As the summer holidays got closer each year, preparations for a long stay at Tahunanui Camp would begin, including packing the caravan with what we would need for the holiday.
I was primary school age when we started camping here and would count the days down until we hooked the caravan up and set off on our long drive from Dunedin to Nelson.
We had a site in A block, which really great as it was so close to all the exciting activities we could do. There was the beach and swimming of course, rollerskating, crazy golf, trampolining, tennis courts and Natureland.
There was always something to do at the camp, be it wet or fine, like a visit to a friend’s caravan whom we had met there, walks around the camp or a visit to the TV room.
I remember feeding ducks bread and collecting empty glass fizzy bottles and taking them to the camp store to cash in for a bag of lollies.
My sister and I used to go and pump our tractor tyre tubes up at the air pump so we could play in them at the beach. I even remember a group of young people, I think were called the Open Air Campaigners, who would come to the camp and entertain us with their music. Sometimes they would be at the beach too.
There was fun to be had at the beach with sandcastle competitions and a playground.
The camp was a lovely clean place too, I remember, with the rubbish bins being emptied daily.
Even helping with the clothes washing using the old wringer washing machines was fun and you always met someone interesting when you went up to the shower block or the kitchen.
Years later, when I had children of my own, we stayed in a cabin and found the camp was still the same great place, ducks and all.
I have to say that I was always so sad to leave each year, even as an adult.
Good times and many happy memories of an awesome camp I will always have. Thank you.
Trudy Ramsay, along with her mother, father and sister, holidayed at the camp in the late sixties and most of the seventies. Extended family (grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins) lived in Nelson.