Reid's Farm Recreation Reserve in Taupo
Reids Farm Recreation Reserve is a very popular campsite on Huka Falls Road, on the banks of the Waikato River. It’s popular not only due to it’s location (just a few minutes minutes out of Taupo) but also as it allows both self-contained and non-self contained vehicles for a maximum stay of seven nights. Trust me, these are very welcoming regulations! The easiest way to get there is by driving north out of Taupo and looking for the large green sign pointing to ‘Huka Falls and Scenic Area’. After turning off, follow that road and after about 1km you’ll see a small faded greeny-blueish sign on the right (in the photo below), there will most likely be a bunch of other vans there already which is probably an easier identifier. Aside from the long drop toilets, a picnic table and a rubbish bin, there are no other facilities here. As to the state of the toilets, I haven't had any problems with them, but there have been a bunch of comments through the CamperMate app that mention the toilets being unclean and well..gross. Sounds as though it's a bit of mixed luck! The rubbish bin is often jammed pack with a mountain of rubbish from travellers which is a bit of a shame (if you can, take your rubbish out with you). Even though it's a little way out of town, the locals are pretty passionate about the area, so when they see an area that looks a little abused they will tend to kick up a fuss. If you get the chance, park up near the river edge. It's such a peaceful river with an awesome vibe. You can drink the water, but make sure you boil it for about 3 minutes first. If you're not so keen on a busy freedom campsite like this one and are in a self contained campervan, you might like to try the DOC managed 5 Mile Bay instead, about 15 minutes from here on the south side of Taupo where you can stay four nights in a calendar month. If you are ok with meeting others though, you'll like it here. It's a pretty, chilled place right on the edge of a river and close to Taupo...4 stars from me.