When my brother and I were kids – I am going to guess he was about 12 and I was 14 – our parents took us on a great trip to New Zealand. We went during April, and experienced the beauty of New Zealand in Fall – or Autumn as many of us call it.
Our trip was 6 months long, and I remember it as one of our best vacations ever. To start with, we got several weeks off school – which of course to a teenager was great! I can’t say I remember exactly what we travelled in, but I believe it was a small camper like this one. Looking back that looks pretty tiny, but it seemed perfectly adequate at the time!
During our trip, we explored vast areas of this relatively small country. A highlight for me was our trip to Queenstown – undoubtedly one of the coolest travel destination for teens there is. I remember seeing jet boats, raging rapids and other neat stuff. I also remember walking up many hills – it was a quite mountainous region!
Another neat thing we saw was all the cool geothermal activity at Rotorua. I found the bubbling mud and strange colored liquids fascinating, if just a little bit scary! We also were able to visit the site of a past volcanic eruption where they were doing archaeological work; that was a very instructive experience – and probably kick started my interest in archaeology.
My dad has family in New Zealand – so we got to visit with some new relatives we had never met before. We stayed a little while on a dairy farm with some family, which was rather interesting. Our family in Australia mainly raised sheep and wheat, so was fun to see how a different style of farm operated.
One thing that really stood out for me during the trip was the memory of the Chernobyl disaster. That occurred during our trip, and did cause me some worry! Thankfully with all the great sights to see I soon got over that. It is hard to get too worked up about something when you never know what the next day may bring – seeing a cool glacier, trying venison for the first time, seeing a beach made of shells.
Luckily for my parents this trip was well before the Lord of the Rings movies came out, or I would have been nagging them to go see all the movie locations. But for New Zealand RV travelers now, the movies offer a completely new range of potentially fun places to take your teens and tweens above and beyond the natural beauty of the country!