MEDIA RELEASE: Lake Ferry Campsite Lease

30 June 2023

South Wairarapa District Council and Mrs. Mary Tipoki are pleased to confirm that a mutually acceptable end to the long-term Lake Ferry Holiday Park lease has been reached. 

 Mary Tipoki’s long-term tenure as operator of the Lake Ferry Holiday Park will come to an end on  30 June 2023, with South Wairarapa District Council purchasing the assets of the campground.

The Council’s Manager of Partnerships and Operations, James O’Connor, said he is grateful for the constructive way that Mrs. Tipoki has engaged with Council to reach an outcome that meets the needs of both parties.

Mr. O’Connor added, “I’d like to acknowledge the huge amount of mahi done by the Tipoki whanau at the holiday park over a long period of time”.

Mrs. Tipoki said “I have loved providing a place for people to stay in South Wairarapa. This place is a home away from home for many of the residents and we have always tried to do our best for them.”

She added that she is now looking forward to spending more time with her whanau.

The Council has loan-funded the purchase of the assets with repayments largely being met through proceeds from the holiday park.

The holiday park has over 80 privately owned caravans with associated awnings, verandas and decks that stay onsite permanently. Mr. O’Connor explained that the intention is to allow these to remain, provided they are compliant with the requirements of Camping Ground Regulations.

Mr. O’Connor said that with the Wairarapa becoming New Zealand’s second International Dark Sky Reserve in January 2023, Council anticipates increasing demand for its more remote destinations, such as Lake Ferry.

The Council is currently engaged in conversations with a potential new leaseholder who has a reputable track record. Once an agreement has been reached, Council will put out a further press release. The new leaseholder will help Council with development of the site.


Lake Ferry is one of South Wairarapa’s most accessible coastal destinations, providing visitors with access to other sites of interest such as the pinnacles, the Cape Palliser lighthouse, and seal colonies, as well as recreational activities like kayaking, walking, and fishing.

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