What is Ōtaki Summer Camp?

Ōtaki Summer Camp is a political summer camp aimed at people aged 17 – 35 years old, but the age is flexible. It’s a chance to hear and discuss interesting ideas, meet and get to know others who care, and explore local mountains, forests and rivers with experienced guides.

The camp will be welcoming, fun, and safe – and we have deliberately kept the price as low as possible.

Read more: About Ōtaki Summer Camp

HOW MUCH IS IT? AND What if I can't afford IT?

The cost to attend (including all food and accommodation) is $140 per person – but this is reduced to $110 if you pay before the 20th of December.

We have tried to keep the price of tickets as low as possible, but realise that cost may still be a barrier to some.

For that reason, we offer sponsored tickets for anyone who requires financial assistance. The price of each sponsored ticket is $30, thanks to support from a number of generous donors. The number of people we can give sponsored tickets to will depend on the availability of funds.

If you need help attending, please fill out the form below to tell us a bit about yourself and why you would like to come to Ōtaki Summer Camp.

Apply for a sponsored ticket here


May I come if I am under 17 or over 35?

Ōtaki Summer Camp is aimed at 17 to 35 year-olds. However, the age limit is flexible.

If you are a bit under or over the age range please discuss with us. You will be able to do this on the registration form.  Those who have attended a previous camp, are welcome again at this one, irrespective of whether you are now over 35.

If you are 16 or younger, we want to make sure you are safe during the weekend. You will need permission from a parent or guardian to attend, and you will need to be at camp with an adult who is 18 or over and is responsible for you. (You will be asked to provide contact details of your guardian, and the adult responsible for you, on the registration form.)


Where is Ōtaki Summer Camp being held?

Summer Camp is held on an organic farm converted into a large, safe, fun camp complex, just outside of Ōtaki township.

How can I support Ōtaki Summer Camp?

Your could:
– tell young people about camp and encourage them to attend.
– sponsor someone to attend camp @$80 per ticket or make a donation towards running camp; see our Sponsors link.
– help at a pre-camp working bee – they will be advertised on the camp facebook page.

What about COVID-19?

We’ve been working with a bunch of experts to figure out our best approach with Covid-19, and the contingency plans.
We’ll be sure to keep everyone updated, and will follow government guidelines to keep camp safe.
Please check our COVID-19 page where we’ll provide information on government regulations, and health guidelines as they become available.
In the unlikely event of the camp being cancelled because of COVID, all tickets will be fully refunded.

What are the travel options for getting to the camp?


Public transport

If you are arriving by public transport, we are happy to come and pick you up from the bus or train station in Ōtaki. Please email us at  [email protected] letting us know where you will be and your arrival and departure times. If you have any problems or find yourself stranded on the day – please call Jan on 021458232.



Intercity buses leave Wellington Central (from the railway station) and stop at Ōtaki.  These must be booked. The trip takes 1 hour 20 mins from Wellington and costs $28.

Intercity also runs services from other towns/cities in the North Island. 


The commuter train from Wellington goes to Waikanae (south of Ōtaki), then you walk 50m to change to the 290 bus service from Waikanae to Ōtaki. Cost train $14 cash (5.52 snapper card off-peak) + bus $6 cash (2.25 snapper card off-peak)

  • Weekends/Public Holidays: connecting commuter trains leave Wellington hourly from 7:14 am (9:00am) to 3:14pm (5:00pm)
    Returning: 290 Bus Departs Otaki Library on the hour, connecting with commuter train to Wellington.

The Airport Bus travels between the Airport and Railway station every 10-15 minutes. Cost $10:00 cash ($7.96 snapper card)


Closer to the time, those who are registered will be able to use our Facebook group to link up with people who have spare seats in their car and to let others know if you have a spot in your vehicle.

When is camp?

Camp is from Saturday the 20th to Monday the 22nd of January, 2024.

Registration opens at 7am on Saturday.
On Monday we have a poroporoaki/farewell at 3.30pm, with camp officially finishing at 4pm.
What is accessibility like?

The farm is flat and ramps are being provided.

Please email [email protected] if you would like to discuss accessibility, including the outdoor activities.

We will do everything we can to make sure the camp works for everyone who wants to come.

What is the refund policy?

If you buy a ticket to Ōtaki Summer Camp, and then are unable to attend, or change your mind, you can email us at  [email protected] up to January 8 you will be given a full refund. Between January 9 and January 15, we can offer a 50% refund, and if it is less than a week until the camp we cannot offer a refund.
If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch by emailing [email protected].

What are the accommodation options?

A variety of different options are available:
– Camping is available nearby on private land at no cost. You can:
     * bring your own tent, or
     * sleep in shared marquees (limited space available.)
                There will be separate marquees for women, men and non-binary folks, as well as a gender-neutral marquee.
– make private arrangements to stay in Otaki township or Otaki beach.

Read more below: What do I need to bring?

What do I need to bring?

In order for your time at Ōtaki Summer Camp to be comfortable, fun, and safe, we ask that you come prepared. 

Sleeping arrangements

Nearby land will be available for you to bring your own tent, or else sleep in shared marquees. There will be separate marquees for women, men and non-binary folks, as well as a gender-neutral marquee.

If you can bring a tent, that will be best, as marquee space is limited.

If you are staying on the nearby land, in the marquees or your own tent: you’ll need a sleeping bag, bedroll, and, if you want, a pillow.


It is essential you bring your own utensils, plus a plate, a bowl, and a cup and/or a mug; in a bag to hang on the fence.

Clothing and personal items

Please come prepared for hot and cold weather (e.g. hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and togs and towel; and raincoat and warm clothes).

Remember any personal medication.

Please remember that you will need a suitable form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license or student ID, when you register at the beginning of the camp. Please contact us if you have any problem with this.

For the outdoor trips

There will be outdoors trips for several hours on the Sunday, including tramping, bush walking and exploring streams and rivers. It will be a great time for getting to know other people and  is a major part of the camp. Being in the bush and around rivers is safer and more enjoyable when you are well prepared.

Please bring the following for these trips:

– Outdoor shoes or boots that you don’t mind getting wet (it is important that shoes and boots are comfortable)

– A spare set of clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and wet

– A raincoat

– An extra warm top

– Togs

– Sunscreen

– Snacks for the trip

– A water bottle and (if you have one) a small backpack (lined inside with a large plastic bag) to carry these things

(Picnic lunches will be provided.)


Contact us if you need more info

You are welcome to contact us if you have any problems about things you need to bring: [email protected]

What should I bring for the outdoor trips?

We will have a range of outdoor trips that you can attend. These will include tramping, bushwalking and exploring streams and rivers.

Being in the bush and around rivers is safer and more enjoyable when you are well prepared.

Please bring outdoor shoes or boots that you don’t mind getting wet (it is important that shoes and boots are comfortable), a spare set of clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and wet, a raincoat, an extra warm top, togs, sunscreen, snacks, a water bottle and (if you have one) a small backpack (lined inside with a large plastic bag) to carry these things. Picnic lunches will be provided.

What safety measures are in place during camp?

The most important thing at the camp is that everyone feels welcome and safe.

There will be organisers and Discussion Leaders in bright orange t-shirts; kaiāwhina in pale blue t-shirts,  around at all hours, so please ask for help at any time you have a question, concern or feel unsafe.

There will also be a mobile number you can call 24 hours a day.

There will also be people looking after the camping/sleeping areas.

Read more: Code of Conduct

What food is provided?

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided during the camp as part of the ticket price.

Tea, coffee, and water will be made available throughout.

We are able to provide vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free meals. If you have these or any other dietary requirements or preferences, please note those when you purchase your ticket, or by emailing [email protected].

Can I smoke/VAPE at camp?

There will be a designated smoking / vaping area.

Can I drink alcohol at camp?

No. This is an alcohol-free event.

May I consume illegal drugs at camp?

No. Anyone using them will be asked to leave.

Can I bring my dog to camp?

In general, dogs are not allowed at camp. Service dogs are welcome, but please mention this when you purchase your ticket.