Waikato tops Kiwis' top holiday spots

JENNA LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 14/01/2014
Raglan wharf
Bruce Mercer/Fairfax NZ

Raglan is growing in popularity while Coromandel beaches retain their allure.

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Waikato holidaymakers need look no further than their own backyard to discover New Zealand's top holiday spots.

Greater Waikato destinations have grabbed six of the top ten most popular summer holiday spots, show figures released by holiday home booking website Bookabach.

The rankings are based on the total number of nights booked via Bookabach.co.nz between Friday, December 20, 2013 and Sunday, January 5, 2014.

Whangamata in the Coromandel Peninsula cemented its position as the top summer holiday hotspot for Kiwis, coming out as the most popular destination in New Zealand for the sixth year running, while Raglan came in fourth behind Mangawhai Heads and Mount Maunganui.

Also making the top ten were popular Coromandel destinations, Whitianga, Waihi beach and Pauanui.

Tourist destination Taupo came in eighth.

Bookabach general manager Peter Miles said while Auckland and Northland had attracted some impressive numbers this year, Waikato destinations would always be popular.

"Raglan and Kawhia are continuing to grow in popularity and the shine definitely hasn't come off the Coromandel."

And the booming summer numbers are a welcome gift to businesses in Whangamata, who largely depend on their summer trade.

Argo Restaurant and Wine Bar owner, Tammy Alderson said trade was up about 20 per cent on last year's numbers, which was crucial to survival.

"If you don't have a successful summer, you're not going to make it through the winter," she said.

Mrs Alderson said a lot of Argo's diners were repeat customers, who had eaten there throughout the year.

"A lot of the customers I talked to just rent the same bach year after year," she said.

Across the board, Mr Miles said recorded rental activity was up 30 per cent on last year.

There were 39,656 adults and 10,741 children staying at rented baches over the holiday period.

Rents for holiday homes have stayed pretty stagnant over the past year, Mr Miles said. "It's really just business as usual."

For those who have yet to get away on a summer holiday, spaces are available through most of January at all of Waikato's hotspots.

A Whangamata bach will set you back from $250-$500 per night, or if you prefer a cheaper trip to the West Coast, Raglan baches are available for as low as $60 per night.

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- Waikato

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