Everyone is stoked.
Good weather and happy campers are making this a summer to remember, according to camping ground owners and managers.
Manager Karyn Abery said even though the Hawea camp could accommodate up to 800 people they had to turn away people over Christmas and New Year.
Despite no television room and limited Wi›Fi everyone was having a great time.
‘‘All in all it’s fantastic. There are kids on bikes, it’s old school, the playground is busy until the sun goes down,’’ Ms Abery said.
About 90% of their holiday› makers were New Zealanders, she said.
The large numbers made her wonder if Covid-related travel restrictions had made people realise just how good it was here at home and that you did not need to go to a theme park to have a great holiday, she said.
Wanaka Top 10 park owner Justin Kendrick said it was the ninth summer he and wife Andrea had been at the park.
Their park had motel units and was mostly aimed at campervans with few grassed sites for caravans and awnings.
Numbers were getting back to pre›Covid days, Mr Kendrick said.
Guests were coming from all over the world including Australia, Israel, South Africa and the United States, he said.
Clutha Gold Cottages and Holiday Park, in East Roxburgh was ‘‘flat out’’ a spokeswoman said.
The park, with caravan and campsites as well as cottages, was busier than last year.
Most people staying were New Zealanders, including a group of seven families who met when they first camped there about eight years ago.
They were all now friends and always set up camp together. It had been fun watching the children, some of whom had only been toddlers the first year, grow up, the spokeswoman said.
Millers Flat Holiday Park assistant Kelly Fausett said they were extremely busy.
The nearby Clutha Gold cycle trail was a big drawcard and the adjacent Millers Flat swimming pool was popular with campers. Many arrived for a night or two and then extended their stay, she said,
‘‘There are heaps of happy people.’’
Up the river, Alexander Holiday Park owner Janice Graham said occupancy had been high throughout the holiday period and the park was still filling its units every day, with people often coming off the street with no booking.
The park had purchased a pair of pizza ovens, which they gave a trial run for staff before a pizza night for park guests at River Flat on December 30.
Manager Marty Hupton said children were supervised to make their own dough to which they added the toppings they liked before he put them in the ovens. More than 120 pizzas were made and the evening was a great success.
At Bannockburn, both camping grounds were fully booked throughout the season, and Cairnmuir Motor Camp manager Martine McDowell said everyone was happy and enjoying the weather.
A Bannockburn Domain Camping Ground manager Molly Pimm said a group of return campers that included several musicians were back this season and played for fellow campers on New Year’s Eve.
Nigel Lowe and his wife Shelley own Ranfurly Holiday Park.
Mr Lowe said they were fully booked for motel rooms, tent sites and cabins from December 29 to January 3.
‘‘Compared to last year, people are still coming but not staying as long because of the current economic climate,’’ he said.