Taupo is enjoying a bumper summer holiday season, with some retailers and accommodation outlets reporting their best season ever.

A new pedestrian counter installed in Taupo's town centre in November has recorded high pedestrian counts since the end of December.

The highest count so far this year was on Saturday, January 2, with 9706 pedestrians. The busiest week of the summer holiday season was for the week beginning Thursday, December 28.

Towncentre Taupo general manager Julie McLeod said although official figures had yet to come for January, the word on the street was that some retailers and hospitality outlets had their best summer.


"The cafes have been busy. One of the local sushi places told me they have had their best summer ever and the Starlight Cinema reportedly sold out on rainy days, which means there have been a lot of people in town. Spirits are high and people are happy," she said.

At the southern end of the lake, tourist operator Rafting New Zealand also reported a record December with 1800 people taking trips on the Tongariro River.

District events manager Steve Giles said the event calendar had been full, with a variety of sporting and cultural events every weekend attracting visitors to the region.

Auckland Anniversary Weekend had a capacity crowd of 15,000 flock to Taupo for the Taupo Summer Concert at Riverside Park on Saturday.

The Taupo leg of the New Zealand Offshore Power Boat Series on Sunday attracted 25 to 35 boats.

Mr Giles said the number of participants and supporters coming into the district for events was slightly up on last year, which was positive in terms of economic impact.

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And he said there were plenty more events coming up. The annual Waitangi Day Festival begins in Taupo at noon on Saturday.

Thousands of yoga enthusiasts from all around the country and overseas are descending on Wairakei today for the second annual Wanderlust Festival through until Sunday.

Glider enthusiasts from around the country are taking part in national gliding championships at the Taupo Gliding Club airfield on Centennial Drive.

Mr Giles said the remainder of February was busy, with the national triathlon series at Kinloch on Sunday, February 14, the Taupo Great Lake Relay the following weekend and the annual Lake Taupo Across the Lake Swim and Ironkidz event the weekend after, culminating in Ironman NZ on the first weekend of March.

He said while things were looking good, the challenge was to keep the momentum going.

Destination Lake Taupo said while international visitor numbers were up around the country, the growth in the Lake Taupo region had been far greater than the national average.