Golden Bay cashing in on summer

Golden Bay tourism operators and businesses are reporting a busy summer season, with one owner giving his summer turnover an "11 out of 10".

Wharariki Holiday Park owner Dion Leigh said his campground at Farewell Spit had been extremely busy since early summer.

"Most families come here to get away from the drunken bars; it's a family park," he said.

Totaranui Campground is currently full, with no vacancies and staff who are flat out keeping up with running the Department of Conservation-owned campground.

Takaka cafe-bar Dangerous Kitchen was enjoying a "busier than expected" season, said co-owner David Dwyer.

He gave the summer an "11 out of 10".

"We had to buy new pizza boards because we couldn't keep up."

Wayne Green, owner of Takaka's Wholemeal Cafe, said the good weather in Golden Bay meant customers were "happy instead of grumpy".

He gave the season nine out of 10. Business was "up a lot from last year".

"We're just pumping."

Pohara Beach Top Ten Holiday Park co-owner Brent Clarke said that while the season was "pretty close to perfect", there was still some accommodation available for campers.

There would also be cabins available in about a week's time.

"It's always that second stage. It sounds crazy, but some people haven't decided where they're going on holiday yet," he said.

"We have lots of new customers this year, and they're just loving it. They're filling out request forms to come back next year."

Mr Clarke said he had noticed more visitors from the North Island, particularly Wellington. He rated his season a nine out of 10.

Takaka Fresh Choice, the town's only supermarket, is also running at full capacity.

The Nelson Mail