My Reid’s Farm Experience | Lake Taupo, NZ

by | New Zealand 2014

Reid’s Farm at Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Reid’s Farm is one of the probably hundreds of free camping sites in New Zealand. It is one of those places you are looking for while traveling on the north island with a limited budget and a backpack. Of course, you can go there by car or even arrive in a fancy caravan, but in a rush, you will never experience the unique energy this place offers.


I came here in the summer of 2014 after almost two weeks in the wilderness. I decided to take the bus to Taupo to have the opportunity to wash my clothes and sleep in a real bed. After one night in one of those cheap hostels, I knew I had to escape into nature again. If you want to keep it accurate, you must leave mainstream trials. So I was looking for Reid’s Farm. Someone – the only person I met on my journey through the wilderness told me about this place close to Taupo, but there was no entry on one of those official maps. Many camping sites were marked on the map, but I had to ask a couple of people till someone put a cross on a blanc spot close to the Waikato River.

Arriving there, I thought this was the right place to relax for a couple of days after the intense struggle. In the end, I stayed there for over a month with many short trips to Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park, and Rotarua. I stayed there for so long because of the people attracted by this place. Maybe this was just one of these rare occasions in life where the right kind of people meets at the right time in the perfect spot—this kind of “coincidental” community I had never experienced before.

MY Time on the “Farm”

Even though people were coming and going every day, there was a hardcore of individuals representing the epicenter of a new hippie community. There were no hierarchies nor rules, but somehow people took care of each other and organized the food and supplies they shared with everyone else. Those people maintained a resonance field that helped everyone who wanted to be a part of it quickly adapt to this unique paradigm of sharing and caring. They even built a place to cook and chill out for everyone.

Other fellow travelers inherited the responsibilities when some of this encampment’s “founding fathers” moved on. Without realizing it, I also got sucked into it by a mere observer who wanted to move on sooner than later, to the point I became a member of a more prominent tribe – the Reid’s Farm family.

For my Reid’s Farm Family

Of course, I had to leave one day like all others before, and new people replaced my part in the community, and hopefully, they carried on some of the energy I was fortunate to witness. I don’t know if this was just a rare phenomenon or if you could go there today and make the same observations and experiences. Maybe this place has a kind of energetic vortex that attracts a remarkable variety of individuals looking for love, friendship, spirituality, and freedom. Here are some of the photos I shot there. Hopefully, those pictures can describe a little bit of the magic paradise I found there.

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

“Peace out to all my brothers and sisters from Reid’s Farm. I love you all!”


About the Author

Hi, my name is Christian Köhlert, and I am a photographer and digital content creator living most of the time in Montreux, Switzerland. Between 2014 and 2015, I traveled to New Zealand to visit an old friend. This experience was unique, and I documented my whole journey in pictures. I have many more in my Travel Photography Blog if you like what I presented here.

Christian Koehlert Founder of Mayamagik


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