New year brings new visitors

By, Anne-Marie Emerson

New Year's Day saw the Koopman family arrive in Wanganui by accident but they were enjoying their quiet stay beside the Whanganui River.

Jan-Albert and Annabelle Koopman and their two young sons, Tebeau, 2-and-a-half, and Sveder, 18 months, came to Wanganui yesterday from Himatangi Beach in their campervan, and were staying at the Top 10 Holiday Park in Aramoho.

"We just drove along and decided to stop here," Mr Koopman said.

"We wanted a nice quiet place to relax for a day, and it looks like we've found it here."

The Koopmans have been in New Zealand a month, following two months in Australia.

"We love it here, we like the people and the natural environment is just so beautiful," Mr Koopman said.

The family preferred the South Island to the North Island as it was quieter and had more spectacular scenery.

He said they hadn't decided where to go next, but would probably head to Taranaki or the Central Plateau.

The family is from Amsterdam in Holland and Mr Koopman said it was "freezing cold" at this time of the year.

Top 10 Holiday Park owners Andre and Martie van Schalkwyk said the camp had been very busy, although not full, during the New Year period.

"Our busiest time is actually after New Year," Mrs van Schalkwyk said.

The camp had celebrated New Year's Eve with a family evening, including barbecue and music, which all camp-goers had been invited to. Visitors were a mixture of domestic and international tourists.

Mr van Schalkwyk said visitors to Wanganui were often surprised by how much there was to do here.

"Kayaking and jet boating on the Whanganui River is popular, as well as Bushy Park, Gordon Park and Kowhai Park. And a lot of people when they come here want to know about Chronicle Glass Studio," Mr Schalkwyk said.

He said they were expecting a busy January.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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