Holidaymakers make most of season

01:46, Jan 08 2014
reuben mchaffie
TURN ON THE SUN: Sunny weather earlier this week brought people out to the beach. Timaru boy Reuben McHaffie, 6, enjoys splashing in the water at Caroline Bay.

Despite some terrible weather, South Canterbury holidaymakers were still able to make the most of the festive season.

However, the good news is forecasters are predicting a big high looming under Australia will touch down in the middle of this month, promising proper summer weather.

The 103rd annual Caroline Bay Carnival got off to a slow start on Boxing Day, with rain keeping crowds at home. However, as the weather picked up so did the crowds.

Caroline Bay Association president Kevin Ancell said he was a bit nervous at first, but was relieved to see carnivalgoers out in force enjoying the rides and free concerts.

Auckland Songstress Jamie McDell and Opshop frontman and New Zealand's Got Talent judge Jason Kerrison pulled the biggest crowds, with an estimated 4000 people watching each of Jason's Sunday shows.

Mr Ancell said it was an exciting day with Jason spending an hour and a half after his concert signing autographs.


New Years Eve brought out big crowds with 19,000 people estimated down at the Bay, watching $12,000 worth of fireworks as the clock struck midnight.

Caroline Bay Association secretary Kevin Fahey said the weather was perfect for the event.

"It was an absolutely beautiful night. We are very happy with the way it turned out, and we were pleased to see a lot of young families and teenagers down here enjoying themselves."

The gusty wind proved to be a slight problem, making the sand sculpting competition extra challenging, and a northwesterly caused the Big Whirl and inflatables to be shut down for the day.

Mr Ancell said this year's new additions to the games including bumper cars and a children's ball park purchased with the help of Rotary have been popular and they hope to purchase more for future years.

Public behaviour over the holiday season has been pleasing to police, said Sergeant Milo Hamilton.

"Basically, around town at the moment it's just been that family atmosphere."

The most prominent problem being reported to police was domestic disputes.

"People are not dealing with family issues at the moment. I'm not talking about assaults, I'm talking about arguing."

He said in many cases it was fuelled by alcohol.

South Canterbury