A. The Vinegar Hill campsite is open to all. The camp is divided in to two distinct areas, with the two being distinguished as the 'straight' and 'gay' ends. Of course its entirely up to you where you choose to camp, with the 'gay' end tending to be the party and entertainment area, and the 'straight' end a more traditional quiet camping experience. Vinegar Hill provides a safe and welcoming environment for the LGBT community and their families. Everyone is asked to visit the Queen on the first day to be given a welcome pack and arrange fees.
The Palace will be signposted and centrally located.
A. The site itself is big enough to accommodate large groups
as well as small. The camp follows the course of the
Rangitikei River and is a wide flat strip that tapers into
hills on one side, and towards the river banks on the other
with a central road. Toilets and water supply are located in
the middle of both sections of the camp.
At the farthest end of the camp the road lowers and makes a loop closer to the river. This area is more laid back and quiet while the central area is home to the entertainment and campfire areas and generally has the majority of campers taking up every available space!
A. The most diehard campers arrive at Vinegar Hill well before Christmas! The schedule of events that attract most people takes place between the 26th December Boxing Day and January 1st New Years Day. Many people also choose to stay on after New Years for a more relaxing break. See our events page for a list of this years entertainment.
A. Every year is different, but at any stage there can be up
to 1500 people at a time, especially around the
New Years Eve peak time. People come from all across the country and there is a huge cross section of people represented. Vinegar Hill has something to offer everyone.
A. It depends what you've heard! Of course some of the
stories are true! Making great friends and having awesome
experiences is definately true. Of course some stories are
not true! Whilst Vinegar Hill has a long history, this is
NOT a gay sauna in the middle of the wilderness! If you're
comfortable with places like the BigGayOut, then you'll be
fine at Vinegar Hill. Its not nudist or seedy. The only way
to really know is to come
and find out!
A. You are welcome to bring your Dog. Many people choose to do this so please be respectful of others, make sure your dog is controlled and ensure that any messes are taken care of.
A. Please refer to the location page for approximate driving times and a location map. Palmerston North is the closest Airport to Vinegar Hill with regular Air New Zealand connections across the country.
A. The Queen is responsible for collecting camp fees and
paying these to the council on behalf of all campers.
This year fees will be set at $5 per person per night for all nights between 26th December and January 1st. Camp fees are very important to the ongoing success of Vinegar Hill and payment is greatly appreciated. This covers your camp site, toilets and cold showers, cleaning of facilities, rubbish removal and all entertainment during your stay. This is great value compared to many regular sites across the country and you are ensured of a welcoming and supportive environment. This year, each nights camp fees paid puts you in the draw to WIN an LG 26" LCD TV! (eg, pay for 6 nights, get 6 chances to win!)
A. Hunterville is the closest town to Vinegar Hill, a 5 minute drive down the highway. Here you will find a well stocked 4Square, BP petrol station, two pubs, takeaways and cafe, a hotel and motel, ice cream store and a few small shops with a range of items you may need during your stay. Yes you can get your espresso coffee hit here too! The 4Square and BP both have ice and gas bottle fills available and are open extended hours during the holiday season, but beware to check hours for public holidays. It is a 30 minute drive to Fielding (closest full supermarket and Warehouse etc) Taihape is 40 mins North, and 45 mins South to Palmerston North for other items you might need.
A. Hunterville has a few small places to eat out, ranging from a quick take away to a full meal at the local pubs. You can eat in or bring food back to the camp.
A.Vinegar Hill Camping is a long established tradition and has a very good relationship with the community around it. The friendly Police make regular patrols and the people of Hunterville are welcoming and understanding of the event. In fact, as Vinegar Hill is the biggest event to hit the region each year, many of the locals turn up in support on New Years Eve, and to enjoy the events taking place. As with all events involving large groups of people please make sure you keep your valuables in a safe place, and let the Queen know as soon as possible of any problems. Crime against others won't be tolerated and the police can and will be involved.
A. None of the camp is powered. The Queen takes responsibility for power generators to run bathroom lighting and for entertainment. The Hotel in Hunterville has hot showers and a breakfast included deal for those that want to take advantage of this. Many people choose to take a generator with them, and as you can see in the photo's there are a huge range of alternatives available such as solar equipment. If you do decide to bring generators, please use responsibly and be mindful of others.
A. Basically everything you need to be comfortable. Tents, campervans and caravans are all welcome. A huge amount of effort goes into some campsites as there are a variety of awards handed out on New Years Eve in a range of 'Best Of' catergories. Nights can be cold so make sure you have warm clothes. Occasionally it will rain so make sure you have protection from the elements too. A Chilly Bin is recommended for food and ice is available each day in Hunterville to keep it cold. There are no cooking facilities at the campsite so you'll need to think about this too. See the photo's page for more ideas
A. There is a beach, but not like you are used to! Vinegar Hill is set in a reserve beside the Rangitikei River which has a sandy shore on one side right next to the camp. Many sites also back on to the river giving fabulous views. The River provides opportunites for swimming and is also where the annual River Raft Race takes place. Many people choose to relax their days away on the shores.
A. Cellphone coverage has been limited during past years but steadily improving in the camp itself, coverage is best in Hunterville and surrounding areas. This year both Vodafone and Telecom have made extensive investments in their networks which fingers crossed hopefully will have solved the problem for this years camp. If you rely on coverage, don't count on having it inside the camp.
A. With up to 1500 people its a huge gay event with a bonfire the size of a house, full stage spectacular including Drag Shows and other entertainment, The Traditional Vinegar Hill Awards, crowning of the new Queen, New Years countdown finished up with an Outdoor Sound System pumping out Party Music till sunrise.
A. Vinegar Hill is about much more than camping. Its gives people a chance to celebrate diversity, and for everyone to come together and celebrate in a safe welcoming environment. There is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure everyone enjoys themselves as much as possible. Everyone is encouraged to take part and events are designed to have a 'something for everyone' feel about them. Of course its entirely up to you what you choose to join in on while you are there. Its a great opportunity to meet new people from across the country and enjoy new experiences.