Are we too high-maintenance for the classic Kiwi camping holiday?

Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park owner Richard Gunson recalls having a connect with from a lady a couple of many years ago who had booked a tent web-site and wanted to know if it would have world-wide-web access.

Gunson defined world wide web was available, but at that time it was an outdated-fashioned copper-centered relationship, only acceptable for examining email messages – it wouldn’t be up to streaming films or anything like that.

“She explained that wouldn’t fit her little ones, and did not conclusion up coming.”

A summertime tenting vacation has extensive been a cherished tradition for several Kiwi households.

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But at a time when we’ve turn into accustomed to luxuries like owning supper shipped to our doorway, with leisure like TikTok and Netflix material at our fingertips, does the easy enjoyment of sleeping in a tent even now keep the same attraction?

Getaway park operators say at the heart of it, the thought remains the identical – investing time with family in a lovely slice of Aotearoa, having fun with the proximity to the terrific outside.

But there’s no denying our expectations have turn out to be loftier over the years, which has found the humble vacation park undergo a little something of a glow-up.

“We’ve arrive a hell of a prolonged way from the aged campground days,” states Getaway Parks New Zealand main government Fergus Brown. The industry body represents 265 holiday break parks.

Some vacation parks are now extra like resorts, with swimming swimming pools, very hot tubs and bounce pillows on offer, Brown suggests. A patch of grass with simple features is no lengthier plenty of – Kiwi holidaymakers are seeking extra and more involved.

“These times to survive, you have got to be frequently hunting to present a improved merchandise.”

The outlook at Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park.


The outlook at Mangawhai Heads Holiday getaway Park.

Gunson and his spouse Noela have owned Mangawhai Heads Holiday getaway Park for the last 10 decades, but have been in the sector given that 2000.

He claims individuals still come for the identical factors they always have – to expend summer time at the seashore, with surf, swimming and fishing on provide. But they’re going about it a little bit in a different way to how they utilized to.

“The size of anything has adjusted,” he claims.

“In the times when our household went camping, my wife and I and three kids would be in a four-gentleman tent. Now, tents are created up of a few to 4 rooms, and they have gazebos.

“With all the additional gear, they very typically have to convey two cars and trucks, with a trailer, while in our day it was all in one particular vehicle.”

They also carry their products, and count on world wide web obtain. The park now features no cost unlimited wi-fi – or attendees can decide to stay in a device, which has its possess lavatory, kitchen, and a good Television set with Netflix.

They began out with two models, and now have six. But Gunson says they are planning to include even far more.

“We see a great deal more individuals who still want to come for that vacation park knowledge, but will do so in created lodging as opposed to a tent. They want those creature comforts.”

The Camp sits on the shores of Lake Hāwea.

The Camp

The Camp sits on the shores of Lake Hāwea.

The Camp at Lake Hāwea, formerly the Lake Hāwea Holiday getaway Park, is an additional holiday park that has prolonged its accommodation presenting to preserve up with the newest developments.

As nicely as tent web-sites, cabins and cottages, in current yrs they have additional 11 glamping tents, positioned inside the major campground, as properly as six geodesic domes, which sit behind the camp and are run independently, as a far more quality alternative.

The additions empower them to cater for all budgets and accommodation choices, and also indicate they can work nicely over and above the peak summer months period.

“If you’ve acquired a camp that’s just grass and run sites and tent web sites, you truly restrict your current market to a summer time camping ground,” claims supervisor Karyn Abery.

“We can provide individuals accommodation calendar year-spherical without having any problem at all.”

Glamping tents and geodisic domes at The Camp have added a touch of luxury to the traditional camping experience.

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Glamping tents and geodisic domes at The Camp have additional a contact of luxurious to the classic camping encounter.

But loads of followers of a no-frills tenting holiday can nonetheless be found in the main camp, which celebrated its 50th birthday very last calendar year. Despite the updates, the owners have been determined to keep its essence as the “quintessential Kiwi campground”, Abery suggests.

It’s an expertise that continues to be so well known that they have had to change persons absent this summer season, as they were being booked out from Christmas Eve to mid-January.

And it genuinely is standard. There’s no Television set home, and only constrained wi-fi. Instead, campers are inspired to make the most of the walking and mountain biking tracks in the location, as properly as the salmon and trout fishing on the lake.

“It’s good for young children who are quite dependent on equipment to be taken out of their ease and comfort zone.”

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