Wild weather forces thousands more holidaymakers to abandon popular summer hotspots

High winds and driving rain today forced thousands more holidaymakers to abandon popular hotspots like the Coromandel Peninsula.

Ferry sailings to Great Barrier have been cancelled and by Friday another 200mm of rain is expected in eastern parts of the North Island. 

You can book a holiday, but you can't book the weather. And when it turns, you get out… if you can.

"I was nervous, I was excited. It's not a 4WD, but it is the Corolla. It's always gonna make it through!" one person told Newshub.

"We are stuck. We can go back to Auckland but we can't get through here," another said.

"The lovely man on the road gave me a phone and I rang my son and he's come to rescue me!" said a third.

Holidaymakers in Whangapoua, Matarangi and Whitianga found themselves bookended by the bad weather.

A major slip north of Coromandel town and flooding south of Whitianga on State Highway 25 made roads impassable for much of the day.

"Pretty much the whole of the eastern seaboard is cut off," Thames Coromandel District Civil Defence controller Garry Towler said.

"We've had 200mm last 24 hours and another 200mm in next 24 hours... it's unknown territory."

The weather forced the cancellation of concerts and a mass exodus of campers across the region. 

At Tairua Campground, Dave Bell is one of only a handful remaining.

"Go to the fishing club tonight, have a couple beers and all tell the same story and whinge about the weather!" Bell told Newshub.

"Everyone works together and my lady made brownies for everyone," Tairua Campground owner Charlie Czepanski said.

High winds and big seas have carved a six-foot wall into Whangapoua's dunes.

"Avoid travel at all costs until Monday or Tuesday and another big front coming through," Towler said.

Just another few days of weathering the storm.