Back in June we announced that Chris Whitfield from Victoria had won the grand prize in our Kiwication competition; a New Zealand getaway including flights, accommodation, motorhome hire and attraction passes. Chris recently returned from his trip to and was kind enough to share some photos and stories about his travels!

We landed in Auckland and were picked up by Apollo to get the motorhome sorted. They were very efficient. The van was in excellent shape and we were very keen to get on the road as we knew we had a long drive in the rain down to Tongariro. We stopped off for a quick nap in the camper along the shore of Lake Taupo.

The next day we started off with a visit to Whakapapa to try to catch a glimpse of the volcanoes. No luck though. We drove back along Lake Taupo before heading off to Napier. Along the way we were able to stop off in Taupo to cook up a lunch in the van along the lake shore. Napier was a cool spot. It really does the whole art deco thing well. We had a nice meal out at the docks.

From Napier we drove up to Rotorua via Taupo. This was our day for kayaking and the team at Canoe & Kayak Taupo were great. We were able to stop off on the river for a quick dip in the natural hotspings. We continued up to Rotorua via the hot springs, mud pits and the lakes in Whakarewarawa area. They were beautiful but it was still raining on and off. We stayed the night in Rotorua at the All Seasons Holiday Park alongside the dinosaurs. This was our only night in accommodation but we kind of wanted to stay in the van. No fault of the holiday park but we had built a connection to the van.

In the morning we headed up to Agroventures. Sara was much better at the sky diving but I was able to beat her at the Sweeb. We made our way up to Blokart Recreation Park. On the way out of Rotorua we stopped by the Hamurana springs for a walk and were surprised by the trees. We felt like we’d suddenly been transported to America. Once at Blokarts the wind had died down so it was a fair bit of stop and start but a really fun concept. The driftkarts were a lot more fun for me. A couple of stacks but no issues.

That afternoon we arrived to a very warm welcome at Cosy Corner Holiday Park. This was by far our favourite and most welcoming Family Park. The facilities were excellent and the owners were very hospitable. We went for a quick hike up Mount Maunganui which was awesome. Great view and a great way to get some exercise after a few days on the road. We topped off the night with some fish and chips on the beach down at Omanu.

We then went to Miranda. The area wasn’t quite what we expected, but it was nice. In the morning we went for a drive through Thames to Cathedral Cove. What a beautiful spot. Another good chance for a walk and a lunch by the beach. We went back that night to Miranda. In the morning we did our final drive back to Auckland to drop off the van.

Thank you so much to Family Parks for the opportunity to take this trip. It will be locked into our memories.