Thousands of people have crowded in Kerikeri this afternoon for the town's parade honouring Olympic gold medallists Blair Tuke and Peter Burling.

People started lining the parade route from about midday with the parade kicking off from outside the Woodland Motel on Kerikeri Rd at 1pm. The pair won the 49er class at Rio.

The parade ended in the Kerikeri Domain after passing thousands of people, many dressed in gold, yelling their support and appreciation for the pair. Tuke and Burling were on the back of a ute through the town, which gave them a welcome befitting Olympic gold medallists.

Tuke was part of the Kerikeri Cruising Club's youth development programme from the age of nine. He attended Riverview Primary School and continued sailing at Kerikeri High School as a member of its remarkably successful sailing academy.

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Burling's grandparents, Bruce and Judith Burling, are long-time residents of the town.

The pair won silver in the London 2012 Olympics, and were honoured then with a parade through Kerikeri, but today's was much larger and even more enthusiastic.

Hometown hero Tuke was overwhelmed by the show of support from the thousands who turned up.