We’ve made up a term, Flamping. It means using Flack to go camping. New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world where so much of natural environment is not privately owned and is accessible for all of us to enjoy.
As avid campers ourselves, we’d love it if we could use Flack as a platform to enable more New Zealanders to get out and appreciate all that’s on offer.
Camping equipment can be quite expensive and doesn’t warrant single-use purchase if someone is looking to try camping or only go every few years. Also, in most locations there simply isn’t an easy way to hire camping equipment.
Our highest search terms for the first 6 months post launch, were from people looking for tents. Firstly, there is an opportunity for people to list their “not in use” camping equipment to make a buck. Secondly, Flamping could become a community of users on Flack that environment that enables users to try camping before investing in new camping gear or tents.
So first up out of the goodness of my heart, I’d like to apply my Bear Grylls Skillz in offering y’all a camping checklist. Let it be known that if you’re camping expedition involves more extreme environments that there are additional items you might need, which are not covered in this list. Although I could survive a traverse of the southern alps carrying nothing but a toothpick, I’m going to keep this list a little less extreme. Here’s what you’ll need.
If you’re tenting in a fully serviced holiday park, some of these items you won’t need but I would suggest it’s handy to have the items on this checklist, in case you need them.
We’d love to see more of these items listed on Flack, especially core equipment like cookers, tables, chairs and tents. Even better if our listers were supplying these as a package to make it more appealing for renters and easier to pick up and drop off.
Now where to go? It wouldn’t be a Flamping blog without some advice on where to go. And who better to advise than yours truly because “I’ve been everywhere man, I’ve been everywhere”. The first thing to do is jump on the Department of Conservation’s website to see what’s available.
Here are a few North Island spots, that I’ve been to and I’d highly recommend them for a mission. Click each heading for more info on each spot!
1 – Matai Bay
Now here’s a magic spot at the tip of the Karikari peninsula in the sunny far north. It’s a punchy drive from Auckland taking the better part of 5 hours but well worth the mission if you can get away for 3-4 days. The bosom of the Pacific Ocean on your doorstep with a long white sand beach and clear water, this DOC campsite is a must visit. Diving, fishing and snorkeling is some of the best in the country and there’s some stunning walks too. The rest of Karikari peninsula is great if you need a few more activities with golf courses and some pretty decent wines to be sampled at the local vineyards.
A good mate of mine’s Great Great grandfather James Trounson gifted this land to the crown back in the 1980’s. My mate is still ropable, but we all win from James being a decent bloke and sharing it for all of us. Ancient Kauri forests are a sight to behold, and I would recommend a weekend trip up to this spot to check it out. It’s just a super nice place to hang out and take in the natural surrounds.
This is an absolutely stunning place to camp. One of the larger islands in the Bay of Islands Group, you can only get here by boat or ferry. The island is amazing to explore with top notch swimming, snorkeling and fishing as well as some really cool walks. There is also a couple of really cool protected lagoons which are great spots for a swim with the kids and just pretty damn neat to explore. Access is from either Paihia or Russel.
4 - Stoney Bay
If you want to get lost for a bit this is an epic place to go. This campsite is situated at the top of the Coromandel and does not have any facilities other than long drops and stone fireplaces. The Drive is punishing being approx. 4 hours from Auckland via windy gravel roads for the last part of the journey. But It’s worth it for an extended stay. The camp site is situated at the base of Mt Moehau, the highest coromandel mountain and there are some rugged walks to embark on. A beautiful little stream winds its way through the camp and the stingrays and eels love to come and say hi. Check it out if you’re looking for a more rugged experience.
I wanted to give you a freshwater/inland option as well for those who don’t like the beach, and this has to be the best. Again, it’s a punchy drive but absolutely worth it. Lake Waikaremoana is basically prehistoric. A natural damn formed by a landslide, the lake is pristine, and the surrounding landscape is nothing short of majestic. Home of the famous Great Walk, Lake Waikaremoana is also a great spot for some flyfishing and a reasonable base for some deer hunting too. Rosie Bay is the Doc Campsite and it’s first in first served. Check out some photos on the internet if you want to see how stunning this place is.
So, there you have it, my guide to some epic missions Flamping around the North Island. If we don’t have what you need listed, let us know and we’ll try and source it for you.
All the best! The Flack team.