Holiday makers bask in stunning weather

By Michele Hunter

Western Bay basked in brilliant sunshine for the first holiday weekend of the summer season, to the delight of locals and holidaymakers.
Sun-seekers flocked to the beaches and cafes to soak up what felt like the start of summer, and event organisers and business owners were thrilled with the crowds.
Stunning weather saw a high of 23C on Saturday in Tauranga and yesterday a slightly cooler but still pleasant 20C, due to sea breezes.
Today's forecast was for more fine, sunny weather, with a high of 20C.
As we go back to work and school tomorrow for a short week, long fine spells in the morning will be broken by a few showers in the afternoon, with similar weather on Wednesday.
But by the time the weekend rolls around again, the golden weather will return - fine and sunny weather is forecast for Saturday, with Sunday partly cloudy.
The stunning weather has been a boon for Mount Maunganui, which attracted 15,000 to the downtown area yesterday for the annual busking festival.
Mount Mainstreet manager Leanne Brown said passengers in port from the cruise ship Volendam helped swell the numbers.
The crowds were good news for shops, restaurants and cafes, which were already busy thanks to long weekend holiday-makers taking advantage of the fine weather.
The beaches were packed with families enjoying the first glimpse of summer. And plenty of pink skin showed many had been caught out by the fine weather and forgotten to slip, slop and slap.
Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager Tim Burgess said the weather had "undoubtedly" increased visitors numbers over Labour Weekend.
Many visitors waited to see the weather forecast before deciding to come, especially if they were camping, he said.

Mr Burgess said Tauranga was "at its best" yesterday for the visitors from the Volendam cruise ship.
"It was an absolute stunner. The first two [cruise ships visits] it's been pretty fresh so it was great to see that change for the cruise ship.
"[The weather] was really fortunate for the people who were putting on events this weekend, just fantastic."
Mr Burgess urged holidaymakers to take care on the drive home.
The Labour Weekend road toll stood at seven this morning, with none of those deaths in the Bay of Plenty.
Police have urged drivers to take heed of their Labour Weekend messages to slow down and keep left.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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