Busy new year for campers

Holiday parks in Queenstown and Wanaka have recorded the busiest New Year's Eve trade in almost 20 years.

Queenstown Lakes District Council runs four holiday parks in Queenstown, Wanaka, Arrowtown and Glendhu Bay.

Queenstown Lakes District Council general manager finance Stewart Burns said yesterday January was very strong and when the figures were available they would show a 6.5 per cent revenue increase compared to last year.

Holiday parks manager Greg Hartshorne said the closure of the Queenstown recreation ground to New Year's Eve campers meant the loss of about $24,000 in revenue.

However, some people were encouraged to stay in Arrowtown and overall it was the busiest new year for camping grounds since he started 19 years ago.

"We were packed to the gunnels and it was also the best behaved New Year with no incidents attributed to the holiday parks.

"It was very much a domestic market, it's only in the last few weeks the international market has grown. It's just a pity we had that shocking New Year's Eve weather."

The holiday parks were also being marketed more, Chinese New Year brought in visitors and many people from Christchurch were on holiday in the Southern Lakes.

The Southland Times