NZ's best campgrounds: Maraehako

Last updated 05:00 06/01/2014

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We're developing the below interactive map of New Zealand's favourite camping spots. Lesley Picking has found simplicity in paradise.

Maraehako Camping Ground in the eastern Bay of Plenty is an amazing spot.

Upon arrival you find a tiny pebbled bay lined with pohutukawa, a small but clean stream deep enough to take a dip in, toilets, showers and little more.

Yes, these are minimal facilities, but you really don't need any. Just park up, pitch your tent on the shore and take in the view.

Nearby Te Kaha has a shop, pub and restaurant if you get sick of fishing, swimming and sitting under a tree reading (we didn't).

We got a licence to light fires from the local council so each night we cooked on the beach. The camp was uncrowded and quiet, all you could hear was the rhythm of the gentle waves.

We spent ten days in paradise without once getting bored. It was the most relaxing holiday I have ever had.

To add your favourite camping ground to the map, click the green button below the map.

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