Visitors and locals alike soaked up the Rotorua sights during the last bumper long weekend before winter sets in.

Thousands of people converged on the city's bars and restaurants, and flooded stores as well as filling motels and keeping tourist operators busy.

Rotorua i-Site manager Graham Brownrigg said accommodation was in high demand at the weekend with almost all accommodation providers saying they were "sold out".

"Visitor numbers were up about 10 per cent on last year's long weekend and that was seen through accommodation being quite hard to find.


"I think the weather played in our favour this weekend with hundreds of people going through the Redwoods and up the Treewalk. There were a lot of bikes around as well and tourism providers like Adventure Playground and the Duck Tours were really busy."

He said the majority were domestic visitors visiting town for events and a short break.

"A lot of the visitors were from Auckland and the surrounding district who were making the most of the last long weekend before winter.

"We were pleased with the numbers because the week before it had slowed down considerably so this weekend has given us a good boost.

"We know the shoulder season will hit but this year it seems to have taken a bit longer.

While there is a general feeling that the city has quietened down as we move into the colder months compared with what we had during summer, it is still up on last year's figures."

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Sport of Kings Motel manager Tristen Williams said they had been fully booked for the whole weekend. "It's been crazy, especially on Saturday and Sunday.

Every year it is a busy long weekend because it is the last before winter really kicks in.

"We mostly had domestic visitors staying but some international ones too - a lot of mountain bikers."

Pig & Whistle Historic Pub operations manager Rosie Harding said they had seen a busy last few days with a good mix of tourists and locals.

She said this Queen's Birthday weekend was on par with previous years and matched the long weekends earlier this year.

Queen's Birthday bonus for business:

* Visitor numbers up 10 per cent

* Accommodation providers booked out

* Mainly domestic visitors from Auckland and surrounding districts

* 'Hundreds' through Redwoods iSite and Treewalk