Domestic tourists get busy travelling New Zealand

Airports are busy around the country as people spread their wings after lockdown for the long weekend.

Air New Zealand says it is encouraged by the number of New Zealanders exploring their own backyard.

Over the three days of Queen's Birthday weekend, the national carrier will operate 779 domestic flights.

That compares to 615 flights in the first week of alert level 2 but is well down on pre-COVID-19 numbers, when more than 400 flights a day were operating.

Some flights in Queenstown have been delayed by fog on Saturday but an Air New Zealand spokesperson says there have been no cancellations.

Queenstown mayor Jim Boult said other attractions such as bungy jumping and skydiving would also be available.

"We're expecting to have a smile on our face this weekend."

James Helmore from Lake Wanaka Tourism said people were coming from all over the place.

"There's a lot of people driving... from the lower South Island and also a few people taking advantage of the extra flights out of Auckland, Christchurch and also Wellington," he said.

James Cunningham is the sales and marketing manager of the 35-bed King and Queen Hotel Suites in New Plymouth.

He said the long weekend could not be looking any better.

Meanwhile, Rotorua tourism ventures are feeling relief thanks to full bookings, with the town buzzing with both local tourists and visitors from other parts of the country.

Until COVID-19 closed the borders, the thermal town was a mecca for international tourists.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the past two weekends had been good for the city and Queen's Birthday was shaping as an even bigger boost to the local economy.

Paul Button of Canopy Tours, which runs a forest zipline, said they were fully booked for the next two and a half days.

But he did not want people to think the problems had gone away just because they were having one good weekend, and the challenge was in keeping that support going long-term.