Well, now that summer is over I thought that I would let you know about a great summer camping spot *facepalm* Piripiri Campsite. So much for being organised this year, huh? Anywho, camping is fun season ’round so don’t cross it off your list just yet.
Access Get yourself out towards Pohangina, turn off down Pohangina Valley East road. Follow Pohangina Valley East Road past Totara Reserve and Takapari Road until reaching Piripiri Bridge
Fees Free (the best kind of fee).
Bookings No bookings required, first come first served.
Facilities long-drop loo, there is no drinking water so you will need to bring your own and no showering facilities. Back to basics.
What makes Piripiri Campsite a fab place to pitch a tent
A. it’s free and B. it’s beeeeautiful, isolated and (mostly) serene.
Need I say more?
Piripiri campsite lies within the Pohangina Valley, surrounded in bush with the Pohangina River lazily meandering alongside. The campsite is a small clearing nestled beside the road, walled with trees making it feel isolated and rather lovely really.
Things to note when heading to Piripiri Campsite
This is a basic campsite, which means there is no drinking water, no showers and only one lonely longdrop loo sitting isolated off the campsite.
- You will need to bring your own drinking water or treat the river water so that it is safe to drink
- Bring your own loo paper as well, you can’t always guarantee that there will be some there
- Piripiri campsite is only small, in the height of summer have a backup plan just in case. There are no bookings, it’s first come first served. You shouldn’t need a backup plan as it is not a well-used campsite but you never know. There are several other campsites just down the road at Totara Reserve.
- If you build a fire in the firepit, make sure to put it out completely before you head to bed
- There is a safe swimming hole in the river, but you know, water safety and all that. Make sure that children are supervised etc
- Bring ample supplies, there is no corner shop nearby so if you forgot the milk, you’re outta luck. Unless you feel like a rather long round trip to pick some up.
Our stay at Piripiri
We headed to Piripiri campground for Waitangi Day, making the most of a day off in the middle of the week. My camping bud had actually taken the days leading up to Waitangi Day off so we had ample days to enjoy the summer days.
My friend, Stacey asked me if we were still going to go even though rain was forecast. I looked out at the sky in disbelief. It was so blue it was almost criminal. “We’ll be right” I informed her confidently.
The packing malarky
Oh boy, two laid back people undertaking a camping trip makes for several back and forth trips between houses and supermarkets.
First, we loaded up all my gear then headed to Kenny’s to load up his gear. On our way to the supermarket we realised we’d forgotten some stuff to had to head back to his. Finally we made it to the supermarket only to head back to mine to pick up some more stuff before heading out of town.
Only to realise we still hadn’t everything once we got there. Never mind, it was only for a night, we would survive.
Moral of the story?
Make a list
Related Post: The ultimate camping packing list
Piripiri campsite sits just off the side of the road in a wee clearing. It’s only small, fitting about 4 campsites but is surrounded in bush and the road isn’t very busy so it feels as though you are smack bang in the middle of nowhere which is always nice.
Tall trees surround the clearing so you can’t see the road. Native birds have made their home in the bush, as well as a few smaller creatures such as possums. Make sure you put all your food inside your car, tent or containers or you may find yourself without brekkie the following day.
There are a couple of small bushwalks (including the one to the loo) or you can head down to the river for a dip and to collect firewood for the firepit handily set up.
Great for kiddos
There are several swimming holes, one deeper one perfect for teens and adults and a couple of shallow, calm stretches great for smaller children.
There is plenty to do for the kids (and no cellphone service so they have to talk to you) including exploring the bush, wood collecting, roasting marshies, swimming and bird watching.
Cosy campfires and star gazing
After we had explored the area and collected our wood, it was time to light the fire. One of the best things about camping.
Note: wear shoes around the campfire, I stood on a piece of hot ash, got a fright and jumped backwards. Only to trip over the log we were using as a bench seat. My poor foot still has the scar and I learned a valuable lesson
A good book, a cold beer and the campfire was our entertainment until the stars came out and the words on the books needed squinting at than was comfortable.
As the sun set over the Ruahine Range in the distance, painting it red the stars started peaking out. With the warmth of the fire we sat back and watched them emerge before heading to bed.
Related Post: Camping mistakes I made so you don’t have to
A night in the rain
As we snuggled down in our sleeping bags I realised that the window was still open. Ah well, I thought, she’ll be right and slowly drifted off to the sounds of nature and the snuffling of the possums inspecting our tent to see if there was any food left out for them.
Around 3am I woke up to a drip, drip, drip on my forehead and the sounds of rain pitter pattering on the tent. Ah, crap. Kenny got up and shut the window and all was well again. Eventually, we managed to drift back off. Well, he did, I kept getting startled awake by rouge drips.
Morning came only to discover, while I was nice and dry (apart from the pillow), Kenny’s feet had stuck out the tent overnight as he was slightly longer than the tent. Normally, this would have been ok. However, he had a rather wet sleeping bag which in turn meant rather wet feet.
Should have listened to Stacey.
A quick pack up in the rain and home for bacon and eggs completed our whirlwind camping trip to Piripiri campsite. Lots of memories and a few laughs.
Piripiri campsite is a great wee campsite, just take heed of the weather forecast!
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