A long, hot and dry summer at Bland Bay Camp Ground

The camp ground was packed at its peak over summer!

Now into their sixth year, camp ground manager, Wayne Johnstone and his wife, Tupou, say they have had a long, hot and dry summer.

As is the situation for many in Northland, the camp ground has had issues with water, but this was more due to issues with their own bore supply rather than lack of rain.  At the start of summer Wayne said that they were having ongoing issues with their bore, and had to really manage its use at the camp ground. 

“We would like to thank the Tuparehuia marae committee for allowing us to access their water bore to top up the camp ground tanks while we were having our issues.  We were very grateful for their support.”

“The issue with our bore is now resolved as we were fortunate to be able to get a contractor out right on Christmas, as campers were starting to arrive.  We were very thankful that we were able to get it sorted in time, and is now no longer an issue for us.”

The camp ground has been full all summer, which meant the beaches and surrounding areas were busy with people, bubbling like kahawai schooling on top of the water, all of who were lapping up the long hot summer days.

Wayne says, “This year we approached a planning and roading team at Whangarei District Council to seek permission to move our front boundary fence to increase our capacity.”

Prior to the holiday period an application was submitted to extend the current front boundary out to the main road, keeping within two meters from the road.  This meant the camp had nearly 1,000m2 extra capacity, with an availability of approximately 30 additional camp sites.

​Two weeks after submitting the application, it came back approved.

The extension to the boundary fence opened up an additional 30 camp sites

At first there was some hesitation from some campers being close to the road and potential noise, but feedback from campers was that they enjoyed the spots as they had the benefit of the shade of the trees along where the previous fence line once was.  With the hot summer, campers loved this, while others baked in the beach front sun.  So much so, that when offered beach front positions when they became available, the campers wanted to stay where they were.

A highlight of the summer, and new to the camp ground this year, was the “Middle Rock Takeaways” food caravan.  The takeaway caravan was a hit with campers as well as locals, and was very busy all summer.  With a recent Council graded “A Licence”, the caravan provided burgers, fish and chips, and hot dogs, often almost selling out on a daily basis and needing to go to town for more supplies, which was a sign of how popular it was.

Middle Rock Takeaways – New to the camp ground this summer!

After a successful trial over summer, Wayne says that Middle Rock Takeaways will continue to operate during Easter and other long weekend holidays, as well as over this year’s summer season.

Large groups came to Bland Bay over summer, with one Auckland Church group of over 40 people traveling north to stay, with feedback received that they just loved their time at the camp ground and will be back.

Wayne says, “It has been a very good summer for the camp, with everyone that has stayed generally being well behaved and enjoying themselves thoroughly.”

“We still have a few things to work on, such as our recycling which we are trying to work with the Council on, and there is always ongoing maintenance to be done.”

“We still have some busy times and weekends ahead of us with Easter already looking like we will be busy.  We are also getting a lot of people still coming to stay with us who like to come outside of our peak holiday times, so we are still ticking along nicely.”

“Then after Easter, we hope to get a bit of a break for ourselves which we look forward to each year.”

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