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'Busy' long weekend in Rotorua despite wet weather

Author
Megan Wilson,
Publish Date
Mon, 29 Jan 2024, 4:38pm
All Seasons Holiday Park Rotorua manager Tracey Thornborough. Photo / Michaela Pointon
All Seasons Holiday Park Rotorua manager Tracey Thornborough. Photo / Michaela Pointon

'Busy' long weekend in Rotorua despite wet weather

Author
Megan Wilson,
Publish Date
Mon, 29 Jan 2024, 4:38pm

Domestic and international tourists alike flocked to Rotorua for Auckland Anniversary weekend as local businesses say they have been busy - despite the wet weather.

A heavy rain warning was in place for parts of the Bay of Plenty from 3pm on Sunday to 5am on Monday.

Several events took place in Rotorua over the weekend, including the Blue Lake Multisport Festival, Raumati Vibes at the Arts Village and the Kuirau Park Saturday Market.

All Seasons Holiday Park Rotorua manager Tracey Thornborough. Photo / Michaela Pointon
All Seasons Holiday Park Rotorua manager Tracey Thornborough. Photo / Michaela Pointon

All Seasons Holiday Park Rotorua manager Tracey Thornborough said it was a “busy” weekend, with only a couple of spots left available to book.

Asked about the wet weather, Thornborough said a couple of people checked out late on Sunday afternoon, “but otherwise, everyone else stayed”.

Thornborough said some people were in Rotorua for sporting activities, including biking and rugby, while others were visiting the local attractions.

She said a lot of people were visiting from Auckland and Hawke’s Bay, and there were “quite a few” international tourists, including some from Germany and Switzerland.

Rotorua Canopy Tours general manager Paul Button, pictured in 2022. Photo / Andrew Warner
Rotorua Canopy Tours general manager Paul Button, pictured in 2022. Photo / Andrew Warner

Rotorua Canopy Tours general manager Paul Button said Rotorua was “a really popular spot” for the long weekends of Auckland Anniversary, Waitangi Day and Easter.

Button said Sunday afternoon was “a bit quieter” due to the rain, but otherwise, the weekend had been good.

He said there was “always a good mix” of domestic and international tourists, including a lot of Americans.

“The Australians were a bit quieter for us in the first half of January and parts of December, but they really picked up again as we got to late January.”

Button also thanked the domestic market for “always visiting Rotorua”.

Scope Cafe owners Dana and Steven Greer, pictured in 2021. Photo / Andrew Warner
Scope Cafe owners Dana and Steven Greer, pictured in 2021. Photo / Andrew Warner

Scope Cafe owner Dana Greer said it had been a “really good weekend”, with a lot of American and Canadian tourists and local regulars stopping by.

Greer said the cafe was “full house” on Monday morning.

She said the cafe was not normally open on public holidays, but it was open on Auckland Anniversary Day and would be open on Waitangi Day.

Greer said it was a “team decision” to close for one week at the start of the year to give everyone a holiday, and the team was happy to open on public holidays.

“It has been busy, so we’ll keep doing it.”

Taupō Summer Concert

More than 13,000 people attended the Taupō Summer Concert at the Taupō Amphitheatre on Saturday.

Local Taupō band Sonorous got the crowd warmed up before international artists Simple Minds, Texas, Collective Soul and Pseudo Echo took the stage.

In a media statement, Greenstone Entertainment chief executive Amanda Calvert said this year’s event was “extra-special” as three of the four international groups performing had female drummers - “a first for the Summer Concert Tour”.

“We love the fond memories that we’re able to create for concert-goers, and receiving all the wonderful stories that our fans share with us as to why they come back year after year to celebrate these incredible days of live music entertainment.”

Megan Wilson is a health and general news reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post. She has been a journalist since 2021.

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