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Best age to take kids to NZ, and would you take them out of school to do so?

(27 Posts)
EldonAve Tue 17-Aug-10 08:04:15

I would love to take DC to NZ - any advice on the best age for such a trip?

I'd prefer to go Dec/Jan but would 3 weeks be enough or would you take them out of school

BeenBeta Tue 17-Aug-10 08:22:03

We are planning to go end of Nov for 4 weeks as we want to be back before Xmas when flights get expensive.

TBH, kids dont do much at the end of term anyway what with nativity plays, Xmas parties, carol servies, etc so will not miss a lot.

We will write and tell their school we are going but our DSs are going to try out school in NZ anyway when we get there - so will get more education than if here.

ZZZenAgain Tue 17-Aug-10 08:30:59

It's a long way to go for 3 weeks but also depends on your finances. How old are your dc Eldon?

If you take your dc out of school in the UK, check that you will still have a place when you come back if your school is oversubscribed and you are going to be away longer. I don't think 1-2 weeks would be an issue

EldonAve Tue 17-Aug-10 13:45:43

Kids are 5, 3 and 3 mths
Eldest is in private school but taking them out is disapproved off - he could probably miss a week at the most

EldonAve Tue 17-Aug-10 19:22:39

quick bump

3monkeys Tue 17-Aug-10 19:27:07

We're going to Aus at christmas for 3.5 weeks, missing about 2 weeks of school. Mine will be 11,9 and 5

amidaiwish Tue 17-Aug-10 19:32:30

the worst the school can do is tell social services
social services only get involved if absence is prolonged (not 2 weeks)
at age 5 he is seriously not going to jeopardise his learning.

i would take 4 weeks personally plus a few days when you are home to get over the jet lag.

DuchessOfAvon Tue 17-Aug-10 19:40:05

It all depends on what you want to do when you get there. I have only spent time of South Island as that is where I have family and I have been with and without kids (although DD1 was only 5 months at the time).

NZ is a beautiful country and to get the mmost out of your trip, you will want to be doing and seeing as much out of doors as you can. THat might be challenging if you have kids who aren't really active or into walking of who will tire quickly. I am thinking of the fabulous trips we did into the glaciers or the fjordlands (which were the absolute highlights of our trips) and they'd be tricky but not impossible with littles. My two are currently 4 and 2 - and tbh, I'd not go withthem for another 6 years. I think that at 10 and 8, we'd get much more out of the trip.

Its a long, long journey. I'd resent it if I just sat in playgrouds and did stuff that was more or less what we do at home.

Flights round Christmas are very pricey - and its their high season for holidays too so accomodation will also be more expensive and under heavy demand. We went in their autumn (our spring - just after Easter) and it was lovely.

EldonAve Tue 17-Aug-10 20:28:58

I have seen quite a bit of the country already but DH has never been

We would be visiting family on the North Island for some of the time too plus have some friends I'd love to see

bigTillyMint Tue 17-Aug-10 20:34:14

We went when DD was 1, during the summer holidays here - it was beautiful weather, sunny during the day though could be cold at night.

We just did the North Island, maionly catching up with DH's friends, but some "sightseeing" too which was all fine for a toddler and would be great for your DC. You could take 6 weeks easily in the summer holidays.

EldonAve Thu 19-Aug-10 21:19:36


mellifluouscauliflower Thu 19-Aug-10 23:31:32

There are a few activities you can't do with younger children (eg Whale Watching in Kaikoura, Shotover Jet in Queenstown, Overnight in Doubtful Sound) but many you can (glacier trip at Mount Cook, day trip to Doubtful Sound, Luge at Queenstown).

We went for 3 weeks over Xmas/New Year and it was great. We met up with friends who also had kids (ours aged 3.5, theirs 2)for half the time, so we were able to do "baby swaps", so the Mums go on a trip, then the Dads. It did required merticulous planning and emails back and forth.

We couldn't see everything but it was fine and maybe we'll go back and do the rest one day. We used a lot of internal flights to save time.

Happy to send you my itinerary if you like, it's a work of art grin

TennisFan Tue 24-Aug-10 18:03:15

we're thinking of doing this too - this year
if possible.
We will miss a week or so of school, but its the first time I have ever done this and its my DS last year in primary so a good time to go after he has done his entrance exams for next year.
I have nothing booked,but hoping to either do 3 ish weeks in NZ, or if possible at not too much extra cost split the time with a week in Australia too.

EldonAve Thu 30-Sep-10 19:22:33

feeling quite tempted by this

any views on which route is best to fly with kids? LA vs HK?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 30-Sep-10 20:30:10

Not via the US. LAX as an airport is also a dump.

EldonAve Thu 30-Sep-10 20:34:48


TennisFan Fri 01-Oct-10 16:22:26

We have booked ours - leaving 5th December and coming back on 30th.
My DC will be 7 and 11 when we are there, so I am hoping we can do as much as possible with them, as we won't be able to afford this kind of trip again for a while.
We are going via HK

EldonAve Fri 01-Oct-10 17:50:42

how exciting! hope I can convince DH

sunnydelight Tue 12-Oct-10 04:29:17

I would definitely go in December rather than January which is Summer school holiday/peak season this side of the world. Accommodation rockets once the school holidays start.

TennisFan Thu 14-Oct-10 15:41:58

Me again, although I have my flights booked - I have done nothing else. Am busy with work and my DS is doing his 11+ before we go
I need help with:
nice but not too pricy hotel for first 2 nights in Christchurch
Ideas for 7 days in south island - at the moment I am leaning towards Queenstown, maybe a glacier, and maybe the whales/dolphins.
North island we are looking for a nice recomendation for a beachy type place in the north, then we will do rotorua, gloworms and my Dbrother for Christmas on a farm.

I am useless at this type of thing.


EldonAve Sun 17-Oct-10 08:01:24

sunnydelight - thanks, we are lucky that we'll mostly be staying with family

TennisFan - are you going to drive the South Island or fly?
Years ago I did Nelson then down to Queenstown
Missed doing the fjord stuff though

In the North we are hoping to go up to the Bay of Islands

TennisFan Thu 21-Oct-10 12:04:56

Eldon - we are driving in the south island, probably doing Queenstown and Kaikoura - maybe over to the glaciers if we can be bothered.
Then we fly up from ChCh to Auckland and would like a few days by a beach - maybe Bay of Islands general area; then smelly Rotorua and the last days are being spent on my brothers farm near Wanganui

I am really busy at work, and my DS is doing his entrance test for next year's school - so once these are out of the way i will get back to trip advisor and lonely planet guide.

EldonAve Mon 15-Nov-10 22:28:38

hope the entrance test goes well

I'm now looking at car hire and it looks pricey

TennisFan Tue 16-Nov-10 10:02:44

EldonEve - first test done and 2 more to go, which is the way it is done here in NI.
I haven't booked anything yet, looking at Apex for car hire and probably motels and such booking as we go.
Just need a decent place for the first night as we will all be so knackered and probably not speaking to each other!
Can't believe we are going in less than 3 weeks

EldonAve Wed 08-Dec-10 21:18:37

you have probably left already, we go shortly
car hire sorted with apex
no plan as yet, will make it up when we get there

weather looks good smile

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