A tornado left behind a path of destruction after it tore through a Foxton Beach caravan park early this morning.

Manawatu Caravan Club supervisor Neil Anderson said what he thought must have been a tornado felled several fences, ripped a roof off a caravan and took out a building's wall, about 3am.

"It was a very rough night here with thunder storms, and it appears that a tornado ripped through about 3am-ish." Mr Anderson said.

"I got woken up by someone who told me that, long story short, it ploughed through a few fences and took the roof off someone's van."


Luckily no one had been injured, but Mr Anderson said he had spent most of today cleaning up and speaking with insurance assessors.

Ava-Jane Harris, who lives at the park, said the noise last night was horrendous.

"The rain was so heavy and there was a thunder storm on top of that," she said.

The tornado had passed by the back of her and her husband's caravan, and tore a hole in the wall of a hall on the site.

"There's a gaping hole in the side of the hall."

She said a caravan's annex that had been picked up by the wind was deposited inside the hall, through the hole "like a letter in a letterbox."

Though the beach is on the west coast - which often experiences wild weather - Mrs Harris said this was the worst storm she'd seen.

This evening there had been more thunder storms, lighting the sky up "like a Christmas tree," she said.

On a walk along the beach she saw what may have been a water spout over the Tasman.

"Hopefully the rain stops so we can get a decent night's sleep tonight," she said.