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Piano Flat

Tracey Johnson, Heather Auckram

Piano Flat DoC standard campsite is a favourite spot an hour from Gore, Southland in the Waikaia Forest Conservation Area with the Waikaia River flowing through the expansive camping area. 

It’s a real Kiwi-style camp where you take everything you need to be self-sufficient — don’t skimp on the bug spray. 

Provided facilities include toilets, a water supply and an old style playground the kids can enjoy. Dogs are allowed too (on a leash) making it a great spot for the whole family. 

With access to tracks for the 4wd and trail bike enthusiasts, bush walks, relaxing surrounds, fire places to toast marshmallows and of course the river for fishing, rafting and swimming it,’s a popular spot. It’s always a memorable camping trip staying at Piano Flat. 

Tracey Johnson

All Points Camping, Southland


Piano flat, mid-week 

Only one other car-camper braving the cold night air at Piano Flat mid week in April, (cosy with a hot water bottle), but a mob of 4,000 ewes caused a fascinating road block. 

The sun went down early in the narrow river valley. Swarms of hungry sandflies, in our coffee, in our ears, in our car… $8 a night. 

The river flowed slowly past the campsite, so it would’ve been a perfect day for canoeing — if we had one. 

BY: Heather Aukram

Photos ©2022 Heather Auckram

'It would’ve been a perfect day for canoeing — if we had one.'

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