Rain fails to dampen campers spirits

By Nathan Crombie -
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Mawley Park Camping Grounds assistants Viv Allanson, left, and Kelly Yee were waiting for another wave of visitors to the Masterton campsite. PHOTO/NATHAN CROMBIE
Mawley Park Camping Grounds assistants Viv Allanson, left, and Kelly Yee were waiting for another wave of visitors to the Masterton campsite. PHOTO/NATHAN CROMBIE

Camping grounds throughout Wairarapa have been full to overflowing over the holiday break, according to site managers.

Rodney Algie, manager of Mawley Park Camping Grounds, said the Masterton amenity had been close to full since soon after Christmas and the short burst over rain had only a small effect on trade.

He said a handful of campers had packed up and left early due to rainfall in the region since Friday.

"We've just had quite a few stay for a week or so from just after Christmas and we're getting everything really, powered sites, tents and cabins. Last night we had to turn away caravans because we're just chocka and I've never had to do that before."

The cabins were likewise full on Saturday night and visitors in tents had also been increasing, he said, but vacancies were opening again.

"I think we're starting to see some good results from our procedures and what we have on offer because people today tend to be booking more by review.

More and more people are reading our good reviews online and deciding to stay with us."

Nina Kyle, manager of Greytown Campground, said she had also been forced to turn away some visitors seeking powered sites and the holiday season so far had been "pretty good".

"Regulars have come back for their annual summer jaunt and they've been with us for up to a week but there's also been a few who have come through and stayed just the night on their way somewhere else. It's been busy."

Vacancies were now open for the remainder of the holiday break, she said, including tent and powered sites. Cabins at the site were managed by the territorial authority but were not available to rent.

Reuben Raihania Tipoki, manager of the Lake Ferry Holiday Park, said the South Wairarapa campground had been popular and New Year rainfall had not really dented what is a traditionally busy time at the site. "People know the weather's great here from Boxing Day and that's when they all started flooding in. Everyone's been having a jolly old time, the fishing's been really good and because we're a family-focused place, it's been really rather busy."

Mr Tipoki said the cabins had been full since Thursday but a southerly turn in the weather had led to a single cabin vacancy and vacancies in the tent and powered sites.

"A few tenters packed up but I don't think it was the rain. We've never had to turn anyone away -- I'd put them up in my yard if I had to -- but on New Year's eve we were certainly very, very packed."

Mr Tipoki said expected more visitors this week and for the rest of summer at weekends.

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