Determined not to let the cold, wet weather get the better of them, Karen Cortesi decided to propose to her beau.
The couple from Kawerau, in the North Island, travelled down to Gore to catch up with Ms Cortesi’s son who had flown in from Melbourne.
“I have not seen my son for a while, so it was the perfect opportunity to head south for the summer and catch up with him and my grandchildren,” she said.
“While we were here I thought I would ask Jan to marry me, and he said It is leap year, after all.
“I have to say we have not been impressed with the weather. We didn’t expect it to be so cold and wet.”
They had to buy some winter clothing, she said.
Fiancee Jan Riley said he would like to come back to Gore at some stage, but not in this sort of weather.
Travelling in their motorhome in wet, cold weather made the small space feel even smaller.
“Gore has surprised us with how well it is set up, and is a lot bigger than what we anticipated, and somewhere I will remember being proposed to,” Mr Riley said.
Gore A&P Showgrounds caretaker Bevin Roy said he noticed fewer people coming through the camp this year.
“I do think that probably the weather had an effect,” Mr Roy said.
“For example, if people had no need to head down here, they would possibly stay in Central, in warmer conditions.
“Definitely down in numbers.”
Gore Motor Camp owner Guy Lloyd said this was the second summer living in Gore for him and his wife Olivia, and they noticed the difference.
“Yes, we had a great summer last year in Gore swimming in rivers, rides in the sun in evenings, happy days in Catlins but now it’s getting a bit depressing, continuing rain and sitting indoors not really feeling like doing much,” Mr Lloyd said.
“The weather is very important to how we feel.