Rabbit Island popular Christmas Day spot

NANA WATCH: Two-year-old Locklan Wiren of Stoke spots his grandmother Diane Wiren arriving on Christmas Day at Rabbit Island.
NANA WATCH: Two-year-old Locklan Wiren of Stoke spots his grandmother Diane Wiren arriving on Christmas Day at Rabbit Island.

Rabbit Island is such a popular place for families to enjoy a Kiwi outdoor Christmas they started arriving at 6am.

Caretaker Tui Appelman estimates 2500 people spent Christmas Day there.

They started arriving at 6am when she opened the gates.

"The wife usually sends the husband to get their favourite posse, with the car all loaded up, then the rest of the family comes around 9am. They bring their table and chairs, barbecues, just about the whole house."

There was plenty of excitement as children unwrapped their Christmas presents.

That also means a huge amount of wrapping paper is discarded which Miss Appelman picks up on her regular rubbish rounds.

By the end of the day she had taken away one tonne of rubbish.

This year families were able to spread out, while last year they had been confined to a smaller area after the December flooding.

Today Miss Appelman will get to unwrap presents with her family at their get-together.

The Nelson Mail