1 May 2020

Multiple “bubbles” have been whiling away the lockdown by the sea at Spencer Beach Holiday Park.

During Alert Level 4, the Christchurch City Council-run holiday park became home to 76 people, including 41 tourists from Germany, France and Canada.

Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events Nigel Cox says the move to help stranded people has proved very popular, with everyone grateful to have a safe place to stay in a stunning setting.

“While it is a relaxed atmosphere, everyone has followed the isolation rules and kept to their respective bubbles within the park environment,” Mr Cox says.

“Prior to the lockdown, we quickly prepared the park to ensure the safety and well-being of any extra visitors during a challenging time, with targeted cleaning and making individual-use facilities available for a few people who do not have a self-contained campervan.

“Living in a community of strangers has not been a problem – even with nine active children in residence,” he says.

“The perfect weather has also helped, with people making the most of the area and taking daily walks or bikes to the beach and through the forest.”

Fifteen freedom campers staying at Naval Point have also found a home, arriving at the park in a convoy with the help of the Port Hills Park Rangers and the Emergency Operations Centre team.

However, the park population has already dropped to 36 people this week, with most of the international visitors having managed to get flights home.

Camp managers regularly drive around the park, checking on the temporary residents and providing cleaning products and bed linen for those in units.

Each self-contained camper has an allocated site, ensuring a large space between each vehicle.

Camp managers are wiping down all outside and laundry surfaces throughout the day, along with providing cleaning products and gloves to guests using washing facilities. Everyone has to book a separate time to use the communal laundry.

For those who do not have a self-contained van, each has access to an allocated shower and toilet for their use only.

In a message of gratitude to the camp manger, one French couple has already been in touch after a long trip home: “Hello, it is Michèle and Christian that you have kindly hosted for 10 days. Michèle and I thank you once again for your welcome and kindness. We kiss you very much.”

* Pictured above, Ezekiel Chan, eight,and his family are among those who have spent the past few weeks at the Spencer Beach Holiday Park.