Hayley Robinson, her husband David, and their son William (6 months)
Last April, the Robinsons spent two weeks in New Zealand. They landed at Auckland Airport and drove all the way to Christchurch. During the trip, they visited Nelson, Hanmer Springs, Wellington, Napier, and Kaikoura. To go home, they flew back to Auckland to catch a plane for Beijing. They had family in Nelson, a city on the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. The whole trip was organized by Hayley.
The entire family flew roundtrip from Beijing to Auckland with Cathay Pacific for RMB 25,000. They spent five nights in Nelson with family and stayed in B&Bs the rest of the time. Accommodations for a family of three cost around RMB 600 per night. The Robinsons rented a car for 10 days at a cost of roughly RMB 3,000 and drove three to four hours every day. The ferry from North to South Island with the car cost around RMB 1,000 for the whole family. In the end, the trip added up to about RMB 35,000 for two adults and a baby.
The Best Part
The best part was seeing the fur seal pups in Kaikoura – it was non touristy and the seals were moving around right next to the travelers. There’s also a waterfall pool north of Kaikoura called Ohau Point where seal pups go to play, and an estimated 40,000 people visit each year.
The Worst Part
The family visited New Zealand in mid-April, which means the weather wasn’t as warm as it could’ve been. Hayley thought they could spend more time on the beach, but it was too windy and rainy. Nevertheless, William had fun playing in the sand. In general, New Zealand in April is jeans-and-sweater weather.
An Unexpected Moment
The family met Michael Jackson’s makeup artist in a small sandwich shop in Nelson. He talked a lot about his time working in show business and was very fond of William.
The Family-Friendly Factor
In every B&B the family stayed at, there were clean and comfortable cots. Hayley found accommodations through TripAdvisor.com. It wasn’t very hard to find food for William during the trip. Among the B&B’s they stayed at, the Robinsons especially recommend the Bay-View Homestay Kaikoura.
- If you’re traveling with little ones, Cathay Pacific offers an overnight flight to New Zealand, which makes things much easier for parents.
- The Robinsons essentially had a road trip, which proved to be easier with a baby who wasn’t moving around too much. William was able to sit in the car and look out the window, and the family stopped quite a bit to let him roll around and move about. If they did the trip now, Hayley thinks there’d be a lot more frustration for William because he’s more mobile.
- The produce in New Zealand is very fresh. Some of the best meals the Robinsons had were homemade dishes made by David’s aunt. New Zealand also produces some great wines; David’s favorite was the sauvignon blanc.