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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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The best park for young kids in Orlando – Gatorland

The best park for young kids in Orlando – Gatorland

On a recent jaunt to Orlando, I was willing to consider any park in the Orlando area to take my family of 7. Should we go to Disney? Universal Studios? Islands of Adventure? Legoland? I would guess that hundreds of thousands of other individuals are facing the same decisions each day as they plan and prepare for their vacations. The truth is that none of those parks really hold much appeal to me. It’s...

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Walking through Lucerne, Switzerland

Walking through Lucerne, Switzerland

After enjoying our stroll along the Ruess River waterfront and the famous Chapel Bridge, we decided to head further into the city to see what it was like. As always, I admired the amazing murals and traditional hanging signs. I also oohed and aahed at the treats through the windows, but unlike our trip to France, we did not stop to taste these goodies! Lucerne is surrounded by the “Musegg Wall”, which...

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Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland

No visit to Switzerland is complete without a scenic tour around Lake Lucerne. Jared wanted to drive the circumference of the entire lake, and we also stopped for a nice walk through the city of Lucerene. We were immediately drawn to the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), which is an eye-catching landmark that crosses diagonally over the Reuss River. The bridge was originally built in the 14th century as part...

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