Selina Herbert and her children (from left), Harley (9), Charlotte (7) and Samantha (11), all of Lovells Flat, are spending their Christmas break at the Alexandra Holiday Park for the seventh time. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
Central Otago camping grounds are expecting a "full house"
during the next week, with an influx of holidaymakers today
and again on Monday.
All Central Otago camping ground owners and caretakers
contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday said Boxing Day
through to early January was the peak time, with only a few
with tent sites or caravan spaces still available.
Larchview Holiday Park in Naseby was expecting about 500
people, co-owner Matthew de Woeps said.
"It's looking like being full up, which is great news because
the three or four months leading up to Christmas, through the
Rugby World Cup time, was very quiet for us." The economic
downturn might be why people were leaving it later to book,
and not staying as long, he said.
"They're doing their Christmas shopping and waiting to see
what's left over before booking. I think employers are being
a bit tougher this year too, and asking people to return back
to work earlier- we've had quite a few instances where
campers have said that."
The Cromwell Top 10 Holiday Park expects the "rush" to begin
today and will host between 1500 and 1800 people.
Alexandra Holiday Park owner Janice Graham said New Year
would be the busiest time, with about 2500 people staying in
caravans, holiday homes, cabins or tents.
"Demand has been steady. We get the same people coming back
year after year - some people have been coming here for 50 to
60 years and now there's several generations of their
families staying here."
New caretaker at the Omakau Domain Camping Ground Sally
McCauley said people would start to flow in on Boxing Day,
and by January 1 it would be "chocker".
Many of the holidaymakers were intending to go to the trots
and gallops at the Omakau racecourse on January 2 and 3
The camping ground also provided accommodation for people
using the Otago Central Rail Trail, so that business was
constant, year-round, she said.
The manager at the Clyde Holiday and Sporting Complex, Lauren
Direen, said about 500 people would be staying at the camping
ground "and three-quarters of them will arrive on Boxing