Holiday invasion brings up to 15,000 to ‘sleepy hollow’ town

Summer lovin’ in Mahia

Summer lovin’ in Mahia

Too much, magic bus: Sid the Sloth is what 13 northerners have christened their 1983 Isuza Journey bus transporting them down the sunny East Coast. Enjoying Mahia are (from left) Jordan Hildreth, Casia Dunning, Rachel Herring, Anna Cunningham, Patches O’Hoolihan, Samuel Geoffry Smith, Sharon Smith, Robyn Dunning, Julie Burnett, Brad Holdaway, Ella Bernard, Amy Kvalsvig, and Rebekah Hildrerth. The friends, from Auckland, Kaipara Harbour and Tauranga are on a week-long trip. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
Scarlett Cotton-Leonard enjoys a swim at Mahia.
Georgina Knofflock loves her third summer holiday at Mahia with mum Aimee who has been travelling to the popular beachside paradise since her own childhood.
Charlie Stoddart and Zarie the dog at Mahia.
COOLING OFF: Max, Charlie and Sophie Stoddart take advantage of the relaxing waters of Mahia Beach as the temperature hovers around the 30-degrees mark.
RIDING ALONG: Alicia Capes, sisters Lexi and Taite Muir, and Imogen Wright, from Waiuku, make their way around the popular Mahia Beach. Locals estimate up to 15,000 people have holidayed in the township over the Christmas-New Year period. Pictures by Rebecca

MAHIA beaches and hot temperatures are reeling in record numbers of holiday-makers.

That is the impression of prominent residents Bill Shortt and Diana Symes, who estimate up to 15,000 revellers have celebrated the holiday break in Mahia.

Mahia identity Bill Shortt said the township was not the ‘‘sleepy hollow” of 800 residents as it was over winter.

He estimated holiday visitors to number between 13,000 and 15,000 who had “virtually swamped the area”.

Labour Weekend had also proved successful, with about 5000 visitors.

Christmas-New Year “picture card-perfect weather” and boating conditions had helped provide “probably the biggest gathering of holiday-makers ever to arrive” at Mahia.

“A record number of boats were at sea from the Mahia Beach side on one day when 108 boat trailers were counted.”

Mr Shortt said Mahia Beach Store had queues out on to the road during busy times while the Opoutama service station had line-ups of vehicles with boats waiting to pump petrol.

“The upgraded walkway to the top of Mokotahi headland has been hugely popular, with hundreds trekking up to the top each day to view the magnificent views across the peninsula.’’

Camper numbers s at Mahia Beach Motels and Holiday Park were ‘‘up well over 100 percent on previous years’’ and many had already booked for next summer.

Mrs Symes, the owner of Sunset Point tavern, said it had been an exceptional summer. Last year was good but this year had been better.

The weather had made a big difference.

Sunset Point co-owner Arthur Symes said there had been many young people from Hawke’s Bay in Mahia.

Many had attended Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne and stopped off in Mahia, staying at baches owned by their parents.

The baches were packed and it was not unusual to see six cars parked at some of them.

The Symes, who own other Mahia property, said they had been asked to help as accommodation at Mahia Beach Motels and Holiday Park had been booked to capacity.

The summer had been exceptional for their business but because of family and health reasons, the tavern would go on the market over winter.

Mrs Clayton-Greene said Mahia was “a cool place”.

“I’ve been here every holiday of my childhood and since.’’

She now holidays in Mahia with her own family.

Daughter Sophie said she loved Mahia.

“I really like it, especially by the sea. I like the water and water skiing.”

Mrs Clayton-Greene said her daughter had been learning to ski that morning.

She came to Mahia and met with friends and relatives.

“It’s my chance to catch up. Some of my cousins have travelled from Auckland — it’s amazing.”

Mrs Clayton-Greene said she was the niece of Mr Shortt.

I’m born and bred in Wairoa.

“My grandfather (Bill Shortt) was the mayor of Wairoa and owned the Morere tavern.

“Mum has a bach called Moko Inn, which is named after the dolphin. We’ve been associated with Mahia probably for 70 years.”

One of Mrs Clayton-Greene’s friends, Leanne Hutchinson, said she had been coming to Mahia for six years.

The family had missed last year but tried to visit every summer.

Her Hawke’s Bay family was staying in the campground.

Aimee Knofflock is another Mahia regular from Hawke’s Bay.

“I’ve been coming here since childhood,’’ she said.

Originally her family stayed at the now defunct Blue Bay Motor Camp.

Daughter Georgina was in Mahia “for the third time already.’’.

“My parents are here as well.”

MAHIA beaches and hot temperatures are reeling in record numbers of holiday-makers.

That is the impression of prominent residents Bill Shortt and Diana Symes, who estimate up to 15,000 revellers have celebrated the holiday break in Mahia.

Mahia identity Bill Shortt said the township was not the ‘‘sleepy hollow” of 800 residents as it was over winter.

He estimated holiday visitors to number between 13,000 and 15,000 who had “virtually swamped the area”.

Labour Weekend had also proved successful, with about 5000 visitors.

Christmas-New Year “picture card-perfect weather” and boating conditions had helped provide “probably the biggest gathering of holiday-makers ever to arrive” at Mahia.

“A record number of boats were at sea from the Mahia Beach side on one day when 108 boat trailers were counted.”

Mr Shortt said Mahia Beach Store had queues out on to the road during busy times while the Opoutama service station had line-ups of vehicles with boats waiting to pump petrol.

“The upgraded walkway to the top of Mokotahi headland has been hugely popular, with hundreds trekking up to the top each day to view the magnificent views across the peninsula.’’

Camper numbers s at Mahia Beach Motels and Holiday Park were ‘‘up well over 100 percent on previous years’’ and many had already booked for next summer.

Mrs Symes, the owner of Sunset Point tavern, said it had been an exceptional summer. Last year was good but this year had been better.

The weather had made a big difference.

Sunset Point co-owner Arthur Symes said there had been many young people from Hawke’s Bay in Mahia.

Many had attended Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne and stopped off in Mahia, staying at baches owned by their parents.

The baches were packed and it was not unusual to see six cars parked at some of them.

The Symes, who own other Mahia property, said they had been asked to help as accommodation at Mahia Beach Motels and Holiday Park had been booked to capacity.

The summer had been exceptional for their business but because of family and health reasons, the tavern would go on the market over winter.

Mrs Clayton-Greene said Mahia was “a cool place”.

“I’ve been here every holiday of my childhood and since.’’

She now holidays in Mahia with her own family.

Daughter Sophie said she loved Mahia.

“I really like it, especially by the sea. I like the water and water skiing.”

Mrs Clayton-Greene said her daughter had been learning to ski that morning.

She came to Mahia and met with friends and relatives.

“It’s my chance to catch up. Some of my cousins have travelled from Auckland — it’s amazing.”

Mrs Clayton-Greene said she was the niece of Mr Shortt.

I’m born and bred in Wairoa.

“My grandfather (Bill Shortt) was the mayor of Wairoa and owned the Morere tavern.

“Mum has a bach called Moko Inn, which is named after the dolphin. We’ve been associated with Mahia probably for 70 years.”

One of Mrs Clayton-Greene’s friends, Leanne Hutchinson, said she had been coming to Mahia for six years.

The family had missed last year but tried to visit every summer.

Her Hawke’s Bay family was staying in the campground.

Aimee Knofflock is another Mahia regular from Hawke’s Bay.

“I’ve been coming here since childhood,’’ she said.

Originally her family stayed at the now defunct Blue Bay Motor Camp.

Daughter Georgina was in Mahia “for the third time already.’’.

“My parents are here as well.”

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