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Journo'simpressions of a trip to NZ with family

Journo'simpressions of a trip to NZ with family

Old Oct 6th 2002, 11:52 am
  #1  
Don
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Default Journo'simpressions of a trip to NZ with family

From http://www.observer.co.uk/travel/sto...05083,00.html.

Trip to NZ:

My first suggestion is to feed up at breakfast. A 'homestead breakfast' - a plate groaning with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, hash browns and sausages plus orange juice and coffee - costs less than a fiver.

My second tip is to leave plenty of time for your journey, and not just because you will often want to stop and stare. Distances between the main sights are long and the going is not always quick, especially when you find yourself on a twisting road, with no passing lane in sight, and a forward view of the backside of a camper van.

Ah, the camper van. It is certainly an inexpensive way of touring, and clearly a popular one, especially with extremely slow drivers. Go for a camper van, by all means, if you are a camper van-flavoured family. In my view, you will get about more speedily and enjoy much more comfortable nights by hiring an estate car and using the abundant supply of motels. Petrol is cheap.

Motels are excellent value for money. There are none of the hotel headaches of having to split up your family. Motel suites can accommodate parents and children in separate bedrooms within the same self-contained unit. Living areas were, in our experience, generous, as were kitchen facilities if you decide to have a meal in your temporary home.

Just one note of caution. The really dirt cheap end of the motel market is just that: en suite is a foreign word; decor and facilities are redolent of Blackpool circa 1970.

You will eat heartily: our children are good eaters, but one portion was often enough for three of them. Don't expect sophisticated dining outside the principal tourist centres. On the road to Cromwell, we stopped for a lovely seafood lunch and delicious wines at the Gibbston Valley winery, which is New Zealandese for vineyard. The winery was fairly exceptional in offering an imaginative selection for children rather than the more typical menu, which is fattening, with chips and hot dogs in batter (yes, you read that right, they do batter their hot dogs, and then serve them on a lollipop stick).

There is a good reason why New Zealand is so emerald-coloured: it rains pretty relentlessly, especially along the West coast. Since many of the best activities and most breath-grabbing sights are weather-dependent, you need to be patient and flexible about your plans. Three times we had to postpone things when the seas were too rough for boats, or the thunderstorms too severe for planes.

There is a big consolation for the changeability of the weather. Just as suddenly as the rain comes, so it goes away. The clouds roll back, the glorious sunshine illuminates the soul-lifting scenery, and the family can resume debating which experience to try next.

New Zealand is gorgeous, yet cheap, lovely on the eye yet packed with heart-pumping activities, safe yet thrilling.
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Old Oct 7th 2002, 9:29 pm
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Default Re: Journo'simpressions of a trip to NZ with family

Totally agree with the campervan points raised here, don't do it unless you are a caravaning type of person! Stay in motels or even chalets in Camping grounds, these can be excellent.

And don't miss going to QUEENSTOWN, got to be the best place in the whole country. We had a fabulous time there. The kids loved it to bits. It might be a long way south, but it is worth the trip!

Regards,

Cinderella
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