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Keeping Kids Entertained on the Edwin Fox in Picton, New Zealand

Keeping Kids Entertained on the Edwin Fox in Picton, New Zealand

After a 3 1/2 hour ferry crossing from the Southern Point of New Zealand’s North Island (Wellington) to the Northern tip of the South Island (Picton), we sought out a fun destination that would reward the kids for good behavior on the ferry, as well as fill some extra time before a long drive to Nelson. Picton is a small town with a population of only 4,000-ish residents, and although it gets a lot of through-traffic, it isn’t...

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Visiting Paraparaumu with Kids

Visiting Paraparaumu with Kids

Did you try do read that out loud? If not–I dare you to try!! Paraparaumu!!! Need some help? Here goes: Par-uh-par-uh-ooo-moo Simple, right? Kinda catchy, even! Well…we spotted it on the map, and decided we were headed to the Paraparaumu region after our visit to Taupo, and then Napier’s Art Deco Festival. When telling locals our plans, we were a bit confused when instead of saying Paraparaumu, they used the name...

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Hamilton New Zealand LDS Temple

Hamilton New Zealand LDS Temple

While driving through Hamilton, New Zealand, on the way South to Waitomo—we drove right past the LDS Hamilton New Zealand temple! It stands on a big hill on the outskirts of town…seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It overlooks 86 acres that it shares with the former Church College of New Zealand (a Church-operated school for 12-18 yr old students that permanently closed in 2009). The friends we were traveling with offered to...

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Enjoying Life on the Farm in Hastings, New Zealand

Enjoying Life on the Farm in Hastings, New Zealand

We were tickled pink when we were able to find a last-minute vacation/”bach” rental in Hastings, NZ become available during the nearby Napier Art Deco Festival that attracts visitors from all over to enjoy their 125+ events over a February weekend! It turned out to be a superb location–perched on the edge of a vineyard, and in a quiet location without traffic or noise. The host was amazing, and let our kids help feed her...

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If you give a kid a candy…

If you give a kid a candy…

…you just might have to give them some more…and more…and more. Am I right?!! While in the Hastings/Havelock North area, we were advised not to miss Birdwoods Gallery. Trip Advisor reviews confirmed this recommendation, and so we really couldn’t say no! We peaked inside the Birdwoods Gallery, which featured beautiful artwork and crafts from New Zealand, as well as Africa. The owners have spent a lot of time in Africa,...

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Have you ever been to a Soap Box Derby?!

Have you ever been to a Soap Box Derby?!

We enjoyed the Art Deco Car Parade and other events at the Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand on Saturday, and knew we had one more event we couldn’t miss! After attending church on Sunday in Hawkes Bay, we returned to downtown Napier to watch the Soap Box Derby, where children and their fathers race their homemade boxcars down a hill! It is a VERY well-attended event, and we were lucky to get a even a tiny view at the very end...

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Swinging through the Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand

Swinging through the Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand

One can be quickly overwhelmed when looking at all the offerings of the Art Deco Festival schedule for their yearly February event in Napier, New Zealand. This festival brings in tourists from all over the country (and in our case, beyond), and truly has something for everyone! While we wish we had booked in time to get our kids in a street-tour of the earthquake history, we ended up instead just enjoying the free entertainment offered...

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Will kids enjoy the Art Deco Car Parade in Napier, New Zealand?

Will kids enjoy the Art Deco Car Parade in Napier, New Zealand?

One of our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE things about traveling is when we happen upon major celebrations or cultural events. Napier’s “Art Deco Festival” was one such event that we found out about simply by accident. When discussing our upcoming travel options with a landlord of one of our rentals in Central North Island, we mentioned that we’d likely head to the West Coast, rather than the East Coast next. He mentioned that...

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44 Signs that you’re in New Zealand

44 Signs that you’re in New Zealand

One of the fun things about travel is comparing all of the differences between your home country and your destination of travel. When recently spending 3 months in NZ, we compiled a list of some of some of the New Zealand idiosyncrasies that stood out to our American family. Enjoy! 1. New Zealanders shorten names for everything 2. Holiday Parks are all the rage! 3. You may have to Google translate their English 4. Every hike has a Swing...

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Tamaki Maori Village with Kids

Tamaki Maori Village with Kids

While spending time in Rotorua, we determined that we’d bite the bullet and purchase tickets for our family of 7 to visit the Tamaki Maori Village. With prices for adults at $120 and kids ranging from $25-$99, it was a spendy treat for our family to commit to this tour at full price! The tour price includes pickup downtown and transportation to the village outside of town (about 20+ minutes), however, since we had our transportation...

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8 Must-Do Activities for Children in Rotorua, New Zealand

8 Must-Do Activities for Children in Rotorua, New Zealand

Rotorua is a hotspot for tourists exploring New Zealand. While there’s no shortage of high adventure activities for young 20-somethings, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with the younger crowd. On our recent visit in February 2016, we found the activities for children to be plentiful! Here are some of our favorites:: 1. Kuirau Park  Kuirau Park is an eclectic public park in the middle of town—featuring both a...

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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 into the Redwood Grove. The...

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