June 2016
This non-statutory management plan was developed to ensure effective management of the Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve near Lake Taupō for a period of ten years 2016-2026.

This non-statutory management plan was developed to ensure effective management of the Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve near Lake Taupō for a period of ten years 2016-2026.


1 Dec 2016 changes to camping at Whakaipō Bay


Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve is located on the northern shores of Lake Taupō, approximately 11 kilometres from the Taupō town centre and accessed via Māpara Road. The Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve is 45.4 hectares in land area, and is highly valued by the community as a unique and beautiful place that is treasured for its serenity and unspoilt feel. Despite only being a fifteen minute drive from Taupō township, Whakaipō Bay has a remoteness and ‘out of this world’ quality that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Whakaipō Bay and the land within the reserve has significant historical and cultural value to Māori.

How the plan developed

Increasing recreational use of the reserve, and the growth of freedom camping following the enactment of the Freedom Camping Act 2011, was placing increasing pressure on Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve. There was also community concern emerging regarding the management of the reserve. 

The Department's response was to initiate a project plan to undertake public consultation and formulation of a non-statutory management plan.  

Community input

Whilst this has been a project lead by the Department, the philosophy of the project has been ‘He waka eke noa’, meaning ‘a canoe which we are all in with no exception’. A project steering group was formed with representatives from the Department of Conservation, the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board, Taupō District Council and the community. A working group was also formed including a community representative, and a substantial community consultation process was launched.  

About the plan

The management plan is a non-statutory document designed to assist DOC and the wider community to manage the significant values that exist on the reserve. In particular the management plan will assist with identifying values and setting priorities for physical works and projects on the reserve, and as a means of building stronger relationships with community groups, local hapū and other organisations in the delivery of those works and projects.

Purpose of the plan

The objective of the plan is to ensure effective management of the Whakaipō Bay area for the next ten years.

The overall management goal is to maintain and protect Whakaipō Bay as a beautiful area valued by locals, while maximising its recreational use. There are four focus areas for the management plan aligned with DOC’s intermediate outcomes: 

  • Recreational use: Whakaipō Bay continues to be valued as a recreation destination for local users and for those from further afield.
  • Cultural:  The cultural values associated with Whakaipō Bay are understood and respected. The cultural values are communicated to the community and recreational users of Whakaipō Bay.
  • Biodiversity enhancement: Investigate, restore and enhance the biodiversity in Whakaipō Bay. Communicate the biodiversity values and works done to restore this, to all stakeholders and the community.
  • Community:  The community use of Whakaipō Bay is valued, respected and encouraged.  The community are actively involved in the ecological restoration of Whakaipō Bay. Safety and security are important to encourage active community use. 

Publication information

Published by the Department of Conservation


Taupo Office
Phone:   +64 7 376 0072
Address:   37 Motutaiko Street
Taupo 3330
Postal Address:   PO Box 528
Taupo 3351
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