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August 2021 Issue
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DOC announces new campsite pass

Campers using DOC campsites can save by buying a campsite pass. Photo: Matthew Cattin

The days of saving up change for DOC campsites are over as DOC has announced a new campsite pass, which could mean significant savings for regular campers.

An annual pass costs $140, monthly, it’s $80, weekly, $55. The pass can be used at 195 of DOC’s 208 paid campsites, including bookable campsites. A further six campsites are exempt between Boxing Day and February 8, including the country’s most popular campsite, Totaranui. 

The pass could mean significant savings. A one year pass would pay for itself after 10 days at a $15/night ‘scenic campsite’, or in a week at a $20/night serviced campsite. But it will take 18 days to pay off the pass at $8/night basic campsites.

The passes can be purchased online or at DOC visitor centres.

Campsites exempted from the pass include Tapotupotu Campsite at Cape Reinga, the Hot Water Beach Campsite at Tarawera, all three Queenstown campsites (Moke Lake, Twelve Mile Delta and Kinloch), all Te Urewera campsites and all Great Walks’ campsites.

DOC heritage and visitors director Steve Taylor said the new pass is designed to encourage Kiwis to spend more time in nature.

“The campsite pass offers great value for frequent campsite users and encourages use of quieter campsites outside of peak season,” Taylor said.

The move could also potentially help compliance and boost income from campsites. Most campsites are cash-only and it is expected that campers short on cash or without the right change in the backcountry will welcome the simplicity of an annual pass.

The announcement comes two months after DOC hiked the price of a number of huts and raised the price of the Backcountry Hut Pass by $22.