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Our guest blogger, 5-month-old Ben, shares his first experience travelling New Zealand’s South Island campervan rental. Day 3 in Queenstown

Guest blogger Ben and his poppa on their campervan rentalMum and Dad went back up the mountain today. Nan Anne and Poppa Rog took me on some more walks. I loved it. I stayed nice and warm in my buggy. Mum and dad were back home to the rental campervan nice and early. Much the same story with the snow they said. I was just happy neither of them came home with any broken bones. Last time they went skiing, dad broke his hand. He thinks he is 14 sometimes. He was doing something called a rail slide. What a nerd. That night we had happy hour in the bar. It was really cool. Nan Anne told me lots of stories about my great grandparents. I was so happy to learn about them. My granddad Jim was a very brave man. Jim also loved the mountains. I think this is why my mum loves the mountains so much. I think I am a bit like great granddad Jim.

Mum and dad went out on a date. They went to a restaurant on the Steamers Wharf called Ivy and Lola’s. Mum and dad said it was awesome. Dad gave it an 11/10. He said that the duck was incredible, astounding, amazing, remarkable and marvellous. It must have been good for him to use that many big words in one sentence. Mum and dad had a lovely date and I stayed in the campervan with Nan Anne and Poppa Rog. They are so good to me. They just love me so much. I love them both very much too. I am going to google tomorrow if you can be ‘too loved’. I hope not because I get a lot of love, especially from my mum. She kisses me all the time.

Our guest blogger, 5-month-old Ben, shares his first experience travelling New Zealand’s South Island campervan rental. Day 2 in Queenstown

Queenstown New ZealandMum and Dad are not going skiing today. Dad said he was going to take me to his favourite attraction in Queenstown. He used to be a tour guide and has tried almost everything worth trying. And he said he is going to take me to the best. Mum said that I should have a sleep first. I found it hard to sleep as I was so excited. I had my sleep and then we walked to Queenstown. We went to lunch with a lady mum used to worth with called Biz. Whow this lady was excited. I think she must be going to the cool attraction after lunch with us. But I found out later that she was not. Mum said she was like this all the time. The restaurant was called Halo. It was by the courthouse. Biz said it was one of the best in town for lunch and she recommended it to anyone travelling to Queenstown in a rental campervan. 

Then it was time to go to dad’s favourite attraction. However mum and dad thought they might buy themselves some cool new kit first. Dad a beanie and mum a top. Both Icebreakers. I think they are Icebreaker snobs. I prefer Annebreaker. (That is what we call the clothes Nan Anne makes for me.) All the shopping made me tired so I had a little sleep in my buggy. What a great sleep. But when I woke up I realised that I missed out on the greatest attraction in Queenstown. Mum and dad went there while I was sleeping. I was devastated. But dad said that we will definitely be coming back in a rental campervan again. Dad has never let me down so I was happy with this. And to top it off I get to hear all about it. On the main wharf in town there is an underwater aquarium. You can put $1 in the slot and food will drop out of a feeder for the fish. Then all these big trout come up and eat them right in front of your face. Mum liked the ducks the best.

Mum and dad took me for happy hour at a cute little bar. We sat outside so we could enjoy the view. Then we spent the evening snuggled up in our campervan.

Day 1 in Queenstown

Mary Hamilton

September 21, 2012

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Our guest blogger, 5-month-old Ben, shares his first experience travelling New Zealand’s South Island by rental campervan. Day 1 in Queenstown

Mum and dad went skiing up at Coronet Peak. Hang on a minute, I am not sure this is part of the plan… So I decided to let Nan Anne and Poppa Rog take me for a walk in my buggy. Then a sleep in the comfy rental campervan. Then another walk. And what the heck. We might as well have another walk. Mum and dad were back nice and early. They were very excited. They said they had such a great day on the mountain. Apparently the snow was not as great as it could have been but they said that they just loved hanging out with each other on the mountain. They are lovely but they are a bit lovey dovey sometimes for my liking. When they came back we got to go for another walk.

Queenstown is an amazing place with a very dramatic landscape. A very average photographer can look like a professional easily. That night Nan Anne made kiwi burgers for dinner. Poppa Rog said they were the best burgers he had ever tasted. They looked nice enough, but I would never know as mum said I am not big enough for burgers yet and I have to eat the puréed slop that Mr. Wattie made. Bizarre that I can not eat burgers but I am allowed to drink Poppa’s beer. We all settled in for a big night of Olympics. Come on kiwis…

Our guest blogger, 5-month-old Ben, shares his first experience travelling New Zealand’s South Island

Photo of Ben and familyBeing a colossal 5 and a half months old, my life to date has been peppered with firsts. And this week would be another one of these. But this will be a special one for the whole family. My first South Island Campervan Rental Adventure…

On Friday we collected our two rental campervans from the Wilderness Motorhomes Christchurch campervan rental base. A Base Jumper 2 for Nan Anne and Poppa Rog and a Dart 4 for mum, dad and me. Nan Anne and Poppa Rog are seasoned motorhomers. They even have their own set of red wings that they can stick to their campervan. Our rental campervans were immaculate which I was pleased about as dad would be grumpy if they were not. Our first stop was to be Meadow Park campground. Dad would not shut up… He said he had been to plenty of campgrounds in his time but he has never seen such an amazing campground. It had a drive through check in… And all the staff that we met were so lovely. Mum kept bugging them asking them to take family photos of us.

I woke up early in the morning, pumped to be on holiday. We checked out of the campground and hit the road. I’m not sure if it was the smooth ride of the Dart 4 or dad still going on how great Meadow Park was but I was soon asleep. I woke up in Geraldine. Nan Anne was just about beside herself to go to the Barkers shop to get some jam and relish. Barkers is a New Zealand institution in jam. So to go to the home of Barkers was just more than Nan Anne could take. We had a lovely roadside picnic with Nan’s new fancy relish. The next stop was Tekapo. Whoow my little eyes were going crazy. I had never seen such beauty, other than my mum of course. The lake was a beautiful turquoise blue, and right at the other end were the most magnificent mountains. And to top it off they were covered in white stuff. Mum said it was called snow and it was as cold as the freezer. My mum knows a lot of stuff but I am not sure she got this one right. How can something so pretty be so horrible and cold. I bet it is warm and fluffy.

We stayed at the Tekapo campground. It was in such an amazing spot. Right where I could see the lake and that cool white stuff. We settled into our campervan for the night and Nan Anne made her famous Chilli Con Carne. Poppa said that Nan Anne was the best cook in the world. Dad was excited as tonight he gets to indulge in one of his favourite pastimes. Hot pools. The Alpine Springs hot pools in Tekapo are up there with the best dad says he has been to. The full moon rose over the mountains and dad was in heaven…

The next morning we awoke and hit the road in our campervan. Most tourists would take the main road to Twizel. But not Nan Anne and Poppa Rog. They know the cool side roads. A few minutes south of Tekapo we took a right on Hayes Road to travel the canal road. It was great. Mum and dad talked a lot about how cool it would be to water-ski behind the campervan in the canal. They are such dreamers sometimes. Nan Anne and Poppa Rog stopped at the Salmon farm and bought some fresh south island salmon. Mum was happy as this is her favourite. The road continued along the canal until it hit Lake Dunston. We travelled into Twizel to get lunch. In the afternoon we headed over the Lindis Pass. Now I thought what I saw yesterday was beautiful. This pass is something else. It has gorgeous rivers that flow by the road. We stopped so I could have my afternoon tea and dad could throw stones into the river.

In the afternoon we drove into Queenstown. It was almost too much for me. The drive through the Kawerau Gorge was just about to take me over the edge. Mum was feeling the same. I think it was not about the scenery though. I think that she was peaking about all the wineries. Our heavens were the same place but for very different reasons.

Whoo hoo. We were in Queenstown. The town I have heard so much about. I wonder what adventures it will have in store for us…

We settled in at our new digs. Copthorne Apartments. Mum sorted us a very very sweet deal. She learnt her negotiating skills from Poppa Rog. It was so cool. It had an upstairs and a downstairs. Nan Anne said this was like staying at the Ritz. I am not sure if she is right I have never stayed at the Ritz. In fact I have never even heard of the Ritz. I was stoked as I was rooming with mum and dad. They are cool. Dad is very pedantic and likes to organise all his clothes neatly. Mum is a little less formal. She prefers the pile technique. I am yet to decide who I am going to take after.

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