How many repeats of the Wonky Donkey can a parent endure in one road trip? Turns out, quite a lot, when there are few other options for keeping kids entertained in the back.
In this latest episode of the Trip Notes travel podcast, NZ Herald Travel Editor Stephanie Holmes and I chat with fellow writer Karl Puschmann to discuss family travel adventures.
This episode is inspired by Karl's article, Remembering The Classic Kiwi Family Road Trip, where he recounts his childhood memories of travelling from Auckland to Lake Brunner for his father's sailing competition.
"The class of boat he sailed was the Moth, and his one was called Magic. Moths are fast and agile, single-person racing boats designed for speed. I don't know if he was defending his title or challenging one of his many rivals on the sea when we began the 1096km drive from Auckland to Lake Brunner," he writes.
"It was easily the biggest trip our family attempted. Google Maps tells me it's a 15-hour drive from Auckland, which I look at now with a parent's eyes as a foolhardy and awful undertaking. I certainly wouldn't do it myself with my two young kids, but that's easy to say when you don't have a New Zealand title to defend. Or acquire."
As a father of a three and six year old now, Karl told us in the podcast the trip was incredibly ambitious.
"I think it's an insane thing to do," he admits. "The thought of doing that with a 10 and 6 year old, doing that drive for that amount of time seems crazy to me."
"I'm pretty amazed my parents did that trip, and we all survived and we still all talk to each other."
Karl says the secrets to a positive family road trip with children is to plan around sleeping times as best as possible, to bring plenty of snacks - and to keep the kids away from the stereo if possible.
"We recently had the wonky donkey CD playing on repeat for close to two hours, which drives me crazy. We had two of them, the original Wonky Donkey and then a live version from Glastonbury."
In this episode we also discuss the benefits of travelling with kids when you're an aunty or uncle, and the best age to take your kids to Disneyland theme parks.
To listen, tune in on iHeartRadio or hit play on the podcast player above.
Don't forget to like, subscribe and share with your travel-loving friends.
Check out nzherald.co.nz/tripnotes for videos, stories and more great travel content.