Northlanders living in seaside hotspots are struggling as they share their swamped resources with holidaymakers.
It is a welcome influx of visitors - and their spending - that is predicted to last longer than the usual summer holiday boom in the region as visitor bookings stretch into late April.
A snapshot of how residential life has been impacted in popular tourist destinations was captured by the Northern Advocate on a summer's day outing to Waipū.
Waipū resident Jake Buckle, 17, also a local surf lifeguard, said the influx of visitors meant long waits when purchasing groceries, filling up cars, and driving anywhere on busy roads.
"Things that didn't really affect you too much before have started to become an annoyance as they can take you a lot longer."
"Crazy" was how Four Square Waipū owner Jodie Ansell described the festive holiday inside the village's only supermarket.
Ansell said peak times saw around 100 people queuing in the cosy store, which is slightly bigger than a standard hockey field.
"The line just wraps all the way around the aisles. Usually it is in the morning when people are trying to beat the rush to get their shopping done."
Ansell, who has owned the store for two years with Peter Morrison, said most customers had come from Auckland.
Managing locals upset at long waits inside has been hard for Ansell and Morrison.
"It's been difficult when you have 50 people in a queue and then a local who only wants the paper," Ansell said. "(But) 99.9 per cent of the locals are amazing and patient but others don't like queuing."
Senior residents are a large part of the store's customer base. Ansell said staff take them directly to the tills so they avoid potential hour-long waits in line.
The store has had to employ extra staff to stock the ravaged shelves at night to keep pace with the demand. Stocks have been increased in certain areas by around 20 per cent, Ansell said.
The option to skip the queues and head to the Caledonia Dairy for groceries wouldn't do residents much good either.
Raj Kumar has owned the dairy for 10 years and said this year's summer holiday was one of the busiest he had seen because Covid-19 travel restrictions had changed the holiday landscape.
"During this time most of the locals who live here, and we see daily, disappear because it's so busy," Kumar said.
"They either go away or a lot of them who are elderly stay at home or come in really early."
The six pumps at the town's only service station have been non-stop, GAS Waipū officer manager Lynda Lewin said.
"Every year has been getting busier but the week before Christmas it just went off," she said.
"We've had cars lined up far down the road to come into the service station."
Lewin, a GAS Waipū stalwart of nine years, knows the locals and said the high numbers are mainly visitors.
"We've heard locals talk about how hard it is to get things done in Waipū at the moment with the number of people here," she said.
But the business is good, Lewin said.
"At the end of the day it's always busy this time of year but we are definitely expecting it to be busier for longer because people can't go overseas."
Camp Waipū Cove's 1500 available sites are fully booked until April, camp manager Anton Trist said.
"It's a good thing. This December and January has been what it is every year, but March and April are going to be really busy as well."
A record number of campers in September through to December surprised Trist and his wife Lucy, who have run the campground for nine years.
"We have never been as busy as we were in those months – it was record-breaking for us."
A lot of people were first-time campers and new to Waipū, Trist said.
"It's going to be this way, we think, until the borders are open again."
Holidaymaker numbers on Waipū's coastline have just picked up, paid surf lifeguard and Waipū Cove patrol captain Elise Troy said.
The busiest day since patrol started on December 14 up until December 31 clocked 350 beachgoers.
"It keeps going up though," Troy said. "We're expecting it to get really busy as more people come to the area and a lot is going on in Waipū."