NZ: The Road To Waitangi

Waking up in the campervan is not the closest you can be to nature, but when you draw back the curtains and gaze up at trees older than the history of the local people… Well, it is still impressive. Comfortable and impressive. And a brilliant start for our travels to Waitangi—the birthplace of New Zealand, the nation.  Continue reading NZ: The Road To Waitangi


NZ: Waipoua Forest and the Forest Gods


My travel holidays never feel like they have started until the first morning; When you slowly open your eyes and realise you’re in a new bed, a new location, a new world.

The fresh morning light gave us the first real opportunity to appreciate our campground selection—Port Albert Domain (read more in the previous post). B had parked in a brilliant position: good distance away from the public toilets and main driveway in; completely avoiding the horrible potholes; with the rear windows facing the ocean views (perfect as our first outlook for the day). It was a very quiet secluded campsite, with only three other campervans for company.

Continue reading NZ: Waipoua Forest and the Forest Gods

NZ: Landing On A Long White Cloud

It’s long overdue but there is also a lot to cover. And to be totally honest – our first day was not our best, so it’s taken quite a bit to … Well, to sort of figure out the best approach.

And all because of a travel agent.    Continue reading NZ: Landing On A Long White Cloud

NZ 2015 – Itinerary

It’s been awhile since I was last on this blog; It takes a new family holiday to motivate me again. I know I am WAY behind on the details of Borneo, let alone the previous trips to Italy, Malta, Hong Kong, coast of Queensland… But I am motivated again. Partly to catch up on the fairytales, and partly to be ready for the next great adventure: New Zealand. Yes! We are planning the next family holiday for this year. This time, we are a family of 5 (our youngest was born in 2013) and we are campervanning around the two islands. Here is the proposed itinerary, but of course it is in draft. I’ll update with any changes and I am always open for suggestions:

  • 09-Sept  Auckland
  • 10-Sept  Auckland to Bay of Islands (incl. Morn at Auckland Tower)
  • 11-Sept  Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Waipoua Forest
  • 12-Sept  Drive to Waitomo for Glow-worm caves (incl. Thames Butterfly & Orchid Garden)
  • 13-Sept  Drive to Rotorua – line-up Zorbing, luge/look-out and maybe a concert with a hangi (this is the city to lose your money!!)
  • 14-Sept  Thermal pools and Huka Falls before driving to Whanganui (via Mt Ruapehu – because S is reading The Hobbit with his dad)
  • 15-Sept  Drive to Wellington via Silky Oak Chocolates and Kaitoke Regional Park
  • 16-Sept  Weta Workshop, zoo, and some shopping (mostly for food)
  • 17-Sept  Ferry to South Island, and drive to Kaikoura (incl. Eco World Aquarium
  • 18-Sept  Drive to Christchurch (incl. Dolphin spotting, and Point Sheep Shearing Show
  • 19-Sept  Shop/bus ride around town before heading towards Arthur’s Pass
  • 20-Sept  Arthur’s Pass and Hokitika
  • 21-Sept  Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier (should we prioritise?)
  • 22-Sept  Haast to Wanaka (Puzzling World!!)
  • 23-Sept  Head to Te Anau (might stop in Arrowtown?)
  • 24-Sept  Doubtful Sound (playing with the idea of an overnight cruise…)
  • 25-Sept  Head to Queenstown and return the Campervan
  • 26-Sept  Shop/sightsee (incl. Gondola, Perugian Chocolates, and Winnie’s Pizza. And probably some souvenir shopping for the kids)
  • 27-Sept  Ski on the Remarkables
  • 28-Sept  Ski on the Remarkables
  • 29-Sept  Did I mention the skiing on the The Remarkables? – Yes we have arranged for lessons for all us (excl Z, the 2yo) with hubby and I splitting the duties with the youngest, and the final day is the family together to show-off. As you do.
  • 30-Sept  Fly Queenstown to Christchurch, with a 5hr stopover to check out the Antarctic Research Centre near the airport, before flying home in the evening.

So there you have it. Our next family holiday, in less than 6mths. What do you think? Hubby and I have been to NZ before – we travelled around both islands in a much smaller campervan during our much poorer uni days. I have been previous to that on a school trip. Means we have a fair idea of where we are going, but still looking forward to a fresh viewing through the eyes of our kids. Any suggestions, please share them in the comments. It is still early days, so I’m always looking for suggestions! Like Fran Josef Glacier v Fox for a Heli-ride. Or chocolate shops across the South Island. Or ANYTHING!!