A tornado left behind a path of destruction after it tore through a Foxton Beach caravan park early this morning.

Manawatu Caravan Club supervisor Neil Anderson said what he thought must have been a tornado felled several fences, ripped a roof off a caravan and took out a building's wall, about 3am.

"It was a very rough night here with thunder storms, and it appears that a tornado ripped through about 3am-ish." Mr Anderson said.

"I got woken up by someone who told me that, long story short, it ploughed through a few fences and took the roof off someone's van."

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Luckily no one had been injured, but Mr Anderson said he had spent most of today cleaning up and speaking with insurance assessors.

Ava-Jane Harris, who lives at the park, said the noise last night was horrendous.

"The rain was so heavy and there was a thunder storm on top of that," she said.

The tornado had passed by the back of her and her husband's caravan, and tore a hole in the wall of a hall on the site.

"There's a gaping hole in the side of the hall."

She said a caravan's annex that had been picked up by the wind was deposited inside the hall, through the hole "like a letter in a letterbox."

Though the beach is on the west coast - which often experiences wild weather - Mrs Harris said this was the worst storm she'd seen.

This evening there had been more thunder storms, lighting the sky up "like a Christmas tree," she said.

On a walk along the beach she saw what may have been a water spout over the Tasman.

"Hopefully the rain stops so we can get a decent night's sleep tonight," she said.