Despite warnings for campers to pack up and move to safety in heed of Cyclone Gita, many tourists are still flocking to campsites on the West Coast and the top of the South Island.

Marlborough District Council issued concerns this afternoon for trampers and campers who might be relying on tents and urged them to leave Marlborough today ahead of the arrival of Cyclone Gita.

But many campsites in the region have reported having full accommodation, or busier than normal bookings due to freedom campers seeking a populated safe haven.

"We are having more people come in because it is mainly the tourist trade now and they are running for cover," a Motueka Top 10 Holiday Park spokeswoman said.


"They are coming to us because of the weather warning. Our accommodation is now fully booked.

"We are trying to persuade people not to be in tents, but that is up to them. We are telling them to stay away from trees and hollows in the ground, but that is all we can do."

A spokeswoman for Marahau Beach Camp, near Abel Tasman National Park, said only a few campers had left because they were worried about the storm, while most were trying to find accommodation in cabins or at backpackers.

The cyclone is expected to make a short-lived but potentially damaging landfall in various areas across New Zealand.
The cyclone is expected to make a short-lived but potentially damaging landfall in various areas across New Zealand.

"We have notices up from DOC about camping in the park and are advising people not to go into the park tomorrow," she said.

While tourists on the West Coast were also reported to be exuding a "cruisey" attitude about the approaching storm.

"Everyone is cruisey and will worry about it tomorrow. We have to wait to see if it hits or not," a Greymouth Seaside TOP 10 Holiday Park spokesman said.

While Carters Beach Top 10 Holiday Park owner Chrissy Alfeld said they were focusing on keeping people informed and safe.

"Civil Defence are doing a really great job at keeping us informed and we are prepared and ready for it. It's just a matter of waiting for it to come," Alfeld said.


"We make sure we have backup generation, that we know who is staying and that our guests know what is happening.

"You have to keep them informed so they are not getting on the road before they should, so that if they try and travel they travel before the storm.

"I know from the last event, people weren't informed enough and they got caught out," Alfeld said.

"If it is anything like the last one, we are ok. It is business as usual and if not we are actually busier because people come here knowing that they are safe.

"If they are here, we can keep them informed, but if they are out and about then they don't know what is going on."

West Coast Civil Defence has advised people not to travel during the storm, and closed all local schools.

The Mayors of Westland, Grey and Buller District Council's along with the Chairman of the West Coast Regional Council met today to review the latest weather predictions and will decide whether to declare a state of emergency tomorrow morning.