There’s a corner of the Whangamata Motor Camp in New Zealand that is a more tight-knit community than most permanent neighborhoods.
Cocktail Alley, as it is known, is literally tightly-knit too. Strands of Christmas lights have been strung between each of the caravans and cabins along the way, a criss-crossing lattice of connectivity that binds the seasonal denizens in a web of festive togetherness.
According to Stuff.com.nz, Craig and Angela Young, from Te Aroha, have the first caravan/cabin combo on the right as you walk in. They have owned the accommodation for 11 years and have been staying in the camping ground for much longer.
“They are a pretty good bunch,” says Craig of his neighbours. “You only see them about once or twice a year, but we are all pretty good mates. There’s families here from Auckland, Hamilton, Huntly . . . It’s a dynamic of people that probably wouldn’t mix in their everyday lives. A few of the guys have got boats and we go out fishing together. If we end up with more fish than we can handle we share it around to the other guys.”
Craig was a long-term visitor to Whangamata.
“I’ve been coming here since I was knee-high. My grandparents had a bach here and we used to pitch tents on the grass.”
Angela became another regular summertime visitor after the couple got married 22 years ago and their two children, now aged 20 and 17, have spent most of their summer holidays at the campground. When the Waikato Times visited on Saturday, Cameron was busy working in the camp shop, “earning himself a bit of holiday pocket money”.
The family’s holiday abode is graced with all the modern conveniences you could want.
“On a rainy day the TV is pretty handy, but we don’t tend to use it very much. When we were tenting here it could get pretty rubbish when it rains. Now when it does it can pelt down on the roof of the caravan and get pretty noisy. You feel like you are living inside a tin can. But that’s as bad as it gets.”
The Youngs had recently installed a new second-hand kitchen sink and bench in the cabin, and had made numerous other little improvements to it and the adjoining caravan over the years.
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