Terms, Conditions and Safety at Tōtara Reserve

Tōtara Reserve Regional Park and Campgrounds is operated by Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council (Horizons Regional Council) a registered Local Government (NZBN 9429041911075).

Below are our Terms and Conditions which apply to all those using our Reserve, as well as some key safety information. All visitors must refrain from any practice that may endanger the health and safety of yourself and any other person. Any hazards must be reported to the Reserve Manager.


Arrivals and departures
  • Campers without a booking should check online or at the office before occupying a site.
  • Report to the office on arrival and pay any applicable charges.
  • Pay before you stay, not on departure.
  • Check in is 1pm. Check out is by 12pm, after 1pm a full nights tariff will be charged.
  • See the Bookings and Payments page for more information.
Site information
  • A site is for one average sized caravan or tent, awning and one car and up to 6 people including children. Extra sites should be booked if you require more than this.
  • All caravans must be parked in designated areas as directed by the Reserve Manager or Reserve Staff. Non powered sites have no allocated or designated location, camp within approved areas within the campground.
  • All Caravans/Campervans must have a current electrical warrant of fitness.
  • If you are under the age of 18 you must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Please ensure that you keep all valuables secure at your site.
  • We do not accommodate long-term or permanent stays.
  • Do not empty chemical toilets, porta-loos or toilet cassettes in any park building including the toilets. The nearest location to do so is Ashhurst Domain Dump Station SH3/Napier Rd.
  • Electric BBQs are provided at both the Kahikatea and Kererū campgrounds for your use.
  • Cell phone reception can be patchy at the camping grounds, in the case of an emergency please look for the red emergency sign at the Kereru campsite where reception is the strongest and dial 111.


Drinking water

The park water supply is currently safe for drinking. Tōtara Reserve has a new UV water treatment system. As required by national drinking water standards, water is tested on a regular basis for E.coli which is an indicator of faecal contamination. If our regular tests reveal the need to boil water for drinking, hygiene and cleaning, signs will be displayed next to all taps on site. Signs will remain at taps and water will need to be boiled until we receive clear results for at least three consecutive days. At this time, signs will be removed.

If we have an alert to boil water we will also add this to the Tōtara Reserve Regional Park Facebook page so please check for updates if you have an upcoming booking. As conditions can change quickly we recommend bringing equipment to boil water just in case.

We also test for other quality measures, so if you notice any issues with the water please let us know by contacting the Campground Manager and emailing your comments to:  [email protected]

Camp rules
  • Please respect others. Reasonable behaviour is expected at all times, with quietness from 10pm to 7am. Music systems are to be kept at a non-obtrusive level during the day and switched off between 10pm and 7am.
  • Responsible consumption of alcohol which does not annoy, upset or offend others is permitted. Excessive drinking and parties which disrupt others are not permitted.
  • Misconduct, profanity, theft, vandalism and abuse towards staff will not be tolerated. Offenders will be evicted without refund. Reparation for any damage caused will be deducted from the credit card on file or required by the primary guest.


  • Site holders and group coordinators are responsible for the behaviour of any person or visitor on their site.
  • Day visitors are the ultimate responsibility of the registered guest and must leave quietly before 9pm. Please be aware that facilities are for our paying guests and in fairness to all guests we reserve the right to limit and remove visitors at management discretion.


Animals at the Reserve
  • Dogs and other pets are not permitted within the Reserve. Anyone found with a dog will be asked to remove it or leave immediately. The only exception is for registered disability assist dogs. Please advise staff at time of booking if you have disability assist dog.
  • Horses are permitted on a case-by-case basis, please contact the Campground Manager first to discuss your activity.


  • No fires except in the fire pit provided. All fires will be banned during any fire restrictions.
  • Swimming can only take place at Kererū campground. Swimming is prohibited at the Kahikatea camping ground due to unstable cliffs. Check out the latest recreational water quality results for the Pohangina River at Tōtara Reserve swim site on LAWA.
  • Hunting and shooting are not permitted anywhere within the Reserve.
  • Riding of motorcycles or quad bikes is not permitted within the Reserve.
  • No fireworks are permitted in the Reserve.
  • Young children must be supervised at all times in the campground.


Flood warnings

Automated flood warning systems have been installed at both the Kahikatea and Kererū campgrounds. These systems are designed to let you know when river levels are rising in plenty of time to pack up and evacuate the grounds. Should the flood sirens go off during your visit, please remain calm, ensure others are aware of the potential danger, and evacuate the Reserve. Authorities will be out shortly after the sirens sound to check and clear the area. A radar on the bridge at Piripiri takes continuous measurements of the Pohangina River’s height. At two metres it transmits a signal back to the Kahikatea camp warning system. The Kererū camp system is set to activate once this height reaches three metres. The difference in activation levels is due to different levels of flood protection.