanting to camp during Christmas New Years its a good idea to book the year before. Waihi Beach recommended calling February 2015 for bookings for Christmas 2015 – as many people re-book. Bowentown recommended June.

tahi) Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park. (07) 315 4741
Pet friendly, upon conversation (not peak season). Kayaks. Glow worms. Playground.
High Season (20 Dec – 1 Feb) Adult: $22.50 Child $13
Shoulder Season: Adult $19 Child $9.50
Low Season: Contact them

) Ohope Beach Top 10 Holiday Park. (07) 312 4460
About 1 hours drive from Tauranga. Swimming Pool and waterslide. BMX track.Trampoline. 50 Beachfront sites. A Playcentre Mum recommended stopping at Julian’s berry farm on the way, complete with petting zoo and playground. I just phoned them and they sound ‘epic’. Receptionist said they tell groups of teenagers wanting to book that they’re full. 10pm is quiet time and 11pm silent time. Nice.
High Season (19 Dec – 9 Feb): Adult $24 Child $15 Under 1 free
Shoulder Season (9 feb till after Easter): Adult $23 Child $15 Under 1 free

toru) Waihi Beach Top 10 Holiday Park. (07) 86305504
Pool, Spa, Sauna. Under 5s Family Room. I love the (not ideal for kids) Secret Garden for the most exotic drink you’ll find in Bali in New Zealand (me not so keen on their food).
High Season (20 Dec – 8 Feb): Minimum $85 per night. Adult: 33 Child: $19 Under 1 free
Shoulder season: Adult $28 Child $17 Under 1 free
Low season: Contact them.

) Bowentown Beach Holiday Park. (07) 863 5381
Athenree Hot Springs (a 10 minute drive away). The Hot Springs is open 10am-7.30pm daily. Adults $7.00 Seniors $6.50 Children (5-13yrs) $4.50 Pre-schoolers (1-4) $3.00. Two pools: larger pool is at 33-35C with a shallow section for toddlers. Smaller adult relaxing pool is at a temperature of 39.5C.
High season (21 Dec – 7 Feb): Adult $26 Child $16 Under 3 years free
Shoulder season: Adult $22 Child $13 Under 3 years free
Low season: Contact them.

rima) Opoutere Coastal Camping. (07) 865 9152
Handsome-ist website so far. “Remote and untouched.” Small campground. Diverse mix of campsites. From elevated views of hills and Opoutere valley to private sites under Pohutukawa.
High season (26 Dec -10 Feb): Adult $19.00 Child (1- 15yrs) $10 Under 1 free
Low season: Adult $15.00  Child (5 -15yrs) $8.00 Child (1-5yrs)$5.00 Under 1 free

onoHahei Holiday Resort  (07) 866 3889
Confusing-ist website to date. Hahei Holiday Resort appears to be a huge area with houses, cabins, campsites, caravan sites. I love Hahei. I swam with dolphins there in my teens. Life changing.
40.00 per night. Maximum occupancy: 5 person/s.

DSC_5959whetu) Mclaren Falls Park (07) 577 7000
Not to be sniffed at – evidentally. A great test trip too (for the gear, the kids, the patience, the aptitude). I’ve been told to go after daylight savings (when it gets dark earlier) and take the kids to see the glow worms. You can take your horse! And I kinda don’t want to share this cos I think it sounds ‘wicked’ and under-utilised or under-known. THE HOSTEL. You can book out a hostel that sleeps 16 people for only $115 per night. It has Mount views and a fire pit. A fire pit.
0-5 years – Free 5-16 years – $5 per night per person 16+ years – $10 per night per person
Bookings are not required for camping, locations are available on a first come first serve basis.

Your favourite campsite is?
I’d love to especially hear from you if you’ve stayed at more than one of these places.
Compare and contrast please people.

A motivated reader wrote in to share her Tips and Experience of camping with her young family. Thought i’d share the love. Click Here for this info-packed article. Thanks Jenny Holt (freelance writer and Mama) for connecting.

I love reading your comments, kia ora for taking the time to share your thoughts

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