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Hamurana Springs Trail with Kids in Rotorua, New Zealand

Hamurana Springs Trail with Kids in Rotorua, New Zealand

About 15-20 minutes North of Rotorua Central is a stunning walk along the crystal-clear water of Hamurana Springs and the Redwoods Memorial Grove. The easy loop trail takes about a 1/2 hour to walk, or in our case it can be much longer (especially if you likewise want to stop and admire the stunning colors and take a lot of photos)! We entered the stroller-friendly trail by first heading...

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Totara Walk in Pureora Forest Park, New Zealand

Totara Walk in Pureora Forest Park, New Zealand

When we departed Waitomo, New Zealand, we set out on Highway 30 for our next stop–Rotorua (2 hrs 15 minutes away). We chose this Southern Route because we thought it was would be more scenic than tracking back up North from the way we had come. Going along Highway 30 also allowed us to swing right past Pureora Forest Park–offering a beautiful spot to take a lunch break and get out and hike! We...

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Marakopa Falls, New Zealand

Marakopa Falls, New Zealand

On Te Anga Road, beyond Waitomo Village, you will run into an easy walk to “Marakopa Falls”. The trail is well-marked, and has a sign indicating that it is a 10 minute hike. Between our two-family traveling crew (with a total of 8 kids from 7 months to 12 years), a “10 min” walk means 30-60 minutes. Sooo…the perfect trail length!! The easy trail is beautiful and green beyond...

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Mangapohue Natural Bridge with Kids

Mangapohue Natural Bridge with Kids

Waitomo, New Zealand, has no lack of activities for kids. Of course, there are some excellent paid activities, such as the Spellbound Glowworm Caves tour that we absolutely loved, but there are also many fantastic hikes that are not only free, but of reasonable lengths to hike with children! We had already done the Ruakuri Hike, so this time we decided to check out the trails to the Mangapohue Natural...

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Visiting Rocket Ropes and Butterfly Creek in Auckland

Visiting Rocket Ropes and Butterfly Creek in Auckland

When you drive away from the Auckland/New Zealand Airport, chances are you’re going to drive right past the eye-catching entrances to  Rocket Ropes and Butterfly Creek! Our interest was piqued in January, and the kids were thrilled when we surprised them with a visit here (in April) our last day in New Zealand before our outgoing flight! Rocket Ropes is a fun Ropes Course with various...

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Ruakuri Hike in Waitomo, New Zealand

Ruakuri Hike in Waitomo, New Zealand

If you’re looking for free activities for kids around Waitomo, New Zealand, you won’t want to miss the Ruakuri Scenice Reserve! Within a 5 minute drive of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves is the Ruakuri Walk, with parking shared by the neighboring Aranui Cave (a dry cave with guided tours available). The Ruakuri Track is 1 km loop that takes about 45 minutes with easy walking, and is a great place...

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A leisurely stroll in Russell, New Zealand

A leisurely stroll in Russell, New Zealand

Two weeks into our visit to New Zealand, we finally felt well enough to make it out to visit Russell. Formerly known as Kororāreka, it was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. It is situated in the Bay of Islands, in the far north of the North Island.  To get to Russell, you can take a long round-about drive up a peninsula to get there, or you can take a ferry. There are...

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Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Park in Rotorua, New Zealand

Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Park in Rotorua, New Zealand

It was a fresh, crisp morning in early February when we embarked on a walk through Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Known as one of the most colorful and diverse geothermal attractions in New Zealand, it was our top pick when selecting where to take our children to appreciate the unique volcanic features in the Rotorua region. Since we happened to be in Rotorua during the Chinese New Year (along with...

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Agrodome – A fun New Zealand Farm Experience for Kids and Adults

Agrodome – A fun New Zealand Farm Experience for Kids and Adults

Are you looking for something different, educational, and entertaining for adults and children while visiting New Zealand? On New Zealand’s North Island lies a gem of a tourist attraction–Agrodome–which is a “unique New Zealand farm experience”. We first enjoyed their hour-long “Farm Show” that introduced 19 breeds of sheep on its large...

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A Family Trip to Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, New Zealand

A Family Trip to Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, New Zealand

We were excited to visit Rainbow Springs, a 22 acre nature park in Rotorua, New Zealand in mid February. It is home to New Zealand’s largest and most successful kiwi conservation center, where they have released over 1,000 kiwi into the wild since 1995. Upon arriving, we booked a Kiwi Encounter, which was a special tour that took us through their conservation center to show us the impressive...

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Visiting New Zealand’s Glowworm Caves with Kids

Visiting New Zealand’s Glowworm Caves with Kids

One should not visit New Zealand without planning a visit to the famed Glowworm Caves of Waitomo! We met up with our friends, the Pearce’s, who are staying 3 months on the South Island, but had come up North for a passport renewal. We met in Hamilton and then drove to Waitomo in the center of the North Island. This is our 4th country we have met the Pearce’s in, and our kids always have such a great...

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The not-so-glamorous side of travel

The not-so-glamorous side of travel

We prepped for months for our newest adventure. That is…we prepped everything at home for our departure. We made mental (and electronic lists) of what to pack (and still missed a handful of things we had to order on Amazon and ship to us in transit), got the car and house cleaned, we prepared the kids’ school items for travel, and even cleared out the fridge and freezer. What we didn’t do...

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