Some campers are beginning to head away from the two main summer holiday camping areas which have been host to hundreds of glbti people in the Manawatu and Northland.
There have been no reports of misbehaviour, which has been occasionally an issue with drunken locals entering the camp in some past years to jeer at the glbti campers who make up around one third of those in the camp. As usual many campsites have been decorated in camp motifs which this year included a chandelier of illuminated flamingos. Prizes were awarded for best lighting, flagpole and campsite.
On New Year's Eve a new Queen of Vinegar Hill was crowned, he is Andrew Fletcher of New Plymouth, chosen to acknowledge his services to the camp as part of the medical team in the first aid tent. It will be Fletcher's job to over see preparations for next year's gathering.
The weather at Vinegar Hill has been largely fine with the river in a good state for swimming. However, a number of campers are voicing concerns at the poor level of maintenance of the campground roads in recent years which has seen deep ruts appearing in a number of areas and dust becoming an issue. At Uretiti changeable, humid and at times damp weather have been a feature of this year's holiday camping.
â€śWe had a classic car parade at 5pm,â€ť says long-time camper Steve Farrow and a few guys costumed up with wigs. As the sun set strobe lighting and music started pumping and we had a great night which wound up at about 1am.â€ť Farrow says quite a numb er of straight campers joined in the glbti NYE celebrations and there were no behaviour problems.Most years a large bonfire is lit on the beach to the south of the camp but this years that was not possible due to fire regulations