It's Christmas Eve and people are flooding into Rotorua to see family and friends for the festive holiday break.

The Rotorua Daily Post went to Rotorua Airport yesterday to see who was coming home for Christmas.

Toni and Lyell Morrison were waiting with 3-year-old Meihana Hughes to meet their daughter Tracey Wylie, who was flying in from Perth. The Morrisons had themselves arrived from Western Australia just four days ago. Originally from Rotorua, the couple moved to the Pilbara region four years ago.

The family had not seen each other since February when they last came to Rotorua to celebrate Mr Morrison's mother's 90th birthday.


With 1700km between the Morrisons and Perth, where their son Keelan also lives, plus two other children living in Bay of Plenty, family catch-up time was high on the agenda.

In the three-week break ahead the couple expect to have plenty of time to see their five grandchildren and take a road trip further south to Wanganui, Palmerston North and New Plymouth taking their mothers away and catching up with more family.

Although they class the red ancient landscapes of the Pilbara region as their temporary home, they said they missed Rotorua. With jobs in the outback, the green grass of home was a welcome change.

"There's no place like home, but we do feel the cold - on the day we left it was 42 degrees," said Mr Morrison, adding it was definitely too cold here to swim.

Mrs Morrison said it was an exciting time.

"I can't wait to see the sights and spend some family time. We've missed the nice food and the green grass - it's a nice change from the Australian desert."

Ms Wylie herself was pleased to arrive in Rotorua, instantly relaxing and relieved after a six-hour night flight from Perth and then a four-hour layover in Auckland.

Christmas treats were already in abundance. Little did Ms Wylie know her parents had booked a welcome home pamper package with dinner and a massage last night.