Weather: Campers flee holiday spots as incoming heavy rain, strong winds ruin plans

Some campers are already fleeing their holiday spots following threats of heavy rain and strong winds.

Holidaymakers were earlier warned to prepare and take care as weather across the North Island took a turn for the worst.

MetService has issued a heavy rain warning and a strong wind watch for parts of the country. But some people already on holiday have had enough and decided to pack up early.

"We were meant to leave in two days but it's meant to be wet and no one wants to be packing up when it's pouring down with rain," said Maz Worder, whose family has chosen to leave their campsite early.

The summer weather was interrupted by a subtropical low over the Tasman Sea, which will direct rain and winds to northern and central parts of New Zealand. 

"We haven't had much sleep. It's been so windy it's just been coming through, bashing our tent down, setting off car alarms," said Megan Worder.

Gales have already started to hit the North Island with heavy rain expected to follow, which will both continue into next week. Forecasters are warning campers it might be time to cut the holiday short and head home. 

This is disappointing for campground owners, who have only just started to get over the COVID-19 hiatus. 

"We've had three days where we've had 100 percent occupancy over Christmas and New Year's and it's really nice to see the campers back," said Karen Gaffney from Red Beach Top 10 Holiday Park.

But bad weather doesn't help. 

"We are hoping people will stay but we understand that when you are in a tent, bad weather can be bad for you."

Some still seem to find joy, even in the cold and wet, with one child telling Newshub "it's fun whatever the weather". Although others will stick it out in the comfort of their campervan.

"I think it was 2000 was the last time we had a tent and got completely washed out. The water came through and everything, so since then we've had something elevated," campervan owner Sharron Parker said.

But some would rather say goodbye than prepare for the wet, and hope next year brings better weather.