Oh New Zealand, you beautiful beautiful country !
New Zealand has always been a dream of mine, we visited there in 2013 when I was 12months pregnant with number 3. We started in Christchurch and drove to Queenstown stopping along the way. We went in August and the weather was amazing, we were lucky to get very mild winter weather.
Christchurch - We didn't spent a great deal of time here, just a night at the start and end of our trip. We went and visited the earthquake zones aswell as the Christchurch Aquatic Centre which was super cool, complete with a -20 degree storm simulation and ice slides!
Our first stop on our journey was Metheven which was a gorgeous little town. We stayed at the Brinkey Resort which had amazing views over the mountains aswell as 2 bedrooms.
We drove up to Mt Hutt to show the kids the snow, oh my goodness - this turned out to be the scariest car trip of my life. The trip up was around 1 hour and was a tiny little road which barely fit two cars , with absolutely no barriers and icy roads - complete with 50m drops to our death. I have never ever been so scared in my life (the kids on the other hand thought it was hilarious that I was crying and having a panic attack). When we finally got up to the top, hubbys face was completely white, as he later told me he could feel the tires spinning on the black ice, and a man at the ski fields told us we better turn around and head back as there's a storm coming. Fantastic, I still had to get DOWN the mountain !! Luckily we made it ok, but it had me super nervous to travel up to a ski field again !!
The day I thought I would die ! The road I call the DEATH ROAD
Next we drove to Lake Tekapo which has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. We stayed at the Mantra which was so big - 2 storey 3 bedroom with a little backyard area aswell. Cannot recommend it enough ! The amazing turquoise blue colour of Lake Tekapo is created by "rock flour" - the glaciers in the headwaters grind the rock into fine dust. These suspended particles in combination with the sunlight create Lake Tekapo's unique water colour. It is simply breathtaking.
The town itself is very small with just a little village, but some of the pubs and restaurants there were absolutely delicious.
The Mantra, Lake Tekapo
The view from Roundhill skifield looking over Lake Tekapo
A short drive away up a not so scary mountain is an amazing little kid friendly ski field called Roundhill - this place has views to die for ! As I was pregnant I wasn't able to ski but the kids both did a lesson, and hubby has skiied plenty of times so they all had a great time. Kids just seem to be naturals on the slopes ! Oh and we built our first snowman 🙂
Our next stop was Queenstown where we stayed at the incredible Hilton Hotel . The views and room were amazing ! The hotel itself has a great heated pool which the kids loved, and the Wakatipu Grill, whilst a tad pricey was well worth it. The steaks there are like nothing I have ever tasted. You have a great view from the balcony over the river, and I loved sitting there with my non-alcoholic wine watching the shotover jets go by.
The Hilton Queenstown
From Queenstown we did trips to Wanaka, Coronet Peak for more skiiing, fish farms, a trip up the incredible skyline cable, walks along the river aswell as a trip to Mt Cook.
The View up the Skyline cable
From here we flew back to Christchurch then back on home to Perth. New Zealand ticked every single box for us, it was everything we expected and more. It is so clean, safe and pure - my daughter who has terrible allergies didn't sneeze once the whole trip - she's been asking to move there ever since . This is one please we will defnitley be coming back to !