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3 weeks in NZ with baby and toddler

4 replies

OuiOui · 09/05/2003 07:25

Hi to all

we're thinking of doing touring holiday next Feb with 2 years + dd and 8 month old baby - want to hire luxury camper van.

ANyone got any good tips?

all advice greatly appreciated

OP posts:
Ghosty · 09/05/2003 08:01

Yay ... OuiOui ... come and see us!!!!!
Camper vans are quite expensive but a great way to see the country ...
The best book to read about what to see and do is the Lonely Planet ... has everything ...
What sort of stuff do you want to do? Sky diving? Bungee jumping? White water rafting? Whale watching? Swimming with Dolphins? Do you want to see the Thermal springs? The black sand beaches?
Oh so much to see .... including us of course!!

slug · 09/05/2003 13:08

Invest in some super strong sunblock and hats that can be tied on. If you're going anywhere near the West Coast of the South Island you'll need some industrial strength insect repellent for the sandflies and the dreaded mosquitos. Camper vans are a good idea, but bear in mind the motels are pretty cheap and come with cooking facilities and a bottle of milk. If you're interested, New Zealand House in London can supply you with a book with most of the campsites, motels and hotels listed by town. It's invaluable. If you can't get to London, I can pick one up for you and send it to you if you like.

Hyperventillating at the fun you'll have. What sort of things do your family like? adventure? nature? beaches?

If you like adventure then Queenstown is brilliant: jet boating, bungee jumping, paragliding etc.

If Nature is your thing then Dunedin is the only mainland nesting place of Albatross in the world, and you can see penguins a plenty and seals there too. The central North Island plateau (Rotorua and Taupo) has the best geothermal activity but there's also a fabulous place in the Southern Alps called Hamner Springs which dosen't get so crowded.

The North Island has the best beaches including Hot water beach in the Coramandal. (yes the water really is hot) There are also good places in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island, and these have the added advantage of having some great wineries nearby.

I have very fond memories of holidays at Waikeromana and Taupo as a child. It's a great place for kids.

bobthebaby · 30/07/2003 21:51

I also would recommend motels rather than a camper van. The AA has an on line motel guide, if a motel has a cot it has to adhere to the safety standard. Or a Safety Sleep thing to keep the baby in a single bed is $90 from baby shops and Farmers - this would be a good option if you do rent the motorhome rather than a cot. Or you can do short term rentals from some baby shops or Plunket for any stuff you need but don't want to drag over/risk the airline ruining.

I'd buy the sun hats and swimsuits in nz for 2 reasons - in feb. they are likely to be on sale; and there is nothing industrial enough for our sunshine on sale in the uk at a good price. Also insect repellant bought overseas may not repell sandflies.

One thing to note is that because there are no motorways there are also no services, but even the smallest place has a clean public toilet and a place that sells food. Chemists are more spaced out, one road in thr SI has no chemist for over 400km. Be organised in this department or it could be a very long trip with a tummy ache.

Have fun in NZ

Lennie · 02/08/2003 19:27

We spent two months in NZ and loved it so much (I'm an Aussie but had never been until Brit DH asked to 'stop off' enroute to Sydney). We want to live there at least part of the year.

We were really surprised by a) how easy it is to travel around (roads are great and easy to navigate and traffic virtually non-existent) and
b) how good the holiday parks were. We hadn't planned on staying in them but once we discovered one in Whangarei we looked for them every stop.
Holiday parks are everywhere and cater to people with camper vans as well as campers and people who want cabins. They are extremely reasonably priced. The only drawback is that you have to use communal shower/toilet and kitchen facilities. No real hardship.

If money is no problem then the luxury campervan is a great idea. There is no reason why you can't have the odd night in a proper room but for only three weeks I doubt you'll want to unless the weather is foul (unlikely in Feb).

So jealous! It's been two years and we can't wait to get back but want to go for longer this time which takes a bit more organisation.

The Lonely Planet (as previously recommended) is great. We had no fixed itinerary and just decided where to go from reading this. the maps in it are also pretty good and we didn't need anything else apart from the odd local one picked up in a tourist information place (it really is easy to navigate).

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