Warm weather, full accommodation, a bustling airport and events going off "without a hitch" - this long weekend has brought a positive start to summer for Rotorua.
Seeing busy streets and eateries has come as a relief to some business owners grateful for holidays like Labour weekend in the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Destination Rotorua interim chief executive Andrew Wilson said Rotorua experienced a strong Labour weekend.
Wilson said events including the Whaka 100, Rotorua Blues Festival and the Maori Rugby League Tournament were well attended, helping to draw extra visitors to Rotorua.
"A quick walk down Eat Streat or a visit to the Redwoods Forest over the weekend would show that Rotorua was busy and that is a great, positive way start our summer season.
"The Rotorua activity operators have been working very hard to market their experiences to our Kiwi whānau and once the data comes in, we are sure we will see a positive boost for them as a result of Labour weekend business."
Rotorua Moteliers Association chairman Mike Gallagher said moteliers he spoke to reported a "very, very busy" long weekend.
"Some had reported a couple of rooms left on Friday but by Saturday and Sunday they were chocka full."
Pig and Whistle and Capers Cafe owner Gregg Brown said Saturday and Sunday were "very, very good".
"We're happy with how the weekend has gone. It's a relief I would have to say," he said.
"These sorts of holiday weekends and school holidays have been very good, We are very grateful for where we're at."
Hospitality New Zealand Bay of Plenty branch president Reg Hennessy said the long weekend was "certainly better than the last few weekends".
"It definitely gives a positive look to everything."
Rotorua Airport chief executive Mark Gibb said the airport was kept busy with many people flying in and out of the city.
"We're really pleased with the good numbers coming through. The flights look full, it's a really positive weekend."
Hundreds of people took on the Rotorua Loaded Tough Guy & Gal challenge on Sunday at Lakes Ranch in Tikitere.
The event is a mud run event involving swamp crossings, a spider's web net climb, crawling under barbed wire and even a large climbing frame.
Event director Murray Fleming said the event was "really good".
"People are just stoked to be back out again. Everything went off without a hitch," he said.
"It is so good for the staff. We plan and plan and plan and sadly we have to postpone or cancel. It's so nice to see the months of logistical planning go into something real."
Fleming said about 600 people participated in the event. He expected another 600 on Tuesday for the secondary schools event and about 1700 juniors take on the course later in the week.
"People are coming from as far north as Kaitaia and as far south as Wellington."
He said the new Glow Lab women's-only event was a highlight this year: "It was amazing, that event will just keep growing."
MetService meteorologist Tahlia Crabtree said the Bay's long weekend weather was similar in Tauranga and Rotorua, with some cloud around and a few fine spells.
"Generally, there's been quite a humid northerly flow and temperatures have been quite mild."
The warmest temperatures recorded in both cities were between 20C and 21C. The nights stayed relatively warm also with lows of 16C in Tauranga and 14C in Rotorua.
"That is indicative of the warmer, humid temperatures."
However, Crabtree said the warm weekend weather was expected to end come Tuesday with a few clouds in the morning and northerlies dying out, meaning cooler nights.
"During the day should be relatively fine with a few clouds around but the nights should be noticeably cooler and rain will be starting to develop."