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A family of 7 who travels, homeschools, and generally does things their own way!

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    Waitomo, New Zealand, has no lack of activities for kids. Of course, there are some excellent paid activities, such as the Spellbound Glowworm Caves tour that we absolutely loved, but there are also many fantastic hikes that are not only free, but of reasonable lengths to hike with children! We had already done the Ruakuri Hike, so this time […]

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  • 01/22/17--18:15: Marakopa Falls, New Zealand
  • On Te Anga Road, beyond Waitomo Village, you will run into an easy walk to “Marakopa Falls”. The trail is well-marked, and has a sign indicating that it is a 10 minute hike. Between our two-family traveling crew (with a total of 8 kids from 7 months to 12 years), a “10 min” walk means 30-60 […]

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    When we departed Waitomo, New Zealand, we set out on Highway 30 for our next stop–Rotorua (2 hrs 15 minutes away). We chose this Southern Route because we thought it was would be more scenic than tracking back up North from the way we had come. Going along Highway 30 also allowed us to swing right […]

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    One should not visit New Zealand without planning a visit to the famed Glowworm Caves of Waitomo! We met up with our friends, the Pearce’s, who are staying 3 months on the South Island, but had come up North for a passport renewal. We met in Hamilton and then drove to Waitomo in the center of the […]

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    We were excited to visit Rainbow Springs, a 22 acre nature park in Rotorua, New Zealand in mid February. It is home to New Zealand’s largest and most successful kiwi conservation center, where they have released over 1,000 kiwi into the wild since 1995. Upon arriving, we booked a Kiwi Encounter, which was a special tour that took us […]

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    Are you looking for something different, educational, and entertaining for adults and children while visiting New Zealand? On New Zealand’s North Island lies a gem of a tourist attraction–Agrodome–which is a “unique New Zealand farm experience”. We first enjoyed their hour-long “Farm Show” that introduced 19 breeds of sheep on its large stage. Seeing the sheep all […]

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    It was a fresh, crisp morning in early February when we embarked on a walk through Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Known as one of the most colorful and diverse geothermal attractions in New Zealand, it was our top pick when selecting where to take our children to appreciate the unique volcanic features in the Rotorua region. Since we […]

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    Two weeks into our visit to New Zealand, we finally felt well enough to make it out to visit Russell. Formerly known as Kororāreka, it was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. It is situated in the Bay of Islands, in the far north of the North Island.  To get to Russell, […]

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    If you’re looking for free activities for kids around Waitomo, New Zealand, you won’t want to miss the Ruakuri Scenice Reserve! Within a 5 minute drive of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves is the Ruakuri Walk, with parking shared by the neighboring Aranui Cave (a dry cave with guided tours available). The Ruakuri Track is 1 km loop that takes […]

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    When you drive away from the Auckland/New Zealand Airport, chances are you’re going to drive right past the eye-catching entrances to  Rocket Ropes and Butterfly Creek! Our interest was piqued in January, and the kids were thrilled when we surprised them with a visit here (in April) our last day in New Zealand before our outgoing flight! Rocket Ropes is […]

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    Waitomo, New Zealand, has no lack of activities for kids. Of course, there are some excellent paid activities, such as the Spellbound Glowworm Caves tour that we absolutely loved, but there are also many fantastic hikes that are not only free, but of reasonable lengths to hike with children! We had already done the Ruakuri Hike, so this time […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    When we departed Waitomo, New Zealand, we set out on Highway 30 for our next stop–Rotorua (2 hrs 15 minutes away). We chose this Southern Route because we thought it was would be more scenic than tracking back up North from the way we had come. Going along Highway 30 also allowed us to swing right […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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