About Narrows

Narrows Park was established as a Christian Camp in 1953. Narrows is a registered non profit organisation and today it operates largely as a leadership farm, working predominantly with youth and young adults, developing leadership skills and providing practical opportunities in a camp environment.

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When Narrows isn't running camps we hosts groups including church camps, sporting groups, school camps, community organisations, weddings and everything in between. We run a full staff, a lot of volunteers and provide services including a full catering package, activities & team building experiences, fully staffed programs and more.
The Narrows has a rich history in the Waikato and we're working towards a great future developing young leaders, strong families and a great community through a camping platform.

Book in today to experience Narrows for yourself.

Facilities today

We host and cater for groups of up to 350 people who combine all of our accommodation options including marae style sleeping in the halls. We currently have 120 cabin beds plus powered sites and acres of camping.
Narrows runs a commercial kitchen and offers three domestic kitchens as well.
There is a main hall capable of holding 300 youth or 250 adults who like a bit more elbow room. There is also the Camp 2 hall and Chapel which can each hold between 80 - 120 people plus a few other outdoor spaces that can be used for small group break outs or alternative meeting spaces.

All of this on 27 acres of rural land on the edge of Hamilton City.

the story of Narrows

A man with a shovel and a patch of dirt saw a need in the Waikato for a Christian Camp. It was 1952.
There’s a bit more to the story than that, but it can be easy to look back and over simplify the mountains of hours and effort, love and patience, trial and error that goes into building something beautiful, like the story of Narrows Park.

Here is the timeline of events for Narrows Park. The page markers to a rich rich history of detail and selfless contribution across generations, for the glory of God and stewardship of the great people who come to Narrows.
pre 1953
The site has a rich history dating back well beyond the establishment of Narrows Park. It was once used as an airforce base during the war and prior to that was a Maori settlement, the remnants of Pa trenches and borrow pits can still be seen today. The narrow part of the Waikato river along the border of Narrows Park provided a strategic position for defence from any unwelcome guests. Hence the name of this place, where the river narrows.
15 acres of land was purchased from Phillip and Trever Bremmer
The newly secured dream site was fenced and an electric water pump was installed
A wartime transit building was converted to provide the initial three cabins . They were named; The Hermitage, Cullen's Cottage and Meads Mansion after those who made it happen.
A kitchen unit known as Joyce's Joint dawned the Narrows site also. Bunks were installed and electricity was hooked up
Two concrete block cabins were built being Grahams Grotto and Bayne’s Batch
The Waikato Bible Classes raised £1,250, a considerable sum in 1962 via a Mooloo Marathon, a district wide event run over a few weeks and organised by a group from Te Kuiti Bible Class.
On Saturday, March 23rd the Thomas Norrie Memorial Hall was officially opened by Rev. D.M. Cattanach, moderator of the Waikato Presbytery. This was in memory of Thomas Norrie who had been a pioneer missionary throughout the Waikato in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The Main Hall was designed by Roy Wilkinson, a Bible Class member at the time, who also designed the Rukuhia Church which is now the Chapel at Narrows Park.
The Presbytery assumes responsibility for the campsite. Graeme Duncanson is appointed on a voluntary basis as the part time custodian and his family move into Joyce's Joint until a staff house can be completed
December 7th saw the staff house completed and dedicated to the glory of God. The ablutions block received hot showers
Sydney Flats was built
The site was registered as a motor camp
April 1st saw Graeme Duncanson appointed as the first full time Director
A 30foot x 50foot filtered swimming pool was added to the facilities
September 29 saw in the Grand Family Concert fundraiser composed by Tom Bradley
November 16th saw Camp 2 dedicated and opened by Rev. John Hunt, moderator of the Waikato Presbytery
Graeme and Freda Duncanson resign after 13.5 years directing Narrows Park
A new director was appointed. This was an unsettled time with a run of unsuccessful appointments
Alan Murray is appointed as the Manager
June 4/5th was the Waikato Bible Class and Narrows Reunion
November saw the Price Memorial Garden and Contemplation Area dedicated
July a camp logo was chosen and in September the river walk was commenced. On October 15th the new kitchen renovation in Camp 1 had it's first trial
April saw the Rukuhia District Church relocated in the camp grounds and the ponds were formed, now with an Alan Murray Memorial. In August a carport was added to the managers residence with a concrete floor and newly erected walls
In March the dishwashing room and hall toilets were completed. In July Alan Murray died after a short illness. His wife, Shirley Murray was appointed as the acting manager
In August the presbytery approved Kevin and Shirley Murray as joint managers. In September the Board of Trustees assumed responsibility for the Camp
Narrows Park 40th year jubilee. Shirley and Kelvin Murray resign as joint managers after 8 years including Alan’s time. A new caretaker is appointed.
The Waikato Presbytery appoints a group to establish the viability of Narrows Park and it’s future
In June a three year lease over Narrows Park is commenced
In February the Waikato Presbytery again appoints a group to establish the viability of Narrows Park and it’s future.
In June under the Chairmanship of Rev. Murray Lambert, a three year trial period is granted to the Waikato Presbyterian Youth to manage the campsite. 
In October the Narrows Park Ministry Trust Board is established with founding members; Elizabeth Hellyer, Jenny Henderson, Murray Henderson, Claire Jones, Murray Lambert, Lana Marquand and John Sattrup. Brian and Eunice Giblin are appointed as Directors. Long overdue repair and maintenance work begins including upgrading of existing buildings and the Directors residence.
On November 23rd Narrows Park Ministry Trust becomes an incorporated non profit organization
In February a new logo is adopted. In April a rededication service takes place as part of Easter Camp 2002
In October the Waikato Presbytery endorses the achievements of the Narrows Park Ministry Trust Board and Brian & Eunice Giblin. Authority to continue with the management of the campsite is given to the trustees.
Brian Giblin resigns as Director after 10 faithful years of service at Narrows Park.
In April Al Belcher is appointed as the Director
New staff are appointed in June expanding Narrows to 3 staff
A new logo is adopted and the camp is rebranded
Community service working scheme in place to tidy up the grounds
Catered camps are introduced
The pool is repaired and re-tiled, deferred maintenance underway 
First Father and Sons Weekend event launched
A youth leadership training weekend called LEAD is launched
Young Guns kicks off, taking over from Champ Camp for 10-12 year olds.
A new 70m2 deck is added to the renovated ablutions block
First Mother and Daughter Weekend launched
The Narrows BBQ is launched, a celebration with the Narrows whanau
An internship program is launched and two interns are accepted for the year
Andrew Stroud and Garry Menhennet are appointed as Board Members
First Underground Youth Weekend launched
CRANK is launched as a camp focussed on the Faith Shaped Life
Narrows first full time chef is hired
First Young Guns Summer camp launched
Murray Lambert resigns as Board Chairman after 15 years of service. He continues on as a trustee.
August 10th 2016 - Graham Fullerton, the donor and name sake for Grahams Grotto, passes away
Geoff Brown resigns as a long standing Board Member having moved from the area
The NZ Dirt Jump Nationals is dreamed up by Al Belcher and Paul Langlands and launched at Narrows
The Giblin Shed, named in honour of Brian and Eunice Giblin, is built and then dedicated on December 3rd
Narrows Park partners with Festival One in providing the catering for the festival crew and artists.
House Warming, a weekend for young adults debuts
Narrows launches 'work experience' summers as short term experiences
Al Belcher and Paul Trenwith dream up a Bluegrass Festival eventually named "Kiwigrass" and run by a committee
The largest colony of the extremely rare New Zealand long tailed bats is found established at Narrows!
Kiwigrass launches at Narrows Park, New Zealand's own bluegrass festival with over 400 guests
The driveway is resealed in partnership with Hamilton Asphalt
The first emergency lockdown of Narrows Park as part of a nation wide Covid 19 response began in March, directed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Easter Camp is cancelled, all other ministry events are postponed.
July saw our ministry events return and we were able to run a number of them. This was the first year Easter Camp wasn't allowed to go ahead since the Board was appointed in 2001.
The emergency lockdowns continue, adjustments are made to ensure the future continuation of the gospel being shared through the camping platform that is Narrows Park. The gospel is for all people, all are welcome at Narrows Park.

History to add?

If you have memories or history to add to the Narrows Story please contact us, we'd love to hear all about it.