The Beattie family enjoying the summer sun at Ruakaka. Photo / Supplied
A proper Kiwi Christmas is in store for Northlanders and visitors alike, with the sun shining and beaches filling up fast, and while there may be some clouds, Christmas Day is shaping up to be a warm one.
According to MetService, tomorrow will be partly cloudy, with isolated showers developing in the afternoon. Boxing Day will be mainly fine, with isolated showers developing mainly in the west.
Lifeguard Nia Lloyd is hoping for “good weather and good surf” this Christmas.
Lloyd has been lifeguarding for around five years since the age of 14, and this year she’s spending her Christmas on the sand, out at Whangārei Heads.
This is her first experience lifeguarding in Northland, usually spending the summer watching the waves at infamous surf beach Piha. But she’s “excited” to spend a summer in the winterless North.
“I’m hoping a lot of people come to the beach, and hoping for a lot of people between the flags,” she added.
“But yeah just people getting people back out there, especially with Covid and everything,” she said. “It’s exciting to see everyone here, and a lot of families have been real stoked too, really hoping for good weather and good surf.”
For Lloyd, she’s already noticed the surf is cleaner, and there are more locals.
“Compared to last year though, I’ve seen a lot more people from overseas which is really cool, I’m hoping to get a lot more of that.”
She loves spending her summers at the beach.
“I love working in this job, it’s an absolute treat and we get to go the beach and do what we love every day.”
The Advocate also spoke to families who have travelled up from further afield, hoping for a place to unwind, spend time together and enjoy the summer sun.
For mum Nicole, it’s about slowing down.
“Just to switch off from technology, just chilling, slowing down a bit, connecting with family, definitely beach time, like I’m all about that bit,” she said.
She likes that it’s only an hour and a half drive from her home. She’s been coming up for Christmas the last few years, staying at her parents’ bach. Herself, and her son, Bodie, love it.
She called Northland the perfect place for a “Kiwi summer Christmas, just sitting on the deck with the sun shining”.
The Beattie family from Auckland are equally excited to spend some time in Te Tai Tokerau. With their two daughters Amelia and Alida, parents Yvette and Brett come up every year to spend quality time at Ruakaka Beach.
“We bought up here about 11 years ago, got a section, built, and we just love the beach and its white sand, beautiful clear water, and the weather’s better up here as well!”
Yvette said she loves the lifestyle in the North, with an array of cafes, restaurants where you can find “good food”.
For the last nine years, every Christmas has been spent at Ruakaka Beach. Yvette said she likes that there’s “no running around” like in Auckland. “It’s a real tranquil feeling.”
For her, one of the most memorable moments was when her and her family came up after lockdown. She said as soon as that border opened they wanted to come up, “and then to get up here and just realising how much it melts away all the stress and pressure”.
“Where we stay, there’s more of a feeling of community,” said dad Brett. “There’s kids out there on their bikes.”
“Yeah, you can’t do that in Auckland,” agreed mum Yvette.
Whangārei Mayor Vince Cocurullo told the Advocate his message for Northlanders this summer.
“The most important thing I want to tell Northlanders is to relax and enjoy and have as much family time as possible,” he said.
He added for those with family overseas, “just keep that communication open”.
Cocurullo is most looking forward to the 150th Waipu Games on New Year’s Day, which he believes will be a “massive” event for Northland.
He urges people to be safe on the road, and not take risks.
“Definitely don’t drink and drive, plan your holiday and just look after yourself.”