Camping grounds filling up fast for Xmas
Cantabrians pining for a Christmas seaside holiday are running out of time as campgrounds fill up fast.
Some campgrounds report bookings coming in up to 12 months in advance, leaving disorganised holiday-makers in the lurch.
Hayley Gale, co-owner of The Sandcastle Pohara, said they were expecting their busiest season in years, and the campground was quickly filling its last spaces for the Christmas to January period.
"This year is bigger than last year and the year before."
Gale said that although a few spaces remained, keen regulars would often reserve spots up to a year in advance.
"Sometimes if people really like their stay we get booked from one year to the next - so our earliest bookings are 12 months in advance."
Shelley Climo, of Collingwood Motor Camp, said the site was "getting steady bookings each day".
"We've still got a few vacancies, but they will fill as we get nearer December."
Climo said some customers would rebook as soon as their holiday ended.
"We get some regular families that tend to just roll on year after year."
Although there were a few spots left for last-minute holidayers, the prime weeks of Christmas to early January were already heavily booked, she said.
Summer campers needing tents should also hurry, or face sleeping under the stars.
Macpac assistant store manager Carolyn Baker said the store had already sold out of some of its more popular tents, and the busy Christmas season had not yet started.
"At the moment we definitely get a boost in sales from parents kitting out their children for school camps. So we get a lot of children coming in for their first pack, their first pair of boots."
Kathmandu Tower Junction manager Ceitlin Walker said the store was already seeing a rush on camping gear, and expected to sell out of some tents and products through December.
She said the first products to go were picnic sets, chairs, and smaller tents.