Earlier in the year, we asked Travel readers to share memories of their favourite Kiwi road trips. Here are more of our favourite responses.
Better than Disneyland . . .
We took my son, Zac, and his mates on a road trip to Rotorua for his 6th birthday. We all piled into the van in the wee hours of a Saturday morning. The kids slept most of the way then woke to the sight of the gondola and hundreds of people racing down the luge. Everyone loved it. It was drizzling but no one cared. My son was hesitant at first but by his third run, he was confident to race by himself. I'll never forget his face after I chased him down the track. We've been to the Gold Coast and Disneyland since, but my kids still talk fondly about our road trip to Rotorua. If you and your family ever get the chance to road-trip New Zealand together, they'll have wonderful memories for the rest of their lives.
— Anaru Bickford
Two years ago we had a blast discovering Central Otago and South Canterbury, down to Invercargill and the Catlins with our three kids for three weeks. We borrowed a tent, packed our bikes and sleeping bags, camp pot, picnic case, a single gas burner and hit the road. We checked out amazing scenery that took our breath away, undertook cherry picking in Central and had indulgent raspberries in Waimate, and luscious apricots in Alex.
We made no bookings anywhere just hitting the road hopeful, staying in holiday parks, old pubs, and hostels, budget all the way but worth it. Going to the Bay Carnival in Timaru, swimming up the Otaio Gorge, seeing the yellow-eyed penguins. In Dunedin we watched the seals sunbake and visited the Royal Albatross Centre. We saw one of the Best Anzac displays at Invercargill Museum, a wood-chopping competition in Riverton with the best local barbecue sausage in bread. Local pies from all the best bakeries ever, because the kids are always hungry as horses.
The South Island people are as generous as the landscape and we can not wait to do a similar trip driving from the North to Wellington, catching the ferry and exploring the West Coast. I am still smiling as I pen these few words as it just captures a sprinkling of the delights we enjoyed. As I age, the saying "Don't leave home until you see your country" is just so real. We are ready to explore again soon before our big babies start to leave the nest to explore on their own without Mama and Papa de la Rosa. Aotearoa rocks.
— Nikki de la Rosa
Just us on the open road
A basket filled with Marmite sandwiches and overly diluted orange juice, and nowhere to be for a few days. Dad just drove wherever he felt like. We'd stop off and picnic or run around until exhaustion took over, and the folks would look at sights and talk about very serious things while we blundered about. One of my favorite memories, and life experiences, just us on the open road experiencing NZ as it really is.
— J T Bailey
Take the weather with you
My favourite Kiwi road trip experience is playing Crowded House, eating a bag of chips and playing I Spy while the sun is setting.
— Nicole Tomich
Acid drops and egg sandwiches
Our best holiday ever was a trip through the South Island, with our four kids and sister and brother-in-law and their three kids. We swapped the kids around each day, took a giant jar of acid drops that went back and forth between the two vehicles, and took the skin off the kids' lips eventually. Two weeks of fun and mayhem and the best experiences and memories ever. Down the West Coast, down to Dunedin and Queenstown, then up the other side. Magic. The kids all still talk about the fun they had and still eat acid drops and egg sandwiches (the standard daily lunch for the whole two weeks). Just awesome.
— Vicki Davey
Two cars, two sides of the family - Kiwi and English - hit the road for Waikaremoana. It was a beautiful back-in-time adventure. We completed the four-day walk around the lake followed by two days soaking in the hot stuff at Rotorua. Needless to say, the English folk were blown away and the Kiwi side were so proud.
— Maria Brown
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, go to newzealand.com