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Road trip NZ with small children
Would you do it?

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#1 facetious-beast

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:13 AM

Am toying with the idea of taking our 2 and 4 year old round South Island NZ for 2 weeks. I have done the trip myself years ago but am worried it might be too much for small children to be travelling long distances by car. I would stop for 2-3 nights where we can in order to slow down the pace (although personally I like to be on the go). I really, really want to go, but I am having doubts about their ability to cope with travelling around so much. For what it's worth, we survived a trip with them to New York last year.

Would you just do it and hope the kids adjust or go somewhere else where you can just base yourself in one spot while they are so young?

#2 Bart.

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:15 AM

I have done it and it is a hard slog for the littlies but not impossible.  After NY, you'd have no trouble.  I'd recommend shorter trips and a base to travel from for a few days, then move on to another base.

#3 Kay1

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:25 AM

We did it when our kids were 5 and 2. We had a great time but tbh I had underestimated the amount of time we'd spend driving. If you get stuck behind a campervan or slow car a 3 hour drive can take closer to 4.

I don't think it was the most fun holiday for the kids but it was worth it for us as we'd never been. I must say I was very happy we didn't go the camper option.

#4 IVL

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

We have just booked a campervan trip around the South Island in April. We have never camped before so it will be quite the experience for us. All our other holidays have been in resorts and hotels so I am really looking forward to getting back to basics on this trip, or perhaps I will live to regret it but I do think our little ones need to see that there is more to a holiday than pink lemonades by the pool.  

I think if your little ones have travelled before and and generally enjoy new things they will be fine. I am sure that New York is a much faster pace than NZ so if they were fine there, I am sure they will cope.

#5 dalet

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:29 AM

We are doing a NZ roadtrip with our 4 and 8 year olds for 4 weeks very soon. I and they are a bit worried about the long driving distances but we have planned the trip with 2-3 night stops at each place and tried to limit driving to no more than 5 hours at a time. We have one day where we have a 8 hour drive though! We have loaded up the iPads for them with tv shows and games and will stop along the way and not rush. Will let you know how they go.

#6 knittingkitten

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:41 AM

We did 3 weeks in NZ with a 2.5 y.o when I was 20 weeks pregnant.

We flew into Auckland, travelled our way down and flew out of Dunedin. We did spend a lot of time driving- I think 3 weeks on one island would be better.

My favourite area for the kids was Kaiteriteri. We spent 3 nights in a bach near the beach and it was bliss. Our favourite cafe of the whole trip was near there- Jesters on the road to nelson. Our DD had a ball feeding the eels in their stream.
We also spent 2/3 nights in Queenstown...very good for kids.And yes, it's touristy but we loved being tourists. The gondola and the luge in particular were a big hit with the kid (and DH- the big kid).

DD remembers the fruit too. Bags of beautiful apples from the roadside stalls, fresh raspberries...oh and chocolate fish that came with the "fluffies".
I loved Rotorua and the geo-thermal parks, the glaciers and the butterfly area of Dunedin Museum.

Edited by knittingkitten, 02 January 2013 - 07:42 AM.

#7 B.feral3

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:52 AM

We did it when DS1 was almost 3 and I was 31 weeks pregnant with DS2. It went fine. He travelled really well and did fine on long car trips. I just did a 9 hour car trip yesterday with the kids actually and they were excellent so I'd certainly do NZ again We're all heading to the UK next year.

#8 Kalota

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:05 AM

I would do it :-) I've road tripped New Zealand many times, and the drives aren't really THAT long, and you are never really in the middle of nowhere like when you road trip around Australia (I.e. there is always civilisation around if you needed to stop for an emergency or get help!)

It depends on the children of course, but I think it would be fine.

#9 FeralProudSwahili

Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

We did a two week trip in a campervan with the kids- it was the best holiday we've had and the kids still talk about it. Just expect to drive less than you plan.

#10 facetious-beast

Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

Thanks - I'm feeling slightly encouraged. My plan is to drive no longer than 3-4 hours at a time so perhaps we will be all right.

Just want to clarify also that we didn't actually "do" New York. We flew into JFK then onto the in-laws - no way would I let them loose in the city...! Sorry that it sounded more impressive than it actually was....

#11 Fabulous

Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

I have done road trips around the USA and UK with young kids. I found it fine although I never did more than 3-4 hours because that was my kids limit and we didn't drive every day.

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