Wanaka’s camping grounds are filling up with regular holiday makers arriving for another season of fun.
Up to 1800 people are set to be at Glendhu Bay Motor Camp for New Year’s Eve, most expected to have arrived by last night.
After two years of Covid restrictions, the camp’s co-manager Phil Hunt is thrilled by the return of regular Kiwi visitors as well as tourists.
“We probably had more people in [for Christmas] than any other Christmas Day. It was a nice, quiet, family atmosphere,” Mr Hunt said.
“New Year is a big day here. Usually music gets shut off here at 11pm but on New Year they can keep going until 2am.
“People get dressed up in all sorts of funny costumes and go from camp to camp. It is a lot of fun.”
Mr Hunt said people under the age of 20 must be accompanied by an adult if they wanted to stay at Glendhu.
“Generally, this is a family camp and we don’t get a lot of young ones wanting to come in on their own anyway.”
A new attraction at Glendhu Bay was the flying fox, which should be operating by New Year.
There would be space for another one beside it when funds allowed, Mr Hunt said.
Other camping grounds at Wanaka, Albert Town and Lake Hawea were also filling up.
“It is really awesome,” Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park and Albert Town Campground manager Natalie Ward said.
“We are quite lucky that every year we fill up for New Year, and even through the Covid years, we had really busy periods of New Year [with regulars].
“But it is so nice to see the tourists back as well. We have really good pre and post bookings,” she said.
Ms Ward said an under-21 policy applied at both camping grounds — “we don’t let them stay without parents on site”.
A security company began patrolling at the Albert Town camping ground yesterday and would be there all week.
Registrations would be checked and Albert Town rangers would do the rounds every morning, Ms Ward said.
The Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park would be asking visitors not to enter the site and campers would be asked to socialise with their friends elsewhere, she said.
It was the second year in a row the holiday park had decided to exclude visitors.
“We are doing that because pre-Covid, we would have just as many visitors as paying guests,” she said.