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Embarking on an RV Roadtrip in New Zealand with Kids

Off we go again, continuing our RV roadtrip in New Zealand with kids. The journey from Wanaka to Greymouth is quite a drive, featuring beautiful scenery such as the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. We stop at the Franz Josef glacier for lunch and a stroll around town. To be honest, the drive is a little too long, especially with young kids, although the boys are behaving very well. When we finally arrive in Greymouth, the boys can’t wait to play in the campground’s playground. As the campground is next to the beach, we also pay a visit to the beach. The beach is covered in timber, and the kids enjoy themselves building huts. We end this long day with a tasteful BBQ dinner.

Exploring Abel Tasman National Park

We leave for Abel Tasman National Park the next morning. Unfortunately, all campgrounds are fully booked. Luckily, we find one in Mapua, close to Nelson. Not the blue bay we expected, but an intimate campground next to the beach with a pool and a wonderful restaurant. We really like this place and decide to stay 2 nights instead of 1. We enjoy our dinner at the restaurant, with an amazing pavlova as dessert. Although the next day starts a little cloudy, the temperature is perfect. The kids have a swim and I do the laundry (someone has to do it ;). In the afternoon, I have a well-deserved glass of wine at the terrace.

Returning to the Northern Island

We have the ferry back to Wellington tonight. We skip the plan to visit Nelson today because of the really good weather. It’s so hot we’d rather spend the day at the beach. Marcel plays in the sea with the kids, while I enjoy a good book in the sun. Unfortunately, Marcel has forgotten to use sunscreen, resulting in a badly burned back. We leave for Picton in the afternoon, again driving the Queen Charlotte Drive and again loving the scenery over the Sounds. This view is a stunning last view of the Southern Island. We definitely have to come back here someday.

On our way back to the Northern Island, on the ferry, the kids enjoy themselves with greasepaint while we enjoy the beautiful sunset. We have booked the Top 10 campground in Wellington in advance as we will be arriving late evenings. When we arrive at the campsite, it is raining again, welcome back to the Northern Island ;). As we are on our way back, I feel a little sad knowing this amazing trip in New Zealand with kids comes almost to an end.

Visiting the Glowworms at Waitomo Caves

We visit Waitomo Caves the next day to see the glowworms. When we arrive at the caves, all the tours are fully booked. Someone tells us the local tourism board might know if there are any other tours available. We are lucky! They have availability at 3.30PM. The visit to the caves feels very “commercial” with tiles on the floor, stairs with guardrails, and lights everywhere. Nevertheless, we came for the glowworms and they were awesome. It feels like some kind of theme park attraction: thousands of little lights, stunning!

Wrapping Up Our New Zealand Adventure

It’s time to clean up the RV in the afternoon. The kids go swimming and I start cleaning and packing. I thought it would take me 2 hours max, no way… 3 hours later I am still not done. I give myself a break to have dinner in a cosy restaurant close to the campground. After dinner, we finish the cleaning and packing together. I do the last laundry and hang it to dry before I go to bed. When I finally lay in bed, it starts to rain after 30 mins… hmm, might be a good idea to put the laundry in the dryer the next morning.

Now our holiday in New Zealand with kids almost comes to an end…

Tips & Tricks for Traveling in New Zealand with Kids

  • Book your campsite at Abel Tasman National Park months in advance
  • Despite the commercial setup, visiting the glowworms at Waitomo Caves is very much fun
  • Start cleaning and packing up the RV in time 😉

This guest blog is written by Lonneke, she is living in the Netherlands with her husband Marcel and two sons Thije and Hidde. Lonneke tells us about the amazing trip she made with her family to New Zealand when the boys were 2.5 and 4 years old.


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