Camp Ground operations manager, Wayne Johnstone says, “We have had a great summer!”
“This is our fourth year at Bland Bay, and the usual periods over Christmas and New Years were typically very busy. However we had a couple of last minute cancelations which resulted in a few empty sites, but in hindsight this was actually a good thing as it gave everyone a little bit more space and room for campers to move”.
“My wife Tupou and I really enjoyed this year and everything ran very smoothly. This summer season we were actually able to make the decision not to accept bookings from a couple of groups who we found to be very disruptive and rowdy over the last three years while staying with us. We were pleased that their absence actually made for a much more pleasant experience for all the other campers and thus also made it easier for ourselves in the managing of the grounds.”
From Friday 10th February though to Sunday 12th February the Campground hosted over 320 Hash House Harriers from all around the world.
The Hash House Harries are an international group of non-competitive running social clubs. They organise events locally and internationally known as a hash or hash runs, with participants calling themselves hashers or hares and hounds.
The objective of the Hash House Harriers is to promote physical fitness among members, to get rid of weekend hangovers, to acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer, and to persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel. With this as their basic motto, it was always going to being an interesting weekend for the camp ground.
Wayne says, “The whole area was buzzing with over 320 people staying, having travelled from Australia, America, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Brunei, Belgium, Norway, Turkey and Zambia.”
“On the Friday campers started arriving with lots of kegs of beer and a large marquee was erected. A helicopter was on site to give scenic tours which the guests said was just amazing.”
After the “Hashers” completed their walk/run event on the Saturday a big party was held in the marquee with local band “Charlotte’s Web” who provided great music for lots of dancing and partying into the early hours.”
“The Hash House Harriers were a great bunch of people from all around the world, and they were really well behaved with absolutely no issues or problems. We would gladly have them back again for any future events. This was a fantastic weekend had by all.”
The training involved 25 Royal New Zealand Navy, 4 Royal Australian Navy and 20 United States of America Navy personnel who stayed at the camp ground for eleven days.
Wayne says, “It was great to have the Navy stay at our camp grounds. One highlight was seeing the Navy spend some time showing some of our local tamariki how to use their dive equipment, and to join in a game of touch rugby with the kids. This was a really fun day.”
Wayne says, “With Easter just around the corner, it is another busy time for us, and then we have a large wedding the week after that. So we look forward to some more great weather to see us through this last period before winter is upon us which signals the beginning of our quiet period. This summer has been really enjoyable for everyone, and Tupou and I feel privileged and honoured to be running the camp ground on behalf of Te Iwi O Ngātiwai.”