Part of our stay in New Zealand included a road trip. Don't you just love road trips?? I do! It was perhaps a little over-enthusiastic taking the two kids on a road trip on my own - it surprised more than a few people! But I did it!
On the whole it was really fun although we didn't make as many impromptu stops as I was hoping to. Most days I pushed the pedal to the metal and went for it. The kids could manage about two and a half hours in a stretch so I divided the entire trip into these manageable chunks.
We started our trip in Wellington - the most southern city of the North Island and just a short flight from Auckland. Once there we picked up our snazzy blue Hyundai from Thrifty Rentals. Wellington is renowned for wind but we were treated to a lovely evening and enjoyed a BBQ with our good friends before hitting the road the next morning.
Palmerston North was our first major stop. It was absolutely freezing there so we pushed on towards sunny Hawkes Bay. Those who know me will recall that I am terrible with directions. You would be proud to know that I navigated my way across the country and through several unknown towns with only a couple of u-turns required.
My uncle is a huge Volkswagon (VW) fan - he's president of the national association and quite an avid collector. Upon hearing that Little Guy is a Fire/Police/Ambulance freak he promised to bring home his very rare VW Ambulance. I'm not into cars but it was so cool!! He has restored it to its original condition after buying it in a real state of neglect. I can't remember what year exactly but I think it was manufactured in 1950 and was one of ten VW ambulances imported by the Invercargill Health Board. The kids were in seventh heaven when they got to go for a ride in it!
The next day we heard the unmistakable sound of a VW combi-van driving up. This one was used most recently by Havana Coffee Works in Wellington and is still painted with their logo. The boys were strapped in, just like in the 70s, both in the front, seatbelt across them both. Probably not that safe but we all got a kick out of it. I got to enjoy a nap in the sun with my book while they were out. Bliss.
Our days in Hawkes Bay were fantastic. We left on a sunny afternoon and drove first to Lake Taupo, then onto Hamilton and finally back to Auckland. Just south of Auckland in Glenbook the kids went on one last transport-related excursion to Glenbrook Vintage Railway. I didn't go on that trip since I was numb and swollen from a visit to the dreaded dentist. They had a great time and it is a recommended spot for kids young and old.
Picture from http://www.railfan.org.nz/
Roadtrips!! Can't wait for the next one!