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Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

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Australia
posts: 37
Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

Hi all,

I love NZ...cant wait to come back, and we are again in October this year for 18 days (in a motorhome). We try to stay mostly in DOC sites, and I am in the process of planning this trip. We love Wanaka and plan stay 2-3 nights.

I saw on Rankers site that there is overnight (free) camping at Diamond Lake. As we intend to do a hike in this area, so thought it might be good to stay in this area. Could someone please give me an indication of this 'camp' area they mention. By google Maps I see there is a car park and then a bit of a walk to Diamond Lake. Is the car park the overnight stay area, or is it (I hope) closer to water. We will be self contained (and as we camp all the time in Australia) so we totally respect the environment do our part to keep it pristine...leave nothing and take nothing except memories. We love to camp by water (who doesn't) so if this is only a car park, is there any other suggestions for DOC or freedom camping.

We will stay one night at Glendhu motor park as well, (we stayed at Outlet Caravan park last time and while we liked there, and caught a trout, we're staying at different locations this time around).

Many thanks for your input, and thank you to the wonderful locals for making our time in your beautiful country so welcoming....we cant wait to return.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 21,808
reviews: 48
1. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

The Diamond Lake carpark is a bit of clearing on the side of the road, it is enclosed by hills with no views and low light. It is a 5 minute drive from Glendhu Bay campground - which is, I think, the most scenic campground in the area.

Check the map for location motorcamps.com/content/camp/diamond-lake-car…

If you continue up the Matukituki Valley to the end of the road there is a DOC carpark with loos, shelter and a river where you can free camp - but note the road is unsealed for about 40kms and the final few kms are not bridged over the many stream crossings. It is a fantastic drive.

Hope this helps :)

Wanaka, New Zealand
posts: 2,293
reviews: 12
2. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

The camping refers to the Diamond lake walk carpark. You cannot drive to Diamond Lake itself and camping is not allowed there. The car park can be seen from the road and wouldn't be the nicest place to camp. A better option is Riverside. Just west of the Diamond Lake carpark there is a one lane bridge, just after this on the left is a gravel 'road' - it sort of looks like a drive way. This leads to a car parking area where there is a toilet. You are allowed to camp here. The river is a short walk below this area and there is rock climbing there also.

The rules for the Diamiond Lake camping area - and freedom camping in general between here and Wanaka, is that you must have a self-contained vehicle (i.e toilet on board). So freedom camping in a tent or in one of those 'spaceships', isn't allowed. There is actually a local bylaw about this. There have been huge problems in the Wanaka/Hawea areas with human waste being left by freedom campers. It's not nice having your environment spilt in this way and locals are sick of having to clean up after this, thus the bylaw.

Australia
posts: 37
3. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

Thank you Wanaka Lakes. I'm not sure how our motorhome insurance would be in regards to water crossings, but I will certainly make some inquiries about your alternative suggestion for camping.

We took on all your advice on our last trip to NZ and once again very much appreciate your expert advice and speedy response.

Kind regards

Australia
posts: 37
4. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

Thank you Telly for your advice. I will google map the area you speak of.

I couldn't agree more with need for camping bylaws. If everyone treated the wilderness like their lounge room it wouldn't be a problem and the laws not necessary, but unfortunately that's not the case, and so many just don't think and are so disrespectful to others and the environment...unfortunately the same problem is here in Australia...camping is a joy and a privilege, not a right, and its a shame many spoil it for the majority. Thank you for your input. It is much appreciated.

Regards.

Wanaka, New Zealand
posts: 2,293
reviews: 12
5. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

You would like Riverside. Even if you can't camp directly beside the river, you can see it from the parking place and it's only 100m (I think) down to it. There is a lovely little gorge here, it's nice in summer to swim/wade up the river and jump off the rocks. Unfortunately, a bit chilly for you in July.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 21,808
reviews: 48
6. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

You are very welcome Perth - great to see you heading back this way :)

Telly, that's interesting, I have never ventured down into what I always considered a gravel pit. Is there unfenced access to the river? My pup would love it :)

Wanaka, New Zealand
posts: 2,293
reviews: 12
7. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

Yes, WL, it's great for dogs and kids. We go there a lot in summer to climb and take the dog to the river. Our boys love swimming in the small gorge and jumping off rocks. It does look like a gravel pit from the main road! There is a big grassy carpark area, a toilet and a short, steep track down to the Motatapu River. It's great when the Norwester is blowing and the lake is too windy.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 21,808
reviews: 48
8. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

Thanks Telly, I'll check it out when next down your way :)

9. Re: Diamond Lake overnight camping area.

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