Putai Ngahere Domain (Vinegar Hill)

This 30.84ha reserve is one of the District's most popular and well-used picnic and camping reserves.

Main Attractions

The bush entrance to the reserve features giant redwood, totara and other native species. The reserve provides for a range of recreation activities including swimming, fishing, whitewater rafting and canoeing. It is a popular holiday camping spot for families and large groups. There are three main camping areas but people can camp where they wish. There are showers (cold) available but no BBQ's.

We have been working hard to ensure we provide a safe and enjoyable place for everyone over summer so we ask that you read and respect the following guidelines:

  • Use the litter bins provided or take your litter away with you.
  • Be considerate. Other people have the right to stay here as well.
  • Please keep noise down to a respectful level after 11pm. For New Year's Eve this will be after 2am.
  • Bonfires and the use of wood fires is prohibited.
  • Drink driving laws apply within the reserve.
  • No dogs are permitted on the reserve between Labour weekend and Easter weekend.

Summer Season

Vinegar Hill is the place to be over the Summer months. It is the hub for our LGBTQ community over New Years as well. Fees to stay at Vinegar Hill come into effect December 15th through to February 9th. Outside of that period camping is free.

Important Information

  • Cellphone coverage is limited in the reserve. You can try calling close to the solar lights located within the reserve.
  • The reserve has flood warning sirens which give all campers time to evacuate to higher ground in the event of an emergency. Please make yourself familiar with the instructions on the flood warning signboards near the siren poles.

Local Services

The town of Hunterville is located 10 minutes drive south on State Highway 1.

  • St John Ambulance services are based in Hunterville for medical emergencies.
  • There are Doctors surgeries located in Marton and Taihape which are 20 minutes away. City Doctors, located in Palmerston North, are a 45 minute drive south. They are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
  • Food, coffee, and basic groceries are available in Hunterville.
  • There are also two gas stations and a mechanics should you need it.

Winter Season

Fees are not collected during this time. Please continue to respect the above guidelines and check the weather and river levels before camping.

Please note that the south end of the Reserve is locked off to the public during the winter season.


This reserve is located at the northern end of the Cheltenham-Hunterville Road just before State Highway 54 crosses the bridge to become the Vinegar Hill Road - Google Map.