El Rancho choitch

As it looks from a vantage point beside the ‘Ewy’.  It is a little church in the grounds of El Rancho and not as surrounded by forest as it looks from there.

El Rancho St Lukes

El Rancho ch

In the small grounds of the church there are wood memorials to the Campions, explained on this page of the El Rancho website:


In the late 1950s, John Campion, Bill Crighton and others had a dream, inspired by the Christian Convention at Ngauruwahia, to provide a similar Christian convention in the Wellington area. Together with others the decision was prayerfully made to purchase a piece of land from the Weggery estate on the banks of the Waikanae River. On 11 December 1961, the 50 acres of land that would become Waikanae Christian Holiday Park was purchased for $5,000. Waikanae Christian Holiday Park was established as an incorporated society soon after on 8 April 1963. It was to be a place where people with Christian desires or interests could gather in peace to develop in their faith, build relationships in community and engage in promoting the life-giving good news of Jesus Christ.

The setting was a peaceful holiday park where families could come to relax and refresh. The first camps were held in tents and caravans. By the end of the sixties, “El Rancho” was the name given to the children’s holiday camps held every school holiday. After many years and undoubtedly due to the tens of thousands of people whose lives were changed at an El Rancho camp, the average person acquainted with the park began to simply refer to the place as “El Rancho.”

Our founders had incredible wisdom and insight from God when they wrote a constitution that was broad enough to allow future generations to align the organisation’s goals and objectives to present and future needs. It was also specific enough to ensure the original intentions and commitments of the founders could be identified and upheld. Our constitution protects the unity of the Spirit between all believers by requiring we are non-denominational.