Campers batten down to sit out wet weekend

By John Cousins

1 comment
SHADES OF GREY: After a great spell of fine weather holidaymakers face a wet and possibly windy first weekend of 2016. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK
SHADES OF GREY: After a great spell of fine weather holidaymakers face a wet and possibly windy first weekend of 2016. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK

A wet weekend has failed to deter campers, with nearly everyone opting to hunker down in Tauranga's holiday parks rather than beat a retreat for home.

One of the few victims of the weather forecast has been tonight's outdoor Night Owl Cinema screening of Surf's Up at Mt Drury.

Also impacted was the family-friendly Interislander Summer Festival meeting at Tauranga Racecourse today.

The family fun activities have been rescheduled to the January 16 meeting, leaving today as a normal race day - provided conditions underfoot were safe for jockeys and horses.

Hundreds of campers were keeping a nervous watch on the weather, with nearly everyone opting to ride out what the MetService says will be "significant" rain over much of the weekend.

Cosy Corner Holiday Park manager Greg Davidson said no one pulled out yesterday.

"They will handle a couple of days of wet weather.

"After that, there's only so many things you can do inside. There are lots of kids in the games room."

He said the biggest hope was that it would not get too windy.

Papamoa Beach Top 10 resort manager Joy Hughes said a handful of campers had opted to go home a couple of days early rather than wait until Sunday to pack up wet camping gear.

She said the resort was absolutely packed, with the camping crowd of nearly 1000 swelling to over 1200 on New Year's Eve due to guests and day visitors.

"It is a very busy, bustling place."

Ms Hughes said there had been absolutely no trouble on New Year's Eve.

Tauranga Tourist Park manager Donna Hare said no one bailed out yesterday.

Instead, lots of people had rung wanting to book a site, undeterred by the weather: "It did not put them off, which is unusual."

The Pacific Park Christian Holiday Camp reported that only a couple of campers from their 80 sites had responded to the weather forecast by going home a day earlier than scheduled.

No one was available to comment from the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park.

The MetService has predicted significant falls of rain in Tauranga over the weekend accompanied by fresh north-easterly winds, easing on Sunday afternoon and clearing on Monday morning to be followed by a dry spell.

An alert remained in place for heavy rain over the Western Bay but it had not been upgraded by early yesterday evening into a warning.

This meant the Bay may escape the worst of the weather due to hit Auckland and Northland.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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