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“Best spot on the heads” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blue Heron Waterfront Holiday Park

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Blue Heron Waterfront Holiday Park
Certificate of Excellence
Tauranga, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best spot on the heads”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

My mate and I drove in late looking for a place to stay as the sun was going down - owner put us right at the end of the campground right next to the water. Listening to the tide come in over night was probably one of the most sleep-inducing experiences I've ever had.
Best rest of our trip North! Awesome facilities and friendly people.
Thanks mate!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank leonwrite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    51
    17
    5
    3
    9
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24
44
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3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2014 via mobile

Really loved being beside the water camping. The bird life and water lapping were a delight to wake up to. We were in a fairly large group of 9 tents and were lucky we could take up the whole end of the water front
Peninsula. Great to be able to take our wee dog, in fact there were so many dogs and all were really well behaved and I did not see one unattended dog poo! So full credit to all dog owners.
Facilities were fairly clean, shower was a bit frustrating at 50cents for 5 mins but it took 1.5 mins for the heat to come thru shower so take two coins and pay $1 for 8 minutes if you want to wash your hair. Small toilet block. Be better to have a separate shower room as its not nice hearing people doing their business while you are showering. Kitchen area clean and a pleasure to use/share with others.
Great location, owners very nice and accommodating. Encouraged feedback good or bad (so they can improve on things if needed) on this website.
A little pricier than I expected for tent camping ($85 per night) as I pay less for a kitchen cabin at Sandspit Holiday park, water side ($75 per night) but would definately go back again.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Gabrielle P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newark-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
224 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2014

Very well organised and nothing too much trouble. Good layout. The lower area juts out into Whangarei Harbour giving every powered site a waterside location and a direct view over the bay.
Good, clean facilities and a delightful couple managing the site. Drinkable water supply. Dump site sensibly located away and with space to turn.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Aitku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch
Level Contributor
155 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2014

We have stayed previously at Blue Heron two years ago (in a cabin) and returned in the weekend with our caravan. Having read the negative reviews, I would like to try and present a balance. The location is superb. Right on the waterfront. There is a launching ramp for small boats. I personally found the location to be perfect but I don't have young children who need sand and no rocks.
I was surprised at the comments regarding the cleanliness of the facilities. I found everything to be pristine. The camp was reasonably full but it wasn't the Christmas holidays so it might be a different story then.
I did not meet Bill and Pam because they were on holiday and the owners were in residence. They were nice, helpful people, very personable. I have no complaints. Our small gripe is that we wanted to park on the hard and there was a large RV parked across that area right in the middle. The resident in the RV informed me that "she lived in the park" and had to park that way to get television reception. I personally did not think that was a good enough reason to take up extra space. No other campground would allow that and especially not for television reception! We parked there regardless but had to be much closer than we would have liked. Apparently this lady helps out in the camp which was probably means free parking so I don't feel her behaviour should have impacted on the guests.
My personal preference would be not to have dogs in a camp ground. Even on a lead, the owners seem to think that people like dogs to lick them and sniff around them. Sorry AB but I wouldn't want to inch my way around your dog to get into the bathroom. If dogs are allowed they need to be confined to the campsite to which they belong.
Our biggest gripe was with the showers. For 50c you get a 5 minute shower but by the time the water got hot, there was 1.40 minutes left of the shower. The camp fees are more than other camps along the Coast AND you have to pay for a pathetic shower.
None of the above would stop me going back there though. I guess it is all about expectation

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DebHnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2014

I feel that MrsBeenz (another reviewer) was me and don't belive i will be able to say it as well as her!! - they had the same terrible experience as us, prepaid, sites wouldn't fit our tent, we were told to try a site right next to the entrance gate - literally 300mm from the road, still our tent would not quite fit - never had this problem before...no room anywhere close for the car or trailer and no where for kids to play - having had to book from out of Whangarei we really struggled to find any good information on the site - alas they refused refund and we had to keep on driving with three young children in hope that we could find another campsite. I forgot also to mention the dog poo around the campsite...I could not get over the thought of gifting these 'theives' my prepaid booking. I feel it was theft not refunding us when there were other sites still vacant... even if we had got to fit it was overpriced, undersized site, dirty grounds and a very unpleasant beach (sharp rocks). The silver lining......Fortunately we continued further out on the heads and came across an amazing campground called 'Treasure Island' - the managers were completely sympathetic and looked after us for the weekend - wonderful... in summary: DON'T GO TO BLUE HERON - DO GO TO TREASURE ISLAND...trust this helps other would be campers!

Room Tip: We were a family intending to tent and would not reccomend this campground to other families
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ClarkieBK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2014

Firstly to Bill and Pam, thank you, what a wonderful time my family of 6 including our dog had. You were so helpful and always went out of your way. The rules regarding our Dog were common sense, we were pleased that the dogs weren't allowed in the communal areas, after all i don't want my own dogs hair in my food let alone someone else. I would take my dog over to the toilet with me and he would wait outside, when we were cooking again he would wait outside. If you don't want to spend time with your animal then don't take it put it in a kennel. We spent over two weeks camping at this camp ground and it was always clean, tidy and the grounds maintained. Bill and Pam were helpful with where to take the kids, where to eat out, when to fish, what bait to use, how to use the laundry, what to do with the showers and the gas cooking. The cleaners were also helpful, Maureen was always smiling and the toilets and kitchen were always clean and tidy. Comments about the showers not been intimate (WE ARE CAMPING) if you want to be intimate get a hotel room!!!!!! Comments about the grounds been hard (IT'S SUMMER, NO RAIN), maybe try putting your tent up before 8.30pm.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2014

This camp site is for sale which I think has a massive impact on how it is run. We tried booking over the phone but were told we needed to book through the AA website and it was a minimum 5 night stay. We have a large canvas tent, a trailer and car and were told 11B would be suitable so we requested that. We had to pay up front on the AA website and there were no refunds under any circumstances. I will never make that mistake again. It cost just over $100 per night for a camp site for 2 adults and 3 children (5, 7 & 10) - the most we have ever paid.

Once booked we received an email from the managers (Bill and Pam) confirming our booking saying we were not allowed to check in before 3pm and if we arrived earlier we should consider paying for an extra night (the AA site states check in time is 2pm). They also emailed us 18 rules that we needed to abide by.

Upon check in we were told the camp site we had requested was no longer available and they'd show us other sites. This camp site is really small and in my opinion is not suitable for tenting. The sites are all hard, muddy (little grass) and has lots of stones (which tenters know, this damages the underside of your tent). Some sites would only be suitable for a small 4 man tent and I doubt whether you'd get your car on it aswell (you have to have your car on the site - 1 of the rules). We didn't complain and chose the only real option of camp site 1. This is right next to the front gate (next to the public boat ramp) so I was concerned for the entire stay that we were vulnerable in terms of theft as there was no gate, cameras or security.

We arrived on Sunday 26th January (and stayed for the required 5 nights), and the toilets/showers were not cleaned until I complained on the Wednesday. I complained to Pam and told her I thought the standards were low and we'd paid too much. I showed her the pooh mark on the button for the toilet, the grime around the taps, the shower foot area that hadn't been cleaned and gave her the hand towels that hadn't been changed. She told me that her job was to manage the park and that the cleaning of the toilet blocks was the cleaner's job (he lives on site). She said she had told the owner he was useless but they didn't want to do anything about it. She told me the cleaner had 1 eye and couldn't see properly! I asked her who I should complain to and she said she'd pass a written email onto the owner. I haven't bothered and I get the feeling it would be a total waste of time!

Other things that irritated me: If 2 people used the shower at the same time, there was no pressure; the kitchen only had 2 sinks (only 1 had a plug); the fridge was broken and froze all our food, so we had to throw away some previously cooked meat and eggs; the wifi was only available in th kitchen (and there were strict regulations about its use); there were some permanent people living on the site (about 4 plus 2 managers) and on a small site that is virtually empty (I wonder why!) you feel out numbered; the camp site is really exposed to the wind; you are not allowed to string up your own washing lines for drying clothes and the 1 shared one has rusty string parts; cleanliness was disgusting for the price and the washing machines had drime on the underside.

In summary my opinion is that it would be fine to stay there for 1 night in a camper van. It is not suitable for kids. It is small and all the rules do not fit with family life.

Its a shame, it was obviously a well run park in it's day (looking at past reviews) but Pam and Bill are dreadful managers, I can only assume the owners are waiting for someone to buy the land to develop it so longer care. If that is the case, my advice would be for them to drop their prices to reflect the service on offer.

My advice? Go somewhere else.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mrsbeenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blue Heron Waterfront Holiday Park

Property: Blue Heron Waterfront Holiday Park
Address: Blue Heron Waterfront Holiday Park 85 Scott Road RD 4 | Tamaterau, Whangarei Heads 0174, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Whangarei Heads
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Whangarei Heads

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