Tōtara Reserve has two popular campgrounds established about 80 years ago right beside the Pohangina River.

Camping is available from October-April. Facilities include powered and non-powered sites, treated drinking water, hot showers, flushing toilets, outdoor BBQs, a fire pit, playground, and a campground manager living nearby.

The river and popular swimming spot are a short walk from the campgrounds were about 5,000 people camp each year.

We currently spend almost half of the Tōtara Reserve's annual operating budget on running the campgrounds.

There are some considerations for the management of Tōtara Reserve. We are interested to hear what you think of the facilities, and where you think we should invest resources in the management and development of camping at Tōtara Reserve.

The future of camping at Tōtara Reserve

The campgrounds are located in the river flood plain, so have occasionally been subjected to inundation from floodwater and required substantial repairs from water and silt damage.

Repairs from flood damage after Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 cost about $100,00 in uninsurable costs, not including staff time.

We monitor the possibility of further flood events through river level monitoring equipment. There is an automated river level warning system to evacuate people, but we cannot move fixed assets.

A range of options are being considered to manage the ongoing flood risk and damage to assets at Tōtara Reserve. However, this needs to be balanced with the costs involved and the negative impact these options may have on the forest.

We are considering everything from the complete disestablishment of camping at Tōtara Reserve, through to establishing a new campground higher up out of the flood zone.

Have your say!

To have your say about the management of Tōtara Reserve Regional Park