What was once a crowded campsite in Ōakura, New Zealand, has seen a dramatic drop in the number of campers in just 24 hours, as the forecast for the next 10 days of inclement weather has been issued.
According to a report by the NZ Herald, Whangaruru Beachfront Camp and Motel is only one of the campgrounds in the region seeing an “exodus” of campers ahead of the storm.
Robynne Cooper, the owner of the campground, told the local report that the campground is “almost empty” as about 90 percent of the RVers staying at the park have fled the area.
Per the business owner, only 12 out of the 106 campervans on site remain.
“They’re driving out in droves,” Cooper said.
Earl’s Paradise Camp in Whangapoua, Coromandel, also experienced a sudden decrease in campers as dozens of guests left the campground early this week.
Owner Earl Adams said that strong winds have already wreaked havoc on the property, with trees “all about the place” and the gazebo “blown to shreds.”
Cooper and Adams are only some of the holiday stay providers in the region who have to brave the ten days of bad weather.
“It’s been a shocking year for us. We really needed this summer. Unfortunately, we’ve got 10 more days of this weather,” Cooper said.
Similarly, Adams was counting on the wave of post-COVID travelers to flood the campground, until things took a turn.
”Since COVID came to town, we’ve been looking forward to people making a break for the Coromandel, but now because of the weather we’ve had lots of cancellations, even today,” he said.
At Whitianga Campground, staff is roving around the property and reminding guests to take down gazebos and batten down. In the January 3rd report, the park’s office manager said they were now at half their normal capacity.
Meanwhile, Kūaotunu Campground had not seen a significant loss in the number of campers as of January 3. The camp’s manager said that some tent campers have decided to relocate to other areas, but the overall occupancy is still about three-quarters full.
Campers at the Uretiti Beach DOC campsite also chose to stay for their beach camp holiday instead of returning home.
Early this week, the Thames Coromandel District Council warned visitors to the region to brace for the incoming storm. Campers were also instructed to prepare a wet weather plan and ensure safe camping by checking their tent’s drainage or making sure tents are tied down.
Per the latest data from MetService, the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty west of Whakatane and north of Rotorua are under heavy rain warnings, while parts of Auckland are under heavy rain watches. Waikato, Coromandel, and western Bay of Plenty to Taranaki and Taihape are under strong wind watches.
To learn more, visit https://www.metservice.com/national.