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“A home for our house bus”

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Big Bay Holiday Park
Reviewed 9 January 2013

My partner and I spent this last New Years at Big Bay Holiday Park on our House Bus, and had an incredible time! Helen, Ian and their family are super lovely and welcoming - they took great care of us, and were more than helpful when we were looking for things to do around the area too - kayaking, vineyards, lighthouse, steam train, there are lots of things to do!

The pizza oven is a HUGE plus and makes cooking heaps of fun, the beach is lovely, the people are wonderful....this is a great place to stay!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Alix W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (32)
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23 - 29 of 32 reviews

Reviewed 7 January 2013

Living in Pukekohe this is a very handy location for us, although we have done a number of trips to Big Bay, we had never stayed at the camping ground so this was a first for us. We do have friends that go there quite often, so we knew people, but everybody was very friendly, the owners are very friendly and we enjoyed it so much, that as we checked out we booked our stay for next year. We stayed in one of the kitchen cabins which has a basic kitchen and 2 bedrooms, you use the camp facilities for showering and ablutions, but that is all good, if you want 5 star accommodation go and stay somewhere else, if you want a quiet relaxing family holiday, go and stay at Big Bay Camping Ground.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Twopie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2013

It was the worst holiday ever, we have never come across someone who blatantly lies in front of your face and makes up her stories as she goes.

When we made the booking we paid for the 5 days as she stated in an email. I had asked a few days later enquiring about my sick mother (who is on dialysis 3 times a week) if she could stay for one night on New Year’s Eve to see the New Year in and to be with her daughter my sister on her 25th birthday, and she said there are no availabilities for that night. I left it at that - thinking that when mum and dad come New Years Eve they can stay in our tent, it shouldn’t be a problem as they visiting us for the night and we will continue our stay for a couple more days after.

We arrived on the Saturday 29th and were asked to move one of our cars as it was blocking the driveway,
(We had 2 cars 1 for each site) when the car was parked we checked to make sure it was not blocking any cars in and made sure cars can come through. The next morning I queried this with Ian and his reply was that it is a driveway and all cars should really be parked on the site within the marked areas or on the road. When I looked around the camp there was absolutely no car parked on the site as the sites are extremely small. Initially I asked her what the sizes of the sites and she said 7x7m, there is no way the site could have been more than 5-6m. At this moment I had asked again if there were any cancellations for a cabin for the night. Helen said no there is nothing available and she will not take any one night stays people have to book for 5 nights. I had asked her to make it clear that even if there was a cancellation and availabilities would she be kind enough to let mum stay and she said no. so I left it at that and said that ok then mum and dad can stay in my tent for the night then.
The next day sitting having a coffee in the morning we notice a young couple who arrived the day before, were packing their things up and leaving. We were confused and thought you couldn’t stay one night, we shrugged it off. We then noticed two of the families from the 2 separate cabins were allowed to have 2 parking spaces. One parked his trailer by the cabin and the van on the grass patch closet to the building. The other had a van and a bmw which parked day and night. New Year’s morning, a friend went to get tokens and was passed on a message that the people who snuck in yesterday needs to come and pay. I went to the office and spoke to Helen, and she asked if we had guest that came to stay and I said yes but hadn’t realized that they hadn’t signed in when they arrived. I apologized and went and got the money to pay for them. My husband soon after about 1 hour later had gone to buy an ice block and he too was sent a message that the guests should leave or pay for another night. I was a little confused and annoyed as it wasn’t long ago that I had gone to sort things out with her, not realising that if they wanted to stay longer they had to pay again (we were going to spend the day on the beach not like they were going to be on the camp site whole day) I thought it would be ok for them to be there for the day as well. Anyways I went back and spoke to her, she ushered me outside and asked me what’s the problem, and I told her what’s wrong. From day one it seemed like she had issues with us telling us we can do this and can do that and can’t do this and can’t do that, this was the last straw. I asked her what’s her problem with us, her reply was, I don’t like you SNEAKING people into her holiday park! I told her I am sorry I hadn’t realised mum and dad hadn’t signed in yesterday she then continued to tell me that if they signed in yesterday she wouldn’t have allowed them on the property as they were not booked for 5 nights. She again said that I snuck my mother and father in and that when I questioned her rules about parking and her night stays. ( we were right in front right by the office how I was aiming to sneak my mother and father in I don’t know, my parents were still on the property at this point they haven’t left but accused me of sneaking them in even after we paid her for them) when I mentioned the families with 2 parking spaces she told me the van and trailer were 2 different peoples, my friend then piped in and said no its both the one cabins she then changes her story and say oh well they have been told to move it and they haven’t and we can’t force them!!!!! At this point I had to walk away as she obviously makes up her rules as she goes and it was not worth getting upset over her ignorance. My father then came over and tried to settle things with her and she would not have a bar of it also, it ended up mum and dad leaving and going home. we myself and my husband and friends were really amazed with her accusations and the way she spoke to us and treated us... her husband on the other hand had nothing to say at the time of the discussion but was funnily quite friendly to my husband very soon after. the night before we left Helen and Ian and his family were having a merry time at the bbq area and made a noise till 11.30pm and noticed they were quite friendly with the people who had 2 parking’s - it all made sense to us then. It’s not what you know it’s who you know!!!!

2 years ago we camped there for new years for 3 nights mum and dad stayed 2 nights in the cabin (she said it’s always been her policy to charge 5 nights minimum stay for this time of the year- either she is going senile or just don’t know what her rules are) we had an amazing time and loved it that why we went back this time but was ever so sorry we did- a total waste of our money, the token story was a joke! Fellow campers had told us they were given tokens for free and free fish and chips!

I would never go there again!

Don’t stay here!

Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
3  Thank zeenahumby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

We have just had the most wonderful week at Big Bay. Helen , Ian and their family were very lovely as well as being very friendly and easy to deal with.We stayed in a chalet that was very clean. The toilets and showers were very clean considering the number of people they had staying at the camping grounds. As for the showers not being long enough: I had 3 teenage girls with me, all of whom had thick longhair that went past their waist and they all had no problem both washing and conditioning their hair in 5 minutes given by one 50cent token. We all know what teenage girls are like. Noise of passing over airlines was heard but at a minimal scale, which definitly did not effect our holiday in any way. We made alot of new friends here and we will be back again. Highly recommended

Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
2  Thank Tracey G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2013

We found the female manager to be quite frankly rude. It started with an arguement over payment on arrival when she tried to charge us when we'd already paid over the internet. There was no chemical waste station for our camper the closest was 40 mins away in Waiuku! There was no obvious recycling station. There were no hand towels or drying facitities in the toilets. The showers cost 50 cents for 5 mins and she wouldnt sell me more than one token for each family member per day so I couldnt wash my waist length hair. There was a ring of slime around the bottom of the public shower I used. The powered site we were allocated was small (our awning wouldnt fit) with very little privacy. The noise from planes which flew directly overhead day and night to and from Auckland International Airport was terrible and we wouldnt have booked if this was mentioned on their website. The final straw was when my parents came to pick up the kids for a swim and were there 5 minutes when she stormed down and demanded they come to the office and pay a visitors fee of $3 each. For what?! They didnt even use the toilet!! The only thing going for this place is the beautiful beach across the road.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Karlene A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

We have just had the most wonderful week at Big Bay , Both Helen and Ian were more than accommodating , Thay gave us one of the most memorable experiences , The best fish and chips around , the burgers ar to die for . The beach should be one we should all see or at least visit , thanks again and will be back in the new year :).
Recomend to ALL

Room Tip: All cabins ar good , but we stayed in our tent , beautiful weather .
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Jack T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

We first booked with Helen and Ian at Big Bay for Christmas but due to unforseen circumstances had to cut our trip short and go home. We came back at Easter with family and had the best camping trip ever. The weather was perfect, the camp ground was perfect and Ian and Helen and their family were just fantastic. We will certainly be coming back for more holidays. Keep up the good work Ian and Helen.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Debbie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Big Bay Holiday Park

Address: 271 Big Bay Road | Awhitu Peninsula, Waiuku, Auckland 2684, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Auckland > Waiuku
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Waiuku
Price Range: £47 - £74 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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