Celebrating the new year at school would be a child's nightmare, but for motorhome-owning adults who have converged on Foxton Beach over the past week it is a dream come true.
The unusual arrangement that the Manawhenua Area Branch of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association has with Foxton Beach School is now into its fifth year and it's growing in popularity.
Close to 130 motorhomes and their owners have already set up a temporary home on the school's sports fields for the organisation's annual rally.
They hire the school from December 23 to January 4 for music in the hall, tennis, swimming and other social activities - it is the longest motorhome rally in New Zealand.
Manawhenua branch chairman Trevor Hardy says the group has a great relationship with the school as they essentially provide free security over the time they are there and are committed to leaving the place spotless.
"There's a bit of bad press around about motorhomes at the moment and the effect of freedom camping but that side of things is definitely not us.
"Each van here is fully certified - they can last at least two or three days without needing to empty waste. We care a lot about the image we have because we're owners ourselves."
The theme this year was everything Scottish, with live music and odes to a haggis. "It's the friendship, the fellowship and comradeship that brings people back," Mr Hardy says.
Campers were predominantly between 50 and 80 years old, though some were in their 90s. This forces campers to socialise and check on each other's health, Mr Hardy says. Fairfax NZ
- © Fairfax NZ News
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