New Zealand with Kids
December 2nd - 22nd, 2014
Though we knew from the beginning we'd be spending Christmas in Australia, we weren't always sure what else we'd be doing while on the far side of the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand was often discussed, but we just couldn't decide if we wanted to go there or not. One of my friends who is also a big traveler spent a long time in New Zealand and always would rave about it, and we knew if we went we would have to do it the right way, which means touring the country in a motor home. It came down to deciding if we wanted to spend our extra time relaxing on a beach in Thailand or camping in New Zealand. We even polled our Facebook followers what we should do. It should come as no surprise that both we and our followers agreed, we were New Zealand bound!
We received lots of advice on New Zealand, and everyone assured us that the South Island is far and away the more beautiful of the two main islands of New Zealand. Though our flight from Thailand landed in Auckland in the North Island, we immediately hopped on a connecting flight to Christchurch in the South Island. From Christchurch, we picked up our motorhome, our car and home for the next two weeks. We were slightly apprehensive at first about whether or not we'd like living and traveling in a motorhome, but we ended up finding it to be the most rewarding and enjoyable time of our whole journey. What made the whole experience so amazing was not just the beauty of New Zealand, although it definitely was absolutely gorgeous, but we all really enjoyed the simple lifestyle that comes with living in a motorhome. We've all become very close on this whole trip, and spending the whole day together in a moving box took that to a new level. Every day was a new adventure, one that took us around almost the entire perimeter of the island over two weeks. We saw amazing landscapes, rare animals, not many people, lots of sheep, went to the top of a glacier in a helicopter, and had countless other great experiences while traveling around the South Island.
Read more about New Zealand's South Island on our blog
Today, we had to say goodbye to Wendekreisen as our trip in the South Island comes to a conclusion. Traveling around in an RV has been an amazing experience. Not only have we enjoyed the comforts of traveling with our home on our back, we also learned about living small and leaving tiny footprints since we had to really watch our water and gas usage. An eye opening experience for sure. We will miss you Wendekreisen. South Island, you are gorgeous!
Today marks our final day on the west coast of the South Island. Before heading east, we enjoyed checking out the interesting "pancake rock" formations and exploring a pitch black cavern in Punakaiki.
Today we took a break from chasing summer and journeyed to the top of a glacier. It was our first time on a helicopter, and WOW, what an amazing experience!
We might be gallivanting around the world with most days packed with non stop events, but Kian and Hannah still find time for art, which at the moment is limited to drawing. There we are in our summer clothes, chasing summer around the world...Funny how he chose this very rainy very foggy day to draw a gorgeous sunny day :) Guess he is missing the sun already!
Puzzling World in Wanaka is a real gem for kids. It was a nice break from all the landscape and sightseeing, though it was a short break, as the rest of our day was spent visiting beautiful clear blue pools and waterfalls.
If you're in New Zealand and looking for some good outdoor adventure, head to Queenstown! If you're in New Zealand with little kids, just drive through Queenstown, there's not much there for you :)
Milford Sound is New Zealand's top tourist destination, and has been called both the world's top travel destination and an 8th wonder of the world. Did it live up to its hype?
If you have been keeping up with our New Zealand posts, you know I have an unhealthy obsession with the water in lakes and rivers here. Today, we saw two more lakes that only increased my love for the water here. Oh glacial water, you are so clean and beautiful!
Today we stood 4810 km from the South Pole. That is officially the furthest south we have ever been on planet Earth, not that we have started visiting other planets...'yet' :)
Wow! Otago Peninsula! What an incredibly beautiful place. Today, we took Wendekreisen where not many motorhomes dare to venture....Allans Beach.
Staying at a holiday park is definitely a luxury when traveling in a motorhome. You have access to a variety of amenities, but you have to sacrifice the gorgeous views for your comfort level! Is it worth it? Let's just say they are definitely a nice change in pace.
There are so many advantages to traveling in a motorhome/RV. One of our favorites so far are the incredible views we get to have. Tonight, our "home" had an ocean view! We could get used to that :)
It has been a very long journey but we have made it to Christchurch, New Zealand!
After making our circuit of the South Island, we hopped on a short flight to Auckland and spent less than a week touring New Zealand's North Island. As much as we would have loved to have kept our motorhome for longer, as Christmas neared the rental agencies began charging higher holiday rates, which made it much less affordable. Instead, we rented a tiny little car for very cheap and stayed in whatever cheapest place we could find for the night. While not as beautiful as the South Island, the North Island does have some really nice towns and amazing sights of its own. From glow worm caves to thermal spring to Lord of the Ring's Hobbiton, there's something for everyone. If we only had to pick one island to visit, we would pick the South Island, but we're really glad we had the opportunity to visit both.
Read more about the North Island on our blog
More coming soon!
Goodbye New Zealand! Hello Australia! Today we take a short flight from Auckland to Sydney, or at least it should have been short. Thanks Jetstar for the lovely delays!
From Rotorua to Mata Mata, we had a blast spending our last day in New Zealand finding a new playground, checking out a local flea market, and later exploring the Hobbiton Movie Set.
An important meeting with a Lady started off our exciting day in the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland region. We learned a lot about this volcanic and geothermal area as our eyes and noses entered a battle of senses. Wondrous beauty vs the smell of sulphur!
If you ever visit the North Island of New Zealand, you must find a way to make it to Taupo. Yes Lake Taupo is beautiful and of course there are many types of extreme sports available, but do not miss the glorious Huka Falls! Today, we treated ourselves to the thermal springs in the Spa Park and hiked to the Huka falls. Read on to find out more.
Have you ever heard of the Glowworms? They are only found in New Zealand, and guess what? It turns out they are not worms at all! Read on to find out what we learned today as we visited the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and the Ruakuri Cave. It sure was a day packed with caves exploration.
We will always remember Kawhia Beach for it's gorgeous rainbow halo around the sun, our inability to find an actual hot spring under the beach, the crazy hill, and well....the skeletons!
Our New Zealand adventures continue in the North Island. First stop, Auckland. Wish we had nicer things to say, but the city seemed more sleepy than the happening place I had imagined it to be. Was it the weather? The Season? The Location or the Time of Day we visited? We might not have given it enough of a chance, but we are over it and ready to move on.
All New Zealand Blog Posts
Sorry, we're a bit behind on these posts. We promise more are coming soon!
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