North Island... with kids
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Oct 7, 2012 4:03 PM Last Post By: LisaMNZ
Oct 7, 2012 6:42 AM
North Island... with kidsThorn tree community - looking for some advice on NZ travel with kids. I'll have about 9 days on the north island of NZ in January, travelling with my wife and three kids. We are thinking of hiring a camper van out of Wellington, and then seeing what we can before ending up in Auckland. I guess we're just after some not-too-ambitious advice on what we could realistically see in that time. The kids are young and will not want lots of driving, so would be grateful for advice on a couple places we should prioritise.
I have to admit to a twinge of guilt driving one of those big camper vans around - was never a fan of being stuck behind them in my previous travels - but any thoughts on good caravan parks or similar would also be welcomed.
Oct 7, 2012 7:12 AM
1three kids in a campervan sounds like hell on wheels to me. If they are young you can't use most hostels, but motels in NZ are really good and sometimes come with a lounge as well as bedroom, as well as decent cooking facilities.
as to what to see; what interests you? For example, most will enjoy Rotorua with steaming vents, colourful ground and all sorts of unusual stuff, for example. Wellington is also a really nice city and Te Papa is great for kids (generally too simple for adults, Domain Museum in Auckland better for you)
Oct 7, 2012 7:20 AM
Oct 7, 2012 3:22 PM
3As long as you're polite and pull over in the passing bays and where the road allows, you should not feel too guilty about that campervan - unless you're in front of me, of course ;-)
Wellington to Auckland is very achieveable in 9 days. You might swing by Napier then up to Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga (well Papamoa or Mt Maunganui), Waihi Beach (probably Bowen Town with young kids but its in the same area) and then Auckland. Alternatively, you could go round the East Cape from Napier (Gisborne, Whakane). Or you could skip Napier and go straight to Taupo, Rotorua and then spend some time in the Coromandel. There will be some places that you can freedom camp, but with kids and at that time of year then booking parks is probably a good idea. January is a busy time of year so you'll need to book them fairly soon.
Oct 7, 2012 4:03 PM
4it's been my experience that kids love campervans.
How old are they?
My mum and dad regularly travel with my 6 and 8 year old niece and nephew, and have on occasion had my (now) 2 yr old with them as well. It'll be summer so the kids will be able to spend lots of time outside.
ETA the other advantage is that while travelling, the kids can have lots of space and things to do - usually the kid seats are at the dining table area, with a big massive window beside them. Also it's very easy to just stop briefly and do a loo stop, or drinks/snacks, etc without having to be in a town or whatever. I think it's a brilliant option. How many of the others that have replied have actually travelled in a campervan with young kids??
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