As the long weekends approach, Northland’s campgrounds are witnessing an unprecedented surge in demand. The region, renowned for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is a top destination for holidaymakers looking to experience the best of New Zealand’s outdoor lifestyle.
With the historic Waitangi Day and the Northland Anniversary public holidays on the horizon, the rush to secure a spot in one of Northland’s coveted holiday parks or campgrounds is more intense than ever.
The Bay of Islands, a jewel in Northland’s crown, is particularly feeling the pressure. Known for its breathtaking scenery and significant historical sites, the area is a magnet for tourists and locals alike.
According to a New Zealand Herald report, the influx of visitors seeking to enjoy the last of summer in the “Winterless North” or to partake in the Waitangi Day celebrations is leading to a rapid filling up of available accommodation. Holiday parks and campsites, traditionally the heart of the region’s tourist accommodation, are reporting record bookings.
Te Tii Waitangi Trust B3, which owns the Te Tii Waitangi Holiday Park, is at the forefront of managing this surge. The Trust’s manager, Tania Sigley, notes that the park, due to its proximity to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, is particularly busy during this time.
The park, which can accommodate around 400 people, is already seeing a significant portion of its motels, cabins, and powered sites booked out, leaving only a few camping sites available for latecomers.
The significance of the park extends beyond just accommodation; it serves as a base for volunteers, stallholders, and workers involved in the Waitangi Day celebrations. Sigley emphasizes the urgency for those wishing to attend the festivities to book their spots as soon as possible.
The peak time, she notes, is between February 2-6, a period that sees the park transform into a bustling hub of activity and cultural exchange.
Northland Inc’s head of destination and communications, Tania Burt, echoes this sentiment of urgency. She points out that both the Waitangi Day and Northland Anniversary long weekends are shaping up to be as busy as previous years, if not busier.
The region is bracing for an influx of around 60,000-80,000 visitors, potentially double the usual number for Waitangi Day. This spike in visitor numbers is a testament to Northland’s growing appeal as a premier holiday destination.
Burt’s advice to potential visitors is clear: book early and prepare well in advance. While she encourages people to experience the beauty and cultural richness of Te Tai Tokerau (Northland), she stresses the importance of planning ahead to ensure a smooth and enjoyable holiday experience.
The region’s holiday parks, which make up about 50% of available accommodation, are particularly popular due to their range of options, from powered and non-powered sites to cabins and access to swimming beaches.
Freedom camping is also a viable option for those with mobile homes, with several areas in the region permitting this type of camping. However, holidaymakers are encouraged to do their research before deciding on a spot for the night.
Most camping sites are well-marked, ensuring a hassle-free experience for those opting for a more adventurous approach to their holiday.
For more information and to secure your spot in one of Northland’s beautiful campgrounds, visit Holiday Parks New Zealand and explore the diverse range of options available.