New Look For Classic Campground

Pakiri Beach Holiday Park is about to begin a whole new chapter in its long life. The lovely old campground has lots of exciting new changes afoot that will bring it up to date without relinquishing its old-school charm.

Owned by the Hay family (of Keith Hay Homes) for 35 years, many of its happy campers have been coming here for generations. Now new business manager Rachel Macfarlane (of Wharf Street Bistro fame) has been instructed to upgrade, so she’s rolled up her sleeves and got stuck in. 

“We’re painting and refurbishing the inside of the general store so campers and locals can stock up with a solid range of basics, and we’re keen for local producers to get in touch. We also plan to install a coffee machine, which we think will be quite popular!” says Rachel. “The TV room has become a small theatre complete with red velvet curtains, and families staying here have already had fun staging their own shows to great hilarity.”

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Rachel’s passionate about sustainability and plans are underway to reduce park waste significantly – and to install a refill station for eco-friendly cleaning and cosmetic products. Conservation is high on the list too, since critically endangered NZ fairy tern and dotterel nest at Pakiri. DOC’s efforts to educate the public to avoid nests and chicks over spring are backed up by the holiday park team.

But wait, there’s more. The popular family cottages along the waterfront have been given a gorgeous makeover and the team are taking delivery this month of a shipment from Holland containing a safari-style glamping tent, complete with ensuite bathroom, kitchen and luxury bedding.

“Glamping is a world-wide trend that I’ve been interested in for years,” says Rachel. “The riverfront location is stunning and if all goes well, we’ll install more tents for group accommodation. We’ll make space for a marquee and a fire-pit too – perfect for beach weddings or corporate retreats.”

The Pakiri Beach Holiday Park team is keen for locals to join them this summer. For a nominal visitor’s fee you can have your own holiday park experience. “At high tide, the big waterslide into the estuary is fantastic fun; so are the kayaks and new stand-up paddle boards. And if the tide’s out, our jumping pillow is brilliant. Bring a picnic and watch the sunset from your dinner table.” 

The campground has always been proud of its spectacular location perched above the estuary, dunes and white sands of Pakiri. “There’s a great vibe here,” says Rachel, “and it’s an easy drive via Matakana Valley Road now that the hill is sealed. Bring the family – we can accommodate every budget and we’d love to see you!”

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