8 Jan 2013

Night of high winds at Hahei

12:44 pm on 8 January 2013

Holidaymakers at Hahei had to take shelter on Monday night from high winds that brought branches down onto tents, knocked out power lines and overturned a wooden picnic table.

Families at the Hahei Holiday Resort near Whitanga were evacuated into spare caravans and a television room.

Operations manager Ian Carter said some tents started shredding or poles breaking and a boat lost its mooring.

Some guests chose to leave, but journeys were also risky with one person saying it took 2½ hours to reach Thames.

Mr Carter said generators had to be used as power was out for six or seven hours.

Elsewhere, high winds also brought down trees in Auckland, with gusts of 78km per hour recorded on Monday at Auckland airport.

MetService also recorded guts of 98km per hour at Whanganui airport.

Holidaymakers at Waikawau Bay and Port Jackson were also shaken by the winds, with some tents blown away.

A tree came down on a camping trailer and bus at Waikawau but there were no injuries.