As the Department of Conservation prepares to host some 60,000 campers over the summer, at more than 300 campsites across New Zealand, space is still available at a number of sites on Hauraki Gulf islands.
On Aotea/Great Barrier Island, as of late last week, campsites at Akapoua Bay, Awana Beach, The Green, Whangapoua, Harataonga, and Medlands Beach all had space available for bookings over Christmas and New Year.
Christmas/New Year sites are also available on Motatapu and Motuihe, both pest-free islands.
On Motuora Island, which is also pest-free, the campsite is full from December 25 to the end of the first week of January.
DOC reminds visitors who are heading to pest-free islands to check vessel and gear for pests before leaving the mainland.
DOC heritage and visitors director Cat Wilson says staff have worked hard to address the aftermath of last summer’s cyclone, which impacted some North Island campsites.
Efforts included repairing water infrastructure, rebuilding roads within the campsites, fixing bridges and culverts, repairing toilets and clearing debris and fallen trees.
The main impact visitors will experience as a result of last summer’s turbulent weather is reduced capacity at several campsites – Port Jackson, Fletcher Bay and Fantail Bay in the Coromandel and Uretiti Beach in Waipu.
“DOC’s campsites have long been a fixture of summer holidays for many Kiwis,” Wilson says.
“Although a number are booked out over the busy two-week period, some still have space – and many do if you look to book in off-peak times.”