Toughing out the rain

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Guest numbers remain about the same or only slightly down on previous years for most camping grounds and holiday parks spoken to by The News , despite the rain during the holiday period.

In most cases, the campers who chose to leave early were replaced by others coming in.

Omakau Recreation Reserve Domain Board camping ground manager Silvia Diederiks said the weather did not affect numbers too badly, although they had some cancellations from people concerned about Covid-19, leaving them with about 80% occupancy during the Christmas period.

However, despite the unseasonal and extensive rain, most campers chose to stay for the duration of their bookings, although a couple of families with young children left early.

‘‘The campers gathered around in the kitchen and had nice things going on there while others got together in cabins.’’

The mud was an issue and those with 4×4 vehicles helped out those who were stuck.

‘‘Everyone pretty much helped each other as it was very muddy, but it is drying off at the moment.’’

Bannockburn’s Cairnmuir Motor Camp manager Martine McDowell said most people booked in at the grounds ‘stuck it out’, despite the weather.

On the other hand, as many visitors were unable to get out and about as they would normally do in the good weather, most chose to stay on site ‘‘reading a book or chillaxing’’.

Clutha Gold Cottages owner Christine Bennenbroek said the Roxburgh East camping ground had been busy, with only a few cancellations because of the rain, although the cottages were as busy as in previous years.

‘‘It put a damper on things, that’s for sure.
‘‘All the motorhomes and caravans were fine, just the camping side of it.’’

Clyde Holiday Park owner and manager Gary Ryan said numbers were probably about the same as last year with visitors coming in waves.

‘‘We had a few who left early but we filled those places up really quickly.’’

He had talked to campers who had been coming for many years, and while rain usually fell in one hit during the holiday period in other years, this time it continued over three to four days.

Luggate camping grounds manager Mike O’Connor said he thought numbers of visitors were up on previous years.

Guests included a church group of about 30 who stayed for a week.

‘‘They had set up a kitchen and had a real fun atmosphere with kids, dogs and a lot of laughter, and had a whale of a time.’’

Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park manager Natalie Ward said when most of the rain arrived, a lot of people were due to check out anyway.

The park usually hosted domestic guests during Christmas and New Year, and after New Year they usually had bookings from international visitors, but with the borders closed because of Covid-19, and that had affected numbers.

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