Demand has been higher than usual for a camping spot at Totaranui during the Christmas-New Year period and the Department of Conservation says unfortunately not everyone wanting to stay then can be accommodated.
Totaranui campground in Abel Tasman National Park is now fully booked from just after Christmas through to late January. It is expected booking applications currently being processed may fill the campground from late January through to the end of the summer school holidays in early February.
DOC Golden Bay Area Manager John Mason said booking applications for the popular Christmas-New Year holiday period were up about 40 per cent this year.
"We received 735 applications this year to go into a ballot for places at Totaranui during the Christmas-New Year period compared to around 520 we received last year.
"The campground can only accommodate 850 campers at a time so not everyone can get in. We run a ballot in July for places to give all applicants a fair and equal chance.
"We understand the disappointment of those that have missed out and are having to rethink their holiday plans.
"There is still space available before Christmas and from the first week of February onwards and we are encouraging people to come then if they can. It is also likely some booked parties will cancel enabling others on a waiting list to get in.
"We believe the increase has largely come about through word of mouth from campers who have experienced great holidays there in recent years and told their friends about it. About a third of those who applied for the ballot haven't camped at Totaranui before.
"We're pleased so many people find it an attractive place to holiday. Campers tell us they enjoy it for its natural surroundings, friendly atmosphere, and because they can get away from it all there and spend time together as a family."
Bookings are required to stay at Totaranui campground between 1 December and 10 February. A booking application form can be obtained from the DOC website www.doc.govt.nz.
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