An Amazing Camping Spot for Animal Lovers on New Zealand’s North IslandOur camping experience at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, Taupo
Can we stay one more night, please?
When driving around New Zealand’s North Island in a camper van in November 2019, we mostly freedom camped.
It’s easy, it’s cheap (well, it’s free) and we didn’t really need all the facilities campgrounds offer… At least not every day.
But on our way from Rotorua to Taupo, we decided to stop at a campground called Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley.
Basically, because the photos on the Campermate-app showed some animals and one of the reviews mentioned a pet pig.
Victoria was sold.
For a price of 24 NZD per person (~ 15.4 USD / 13.9 EUR), it definitely wasn’t the cheapest campground, but we simply had to meet the animals.
We thought we would spend a single night here and we ended up staying for four nights at this peaceful campground!
Arriving at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley
The first animal that greeted us was a beautiful peacock showing us all of his colourful feathers.
A bunch of chickens ran around beside him and we saw a cat casually chilling next to them.
We immediately loved the atmosphere and were all smiles.
The animals at the campground
We quickly discovered more peacocks on the ground and even more chickens. They ran around freely and were everywhere.
Several of the hens had day-old chicks and they were adorable!
Obviously, we choose to stay at the place because of the animals and we were so glad we did.
All four days, we cuddled and played with them.
Among them were bunnies, two cats, a black sheep and another sheep with her tiny lamb. It had the cutest smile ever!
Three alpacas roamed around curiously and a bit sceptically at the same time. They were really funny.
The social pet pig loved getting her belly rubbed and we loved giving her lots of attention.
Watch out. Lots of animal pictures coming up now!
There was plenty of grass to park on and we camped next to a pole with power for the van.
The toilets were clean, the showers had hot water and there was a kitchen with a few pots and pans.
Overall, the facilities were fine but nothing too fancy.
What makes the price worth it in our opinion is all the animals!
The Natural Thermal Valley
On an early morning, we went on the thermal walk to explore the geothermal features.
It’s about 1.5 to 2 kilometres and pretty easy in terms of hiking difficulty.
We strolled through the lush landscape for 30 minutes or so, enjoying the mud pools, silica formations, native birds and beautiful plants.
If you’re not staying at the campground, it’s 10 NZD per adult (~ 6.2 USD / 5.8 EUR) and 5 NZD per child (~ 3.2 USD / 5.8 EUR) to go on the thermal walk.
Thanks for reading
We hope that the lovely animals made you smile!
Let us know which of the animals you would like to pet the most.
Would you want to stay here if you came by?