Our Top FIVE Favourite Attractions While Visiting Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland has a fantastic history and a world of exciting experiences waiting to be discovered. So, if the kids are up for discovering the Maori culture and heritage and uncovering a city bursting with fresh and quirky experiences, Auckland is just the spot for you.

Here are our top FIVE favourites, just to get you started….

 

Agrodome – The Unique New Zealand Farm Experience

Agrodome is a fun event for the whole family, informative & very entertaining, cos lets be honest who doesn’t like farm animals.

Spend the day and make sure you catch all the demonstrations with sheep, dogs and other animals, including audience participation. Make sure you do the farm and sheep shearing tours, The kids will love it!

Heaps of animals are on display and the open areas for kids to explore are a good place to take the whole family.

Set in the heart of 350-acres of lush farmland, yet only 10 minutes from Rotorua city centre, you’ll find this little gem.

For over 40 years, visitors from all over the globe have come to the Agrodome to see the world-famous Farm Show starring a cast of talented animals.  After the show you can visit the Farmyard Nursery, which is home to the cutest baby animals who are available for cuddles and photos all year round!

Plus, if you really want to explore the Agrodome 350-acre working farm then join our Farm Tour. During this guided tour, you’ll get to hand-feed loads of friendly animals and sample delicious kiwifruit juice and honey from the land.

Before you leave, don’t forget to pop into the Woollen Mill and Shearing MuseumHere you’ll learn the remarkable story of NZ pioneers the Bowen brothers and discover the full process of wool from the Sheep’s back to yours.

Such a great experience for the kids, its easy to see why it’s one of New Zealand’s must-see attractions, open in any weather, 365 days a year!

  

 

 

 Whakarewarewa Village

This is a MUST visit whilst in Rotoura, it was educational as well as fun, my kids have been poi dancing and doing the haka ever since we visited (or their version may I add!!)

This is a uniquely down home New Zealand experience that you wont want to miss, steeped in a rich history and filled with unique Māori culture and heritage. Whether you want to be mesmerised by the boiling mud or learn more about the geological forces created in the area that lies within Rotorua, The Māori people have lived here for centuries, co-existing in harmony with the geothermal forces that lay beneath their feet.

Join an hourly guided tour through the Whakarewarewa Village and experience a living Māori village. See how they use the geothermal energy for everyday use and experience traditional dances and songs (including the legendary “Haka”) from the resident kapa haka group – Te Pakira.

Village entry includes entry to the Cultural Performances (11:15 and 2:00 PM daily) and access to explore the Geothermal Features and Self-Guided Nature Trails over steaming lakes and past bubbling mud. Watch the talented Kapa Haka group perform traditional Māori song and dance – there is so much to explore you will need at least half a day.

The Māori Village is owned and operated by the local residents, providing an intimate look into day-to-day life in a Living Māori Village. Visit and hear stories from the tour guides who have lived here for more than five generations.

Stay for lunch and enjoy a traditional geothermal hangi meal, cooked in the bubbling geothermal waters and steam of Whakarewarewa valley which produces a unique flavour which is simply delicious. Hangi experiences can be booked alongside the Whakarewarewa Village Tours, where you can choose from a full Hang meal, or be tempted by the sweet corn on the cob as a taster.

OPEN EVERY DAY (except Christmas day)

  

 

Rainbow Springs Nature Park

 

Set amongst the native trees and beautiful forests of Rotorua, Rainbow Springs Nature Park offers a fun-packed and educational experience for the whole family. Learn about New Zealand’s fascinating natural history and meet the creatures who call this great land home.

Animal and bird lovers  flock to Rainbow Springs Nature Park, a 9 hectare (22 acre) nature park and wildlife conservation center featuring many rare endemic species, a water ride, and a beautiful natural setting of native plants and streams.

Top of our list was to see the Kiwi encounter, Kiwi are shy fuzzy little flightless birds and are the park’s most famous inhabitants but as the ground dwelling creatures they only come out under the cover of darkness, but don’t worry about missing them during your daytime visit as they keep the kiwi in a nocturnal kiwi enclosure and your day pass includes repeat entry for the day of purchase until closing at 10pm, this means you can come back to the park once it’s dark to meet the kiwi in an outdoor, no glass enclosure. They often come out to play under the stars between 7pm-9pm – it’s a magical experience not to be missed!

We found heaps to do including a ride on the big splash, then spent some time with birds in one of the park’s free flight aviaries plus loved the exciting bird show.

Your ticket allows you unlimited admission for the day, so if you’re close by it makes for a great stop, letting you return at night to observe the nocturnal creatures.

Plus each day the team of experts run special encounters which allow you to get closer than ever to some of the park residents including trout, reptiles and native birds.

 

 

Rainbows End

A great day out for the family no matter what age and level of ‘fear factor’

If you’re in New Zealand, searching for a family-friendly thrill activity, definitely go to Rainbows End with over 20 rides and attractions there’s something for everyone, every day of the year expect Christmas day.

The staff are incredibly helpful and kind, and go to all lengths to satisfy your visit.

We enjoyed a fantastic fun day at Rainbows End and the kids just loved it!! Grab a day pass and go on whatever you want!

We loved the Roller Coaster and some of the rides will have you screaming, but in a good way! The Log Flume ride is always good fun without the fear factor.

Piper really enjoyed Kids Kingdom it’s a great sheltered entertainment centre just for the younger kids, children 8 year and under to run around and they have a blast.

Rainbow’s End is open  from 10am to 5pm each day and is worth adding to your must do list while in Auckland.

 

   

 

 

 

OGO Rotorua

 

According to our 10 year old son, this was his best experience throughout the whole trip!

New Zealand is the iconic Rotorua adventure activity in the world’s largest downhill park in the world, overlooking the spectacular views of Lake Rotorua & Mokoia Island. 

The Original OGO New Zealand has been operating for over 19 years and is the iconic Rotorua adventure activity offering the unique experience OGO Globe Riding, basically just rolling down a hill in a large inflatable ball.

Because it’s great fun, you want to go again and again.

We chose the Zigzag track… and it was awesome, such a thrill!  sitting in some warm water (winter time), being rolled down left and right down the track, it was so much fun.

Courtesy Clothing is available if your forget (Top, Shorts and Towel), Free Wifi, Hotpool and courtesy transport to and from Rotorua on request!

Open 7 days, 364 days a year, rain, hail or shine. Anyone from 6 years old can roll and we highly recommend it!  Go on, we dare you.

We had such an amazing time in Auckland, its the perfect haven for kids. If you’re heading to NZ be sure to get in touch with any questions you have as we would love to chat.

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

 

*This post was written in collaboration with above mentioned attractions but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.



Two great spots to stay when visiting Melbourne with the family.

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Melbourne is packed with things to do for visitors of all ages. Children will love the tram ride down to St Kilda pier, the children’s museum at Melbourne Museum and the Aquarium.

plus parents will no doubt be just as thrilled by Melbourne’s fantastic shopping, dining and nightlife, as well as the National Gallery of Victoria and the leisurely cruises down the Yarra River.

Not far from Melbourne there are many options, including a visit to the fantastic Open Range Zoo at Werribee, or head to the Dandenong Ranges for a ride on the Puffing Billy steam train. Children also love to visit Phillip Island to watch the penguin parade at Summerland Beach, see the fur seals near Nobbies or go surfing at some of the best surf and swimming beaches in Victoria.

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This trip we were only in Melbourne for a couple of days and had lots to do, so we needed somewhere to base ourselves that was convenient, comfortable and as always somewhere where the kids are made as welcome as the adults.

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So our first stop was – The Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders, it has a casual and relaxed vibe helping families feel right at home plus all the family friendly extra’s to make travelling with children easier.

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Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders is the ideal choice for guests and is a favourite Melbourne hotel amongst business and leisure guests. Ideal quality accommodation in Melbourne’s central business district, conveniently located at the entertainment end of Melbourne CBD, just a short walk to Crown Casino, Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centres, Aquarium, Southbank restaurants, Observation Deck and Telstra Dome, allowing guests time to indulge in renowned restaurants, fashion boutiques and Melbourne’s finest attractions, guests can relax in the hotels surroundings whilst immersing themselves in the city’s vibrant culture.

We chose to stay in a spacious newly renovated suite with separate bedroom & bathroom, it features 2 double beds, desk and sofa which meant the room felt spacious for our family of four and offered a little more privacy. Rooms feature broadband internet access, pillow menu plus tea & coffee making facilities, Cots are also available should you require one. It was perfect for our family of four to be able to spread out and relax, enjoying the flat screen TV and multi-device free WIFI.

With so many facilities and attractions within walking distance to the hotel it also makes it easy to drop back to the room for nap time or a rest before heading back out for dinner and night time fun, which is a must to keep our sanity – The hotel also has its own casual restaurant for those nights you would rather get a quick bite to eat and have an early night or often our favourite option room service!

The first thing my kids ask when we are heading to a new hotel is does it have a buffet breakfast? and yes it did! We were spoilt for choice with buffet breakfast choices galore we wanted for nothing at during our stay. The kids could take their pick from a variety of cereals, freshly made crepes and pancakes, fluffy bread rolls, warm croissants, , smoked meats and cheese, an assortment of tropical fruits and of course everyone’s favourite bacon and eggs made to order. A good breakfast like this always sets us up for a good day and keeps everyones hungry at bay.

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After a crazy couple of days of exploring this increadable city it was time to think about heading home so for our next stop we opted to be close to the airport on our last night and made our way to the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport. We were made to feel so welcome and they offer all the facilities, space and service that makes travelling with children of all ages a pleasure.

An overnight stay at the hotel is perfect when busy families need a relaxing getaway to reconnect and have fun. As part of the World’s most family friendly hotel chain, the team happily engages with all hotel guests big and small; starting with a special kids welcome pack at the kids check in counter, then it was time to explore the kids zone stocked with fun board games, books and toys, which opens up to a large outdoor garden where you can play soccer, totem tennis or cricket or just run around and wear them out before bedtime.

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I loved that Vargas Restaurant it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a kids menu which contains more than the usual nuggets and fries and cheese burger and fries that most restaurants think is suitable for the kids, Holiday Inn’s menu has been designed by nutritionists to satisfy any kids’ appetite for flavour and fun, and parents’ desire for healthy, nutritious food. With a great selection of healthy kid friendly meal options, there’s something for every little traveller to enjoy at Vargas Restaurant and Bar. Best of all, kids eat free* when dining with an adult.

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Plus the next morning we could forget the stress and hassle of getting the family to the plane on time. With onsite airport parking and  complimentary 24/7 airport shuttle, we finished the holiday feeling relaxed and rested with no last minute dash so we didn’t miss our plane.

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Plus to make our stay even more affordable they offer Kids 12 years and under eat and stay free when sharing their parents’ room this make a huge difference to the budget when travelling with kids and is always the first thing I look out for when booking a hotel.

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If you have a  larger family or group, they also offer interconnecting rooms, plus free rollaway beds* and portacots.

Whether you choose to stay at  Melbourne airport hotel to make it easier for an early flight the next day or on a lay-over between international destinations, you can be sure that the whole family will enjoy the friendly atmosphere and attitude at a family friendly rate. Spacious soundproof guests rooms with double-glazed windows and modern room amenities, including pillow menu and premium bedding for the ultimate sleep experience. The hotel is the ultimate in Melbourne airport accommodation, located within walking distance to Melbourne Airport terminals meaning its very hard to miss that return flight home.

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Check out the current Packages and Special Deals
Book between 1st – 21st  May and you can get  a whopping 25% off or more on the best flexible rate, Valid for stays from May 8th to 31st December 2017.
*Terms and conditions apply.
More information and special rates on accommodation can be found at www.holidayinn.com

We love Melbourne, so any questions you have just let us know and we will be happy to chat.

Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.



QT Bondi review, Sydney: on Australia’s most famous beach

Bondi Beach is one of the most famous strips of sand in the country, if not the world and we were lucky enough to spend the last 5 days soaking up the sunshine and beach culture.

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We based ourselves at the QT Bondi – The location of this hotel couldn’t be better, located on Australia’s most famous beach right across the road from Bondi beach, it’s the perfect location in the hub of Bondi but just outside the noisy night life.

You have one of the world’s most famous beaches on your doorstep, so experiencing Bondi Beach is a must. Take a stroll along its length from North Bondi or visit the iconic Bondi Icebergs which is just a short walk to the south, Take a swim or experience the café scene, we did it all!

Bondi we will be back you stole our heart – We just cant wait to come back and do it all again!

Are you looking for or a Cheap flights to Sydney?

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The hotel has a unique style and playful vibe that is Bondi the rooms have city views, kitchenette and bespoke designer furnishings. The rooms have comfortable beds and quirky bits of furniture and decorations, the funky design imidelty makes you feel happy and hip. The room is well appointed with a kitchenette which was very handy for the family, I would describe it as closer to a serviced apartment than a hotel. There’s a two-burner stove, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine and even a nespresso machine. Also I loved all the little extras of gowns plus plenty of accessories in the rather large bathrooms.

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They have thought of everything and even have some fun inclusions to buy from the mini bar  – like undies and games even thongs (flip flops)

Have I already said ‘Great location’ I couldn’t get over just how convenient everything was, just across the road from the beach and heaps of restaurants in the vicinity, everything you need is on your doorstep just catch the lift down to the ground floor to Woolworths which is very handy for grabbing food, however there are lots of restaurants nearby that you just must try. (if you have been following us on snapchat you would have seen we ate our way around Bondi!)

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The staff were helpful – the one thing I found that let this hotel down is housekeeping, the room was serviced daily but every afternoon, everyday for the whole 5 days when we got back we would have to ring and ask for all the things they had forgotten to give us, from towels, toilet paper, milk, dishwashing tablet and more!! and the room was serviced in a very half hearted way. It felt more like they wanted it to be a self contained unit (where after the first night you provide all your own amenities and do your own cleaning) which you wouldn’t normally mind if they didn’t charge hotel prices for each night.

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If you have any question please just drop us a line as we would love to chat.

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

QT Bondi. 6 Beach Road, Bondi, NSW, 2026. (02) 8362 3900 See www.qtbondi.com.au