Warm weather, busy beaches, full accommodation and events described as "the best they've ever been" is how this Labour weekend has been summed up.
Following uncertainty after Covid-19 lockdown, doubling ticket sales at a popular food festival and queues out the door of a local bakery this long weekend have provided a "much-needed economic boost" for tourism.
Vegan Vibes co-founder Rachelle Duffy said the annual festival at Mount Maunganui's Soper Reserve on Saturday was "probably the best one we've ever had".
"It was a long weekend, so that's a tick, and it was a beautiful sunny day. Everything just collided."
Duffy said ticket sales were also the best they'd ever been, with early estimates indicating between 2000 and 2400 people attended the event.
"We've always hit about 1800. This time our ticket sales doubled pre-event so we knew we were going to hit our targets."
It was also a 50 per cent split between locals and out-of-towners at the festival, including a high percentage of people flying up from Wellington, she said.
"Obviously they stay here and eat here so it's good for the economy as well.
"I think it is really important for us to see there's still growth in a pandemic. We're so lucky where we live. We've been able to get back to some kind of new normal."
Duffy said her team was looking forward to next year's event and the possibility of expanding into other regions.
She encouraged people to keep events alive by purchasing tickets early.
Queues stretched out the door at Patrick's Pies Gold Star bakery in Bethlehem on the weekend, with locals and visitors eager to get a bite of the supreme sausage rolls.
Word was out about baking superstar Patrick Lam's latest win in the inaugural Bakels Legendary Sausage Roll competition just before the long weekend hit.
Since then, Lam said he had been busier than he was since the bakery won the Bakels Supreme Pie Awards.
"On Sunday we did about 1500 sausage rolls," he said. "We are running out all the time, the queues are out the door and into the carpark, we can't keep up."
Lam said people were coming locally and from Auckland and Hamilton to visit the bakery for a taste of the award-winning sausage roll.
"I am just so appreciative of that."
Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service patrol captain Jamie Troughton said the beaches were busy too, with minimal swells and warm water temperatures.
Troughton said the water temperature climbed sharply during the past three days, with a northerly current raising it from 15C to 17.3C.
"It was a very busy beach on Sunday and most people were staying safe."
He said one of the club's biggest focuses this Labour weekend was getting professional 4WD training driving up Mauao for the dozens of callouts they receive on the mountain every year.
"Sixty to 70 per cent of them are up Mauao through first aid callouts, so it is pretty vital we train our lifeguards."
MetService meteorologist Tahlia Crabtree said the Bay's long-weekend weather was similar in Tauranga and Rotorua, with some cloud around and a few fine spells.
"Generally, there's been quite a humid northerly flow and temperatures have been quite mild."
The warmest temperatures recorded in both cities were between 20C and 21C, with the nights staying relatively warm also, the lows being 16C in Tauranga and 14C in Rotorua.
"That is indicative of the warmer, humid temperatures."
However, Crabtree said the warm weekend weather was expected to end come Tuesday with a few clouds in the morning and northerlies dying out, meaning cooler nights.
"During the day should be relatively fine with a few clouds around but the nights should be noticeably cooler and rain will be starting to develop."
Tourism Bay of Plenty's head of destination marketing, Kath Low, said several accommodation and tourism operators reported the coastal Bay of Plenty welcomed plenty of domestic visitors over the long weekend.
"The diverse range of events and ample coastal Bay of Plenty sunshine certainly provided a fantastic visitor experience," she said.
Low said Kiwis love to travel over long weekends and often provided a much-needed economic boost for the tourism industry.
"The visitors in the region over Labour weekend were warmly welcomed by the coastal Bay of Plenty's tourism industry and provided much-needed economic benefits."
Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Rob Glencross said it had been a busy Labour weekend on Western Bay of Plenty roads, with lots of people enjoying the chance for a break.
Sadly, as of midday Monday, he said six people across the country had lost their lives over the holiday weekend.
"While none of those have been in the Western Bay, that's still six people whose families have been torn apart.
"It really is as simple as taking a breath and thinking about every move you make behind the wheel."
Glencross said police will continue to "relentlessly remind people we all have a part to play to keep our roads safe".
"As we head into the period of the year when more people are out and about, please remember it only takes one risky decision or moment of inattention to result in tragedy.
"Take your time, put away your cellphone, wear your seatbelt, don't drive impaired or tired, and drive to the conditions."