Tuesday, January 24, 2017

NZ Road Trip Overview

Kia Ora!

My name is Stephen and I traveled with my family of four, including my wife and two toddlers around New Zealand for a period spanning 63 days (just over 2 months) from November 2016 to January 2017. 
NZ map overview of 2 month road trip
NZ Map overview of our trip
* This gives a overview of the locations based on Google Maps. 
Google Timeline can't show a 2 month timespan.

We packed our bags and decided to go on a road trip starting from South Island and ending in the North. We spent our honeymoon in South Island back in 2008 and we wanted to share the great outdoors with our kids too.
Hokitika Gorge
A view of Hokitika Gorge's beautiful river

Now, was this a perfect trip? I can say it was not. After all, how many 'perfect trips' can we all attest to where everything goes according to the plan? The stars on the map above show our original intended route when we left Singapore for NZ. Clearly, we did not go to Kaikoura for a reason.

Was it a trip where we experienced lots? Indeed it was.

We were there when the Kaikoura Earthquake struck, when there was a change of NZ Prime Minister (John Key handing the reins to Bill English) and the Christmas / New Year festive period.
Stormy Point Lookout, Cheltenham
Taking a break at the roadside from Stormy Point Lookout, Cheltenham

The purpose of this site is to give a detailed breakdown of what we experienced. Its purpose is not to say that New Zealand is fantastic place. It is neither to show that this country is a horrible place either. Its sole purpose is to give a real account of our journeys. If we had a good experience, I'll say so and if it sucks, we'll say so too. That said, I can say that the positive experiences largely (and I mean heavily) outweighed the very few negative events that happened. 
Ohope Beach, Whakatane
Gloriously vast and pristine Ohope Beach at Whakatane

In this site, I'll run through a few things:

1. Our 63 day Itinerary
This gives a quick rundown of the towns and cities we visited. 
I have tagged (still in progress!) each post to the exact date we traveled

2. Accommodations 
We stayed in 20 accommodations ranging from motels, residences and bachs booked from sites like Airbnb.com and Booking.com. 
Arthur's Pass Alpine Motel

3. Attractions
There are undoubtedly a ton of things to see in each town. Some are more touristy while others are quiet and laidback. All have their charm.
Gem Alpaca Stud, Fairlie

4. Food and drink (especially wine)
In every place we stayed, there's always food and drink. With kids, it isn't easy to eat out all day but when we do, there's decent food to be found.
Pancake Rocks Cafe, Punakaiki

5. What to look out for when traveling
I will be giving tips on how to travel in New Zealand. This includes before and while traveling within the country. Here are some posts I've already put up:
Queenstown from the top



All in all, we traveled on a Toyota Camry for a grand total of 5,502 km, that is according to our mileage that started at 149,693 and ended at 155,195. We stayed at a total of 20 accommodations booked through multiple online platforms like Airbnb.com and Booking.com.
Lindis Pass
The babies chilling at Lindis Pass after a 1.5 hour ride from Queenstown

It was a highly eventful trip which I hoped would change how our toddlers would view things (I'm not sure how much they absorbed given their age). It also changed how we look at things too and I hope that we can share this experience from the eyes of a family of four from Singapore through this website. 

So as of now, I'm in the process of adding all posts of our experiences. With that, do enjoy visiting this site!
Homer Tunnel
Snow around the Homer Tunnel on the way to Milford Sound

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NZ Road Trip Overview

Kia Ora! My name is Stephen and I traveled with my family of four, including my wife and two toddlers around New Zealand for a period spa...