Your Stories

To be in the running for the Best Story or People’s Choice Story prize packages, New Zealanders were invited to submit short stories based on or inspired by people’s holiday memories at Tahuna Beach and/or the Tahuna Beach Holiday Park (formerly called Tahuna Beach Motor Camp).

VIEW THE SHORTLIST HERE or browse through the stories submitted below.



Story competition shortlist

We are proud to announce the shortlist for the Collective Holiday Memories story competition includes: Diane Bargas Rees – A Night Encounter Hayley Barrett – Summer Storm Steve Cassidy – Fifty-four years of happy memories at Tahuna Beach Jude and Dave Coursey – A lifetime of Tahuna Christmas’ Evelyn Dalzell – The annual holiday argument […]


Fifty-four years of happy memories at Tahuna Beach

When I was nine years old, my parents Ray and Dot Cassidy from Belfast who were enthusiastic caravaners, decided it was time they ventured further than the beach camps north of Christchurch. This was the beginning of annual family holiday treks to Tahuna Beach Holiday Park. There was always much excitement when it was time […]


How to waste time productively at Tahuna

How do we fill three weeks of camping? We love the days at the camp where we just laze around and go nowhere at all! We swim surprisingly infrequently but there are plenty of other reasons to head to the beach. Graham tries to catch a fish sometimes (reasonably unsuccessfully), and we often take an […]


To tent or not to tent

It’s never been an option for us. We are Tahuna tenters all the way. There’s something about the smell of a tent, year after year. There’s something about being able to hear the morning plane and the welcome over the load speaker. There’s something about the anxiety during periods of high wind or rainfall, where […]


Honeymoon & Lord of the Rings

Early on in our relationship, my husband recognised the importance I placed on the annual pilgrimage to Tahuna, and fortunately he also enjoys the experience. So through thick and thin, we go to Nelson and seldom leave before our allotted time is up. But three times out of the last 20, we almost didn’t have, […]


60 years of memories

Our memories of Tahuna begin in 1956 with our parents, Herb and Hazel Pattinson, taking us on a Newman’s bus to spend Christmas holidays in a old caravan at the park close to where number four kitchen is now. While we were in Nelson that year, Dad brought the first family car and a tent […]


A night encounter

A couple of years ago, after a great Christmas at home in Christchurch, we decided to top it off with a few days of relaxation at Tahuna, our favourite camp ground. We knew we would find great facilities and beautiful scenery there. However we also looked forward to making new friends, and the possibility of […]


Magic memories

Growing up in Ashburton as the youngest of five, I made pocket money for being a nuisance to my older sisters whose boyfriends paid me to stay away! My family and our neighbours travelled to Nelson and Tahuna beach for our annual Christmas holiday. Our caravan, driven by Mum was towed by a PAX Vauxhall […]


A lifetime of Tahuna Christmas’

Jude: My connection with Tahuna began as a young child when my parents decided to start camping in ‘M’ block after staying in the Lodge Motels, which backed onto the camp with a gate into the camp. Family friends called the Bollands were camped at Tahuna and would visit us and Mum and Dad decided […]


Cousins camp at Tahuna

My story starts approximately eight years ago. My granddaughter said to me: “Why don’t we have a Cousins Camp?” I had my eldest grandchild aged about 12 in the car with me and we heard a lady on the radio, from America, talk about how she and her husband were having a ‘Cousins Camp’, so […]


Childhood memories of holidays in Nelson

I was two years old and my sister was five when, back in 1953, our family made the first long car trip from Ashburton to Nelson – a tradition that continued for many years, with a trailer behind the car packed high with all the camping gear. Our tent was a motor tent (green roof, […]


Our family tradition

Our family has a tradition of saying our good and bad things at the end of each day while we sit at the dinner table. Frequently, my good things are about special memories of camping or me counting down the days until we next go camping. My absolute favourite thoughts are our family camping holidays […]


Then and now at Tahuna Beach

The Jackson family decided to start having family holidays at Tahuna Holiday Camp in the 1950s. Every Christmas the car and trailer would be packed up for two to three weeks of fun in the sun. The tent, canvas stretchers, food, Tilly lamp, clothes, games, etc were all packed, with not a inch of room […]


Summer Storm

At first it was just a rumble in the distance that barely disturbed the quiet summer night. I needed to go to the toilet block, but I wasn’t going anywhere with that strange noise around. I squeezed my eyes shut and shuffled further into my sleeping bag. Perhaps if I ignored it, it would go […]


Free entertainment by the beach

I was two years old and my sister was five when, back in 1953, our family made the first long car trip from Ashburton to Nelson – a tradition that continued for many years, with a trailer behind the car packed high with all the camping gear. Our tent was a motor tent (green roof, […]


The annual holiday argument

My first memories of holidaying at Tahuna Beach Camp start in the 1940s. We lived in a small coal mining town on the West Coast and every year for our annual holidays we came up to Tahuna for a month. It seemed like most of our street in Dunollie came too, plus many others from […]


Awesome holiday memories

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 […]