North beaches popular as humidity gnaws

By Imran Ali

It seems people are going out and having fun regardless of the weather.Ben McKernan, surf lifesaver Beachgoers are defying the gloomy weather in Northland and flocking to the beaches as the humidity starts to bite.

Campgrounds are starting to fill up and some beaches are getting more than 100 people a day.

Ruakaka beach had about 190 people on Boxing Day but that number dropped to about 50 yesterday.

"It seems people are going out and having fun regardless of the weather," said Ben McKernan, captain of the Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving Club.

He said even surfers and boogie-boarders were out in the water which had swells of up to one metre.

Patrol captain Kyle Taylor said lifeguards had needed to take preventative action to keep beachgoers swimming between the flags in the high swells.

"That means making sure people are in the right place, which involves swimming out and talking to them.

"I'm hoping it will get a bit busier and the sun will come out."

He said it was much the same situation at the beach last year.

At Ocean Beach, about 60 turned up on Wednesday and yesterday to enjoy the warm waters.

Whangarei Heads' Surf Lifesaving club captain Ellie Tuzzolino-Smith said the turnout at the beach had been better than expected, despite rough seas, with swells of one to two metres.

- Northern Advocate

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