Flashback to our NZ Snow Holiday!
Flashback to our 10-day NZ motorhome holiday - July 2018
I have had a lot of people asking for details of our trip, what to take, what I didn’t need, and tips etc. So here it is! Nearly a year later!
We recently booked in another NZ trip for this year because we loved it SO much and so I was looking back at all the things I wrote down from last time to jog my memory of what to pack (and a couple of things I need to buy)!
This time we are doing things a little differently and staying in accommodation with Wyndham Holidays at the Ramada Resort by Wyndham in Wanaka.
You can check it out at www.holidaysbywyndham.com.au or their socials @wyndham_holidays #wyndhamholidays
The route we took
- Christchurch to Kaikoura- stayed overnight at the ‘Kaikora Big 10 caravan park’. Saw all the seals on the rocks!
- Kaikoura to Hanmer springs- stayed overnight at the ‘Hanmer Springs Big 10 caravan park’. We went to the Thermal springs.
- Across Lewis pass to Frans Joseph glacier - stayed overnight on the side of the road because cloud cover was very low and visibility was bad. We freedom camped then to Hasst Pass.
- Wanaka (my favourite!!) - stayed for 2 nights at ‘Wanaka Kiwi caravan park’.We went to Snow Farm NZ on one day, and Treble Cone Ski Area the next.
- Queenstown we stayed at ‘Queenstown Holiday park & motels creeksyde’, We did the Nighttime Gondola ride and Dinner at the Stratosfare Restaurant and bar. Amazing!
- Went to Arrow town then on the way back we stopped at ‘Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday park Lakefront’ (went to the hot springs and the Snow tube park – SO FUN!) and then back to Christchurch.
Things I would pack next time (hindsight is a great thing!)
Everyday we wore (from the head down):
- Wooly beanie
- Bamboo long sleeve tee or FZ double layer bamboo bodysuit
- A medium weight jumper: FZ, Beau Hudson, Baby Legging Co
- A feather/goose down filled waterproof puffer coat (don’t bother with polyester filled- spend the money!)
- A pair of soft warm gloves (and a pair of fully waterproof snow gloves on snow days)
- Bamboo leggings, thick cotton footed tights for the kids, or FZ double layer bamboo leggings.
- A pair of jeans (and waterproof snow pants on snow days)
- A thick thermal pair of socks or bed socks for the kids (no where in Aus had kid size proper thermal socks).
- Snow boots or gumboots. (See below for links and names of the snow boots we got)
I would sleep in my thermals (bamboo bodysuit and bamboo leggings) the night before, so when I woke up I only had to throw the next layer on top, and not get fully undressed and cold. (The kids did the same, so I found pjs to be a pointless packed item that just wasted space)
Our vans were heated, but it’s still not nice to get nude at 7am when it’s -3degrees outside! Haha!
Everywhere is wet, cold and muddy and you do lots of walking and exploring- so basically you need shoes that keep water out and you dry inside. Don’t bother with fancy shoes, or fabric shoes or heels!
Snow boots www.snowcentral.com.au
Kids got the “XTM Puddles Apres Boots”
I got the “XTM Inessa Apres boots”
Ben got the “XTM Predator Apres Boots”
Just cheap ones from Kmart will do!
- Plastic sandal/slip on for showers and hot pools
- All leather shoes - lace up (like converse or the like) OR ankle boots- Lacey had cute silver ones from @fawnandfinch
Our luggage is The Samsonite Omni HARDCASES set: https://www.amazon.com/Samsonite-Omni-Piece-Spinner-Black/dp/B013WFOBYA?tag=frequent06-20&ref_=nav_ya_signin&th=1
We chose these because they all “nest” inside the biggest for ease of storage. There isn’t much space in the vans.
We got 2 of the suitcase sets, so a total of 6 suitcases.
The biggest size were mine and bens. (Ps.23kg is the limit with most airlines)
The medium size were Zion and Lacey’s.
The smallest size were Mine and Bens “carry on” (ps. 7kg is the limit for most airlines)
And then the kids just had a back pack each as their “carry on”.
In our Carry on bags, We all had our devices & chargers, 1 spare change of undies, 1 outfit, 1 jumper/jacket and our toiletries/medications (ps. keep all bottles and sprays under 100ml and clearly labeled medications), Incase the main luggage was delayed or lost (which DOES happen!)
And the kids had their iPads and chargers in their backpack too! (ipads were amazing for when we had a big drive planned for the day. The kids could watch movies the whole way with their headphones in!)
When booking a van, choose the biggest one!! Especially with kids. Trust me. You’ll need the space to save your sanity!
We went with Wilderness Motorhomes and got the “outback 4” van. Heaps of storage space underneath, a big bed for the adults with space around the sides to move, and a pull down roof bed for the kids.
We added on 2 car seats for the kids, snow chains, GPS navigation and the wifi package.
Food in the van: We basically only bought snacks, fruit, breakfast things, mineral water, toilet paper, bin bags, paper towel, washing powder, cheese, wine and 2 minute noodles.
We didn’t “freedom camp” much, but the unplanned night that we did- the 2 minutes noodles came in handy! Why didn’t we freedom camp? Hmmm... personal preference I guess!?
We liked checking into a holiday park so we could use the amenities like toilets (for number 2’s, because the emptying the van toilet is bad enough with just wee’s YUCK!), showers (because we didn’t want to use too much of the vans water unnecessarily), washing machine and dryer, playground, mains power and spas. The holiday parks cost between $70-$90 a night.
Fuel is expensive over here. Diesel $2.50 per litre!
Skiing is super expensive! A day on the snow for ben and the kids cost over $500. I only purchased a Scenic Pass to go on the ski lift to the top and drink mulled wine and hot chocolates. The kids did lessons for snowboarding and absolutely LOVED it!
Take swimmers/togs because most places have spas and saunas and there is also the natural hot pools!
We also took a powerboard with 4 electrical points and 4 usb points in it because the vans don’t have many PowerPoints. Ps. The electrical outlet is the same for NZ and Aus. You don’t need an adaptor!
Buy sim cards over there for your phones specifically for data!!! Your standard Aus phone company is probably like mine and they like to promise “it’s fine” ... but it’s NOT! Grrr
Don’t drive your motorhome up treble cone or Cardrona - too dangerous. We drove up to the Snow Farm in Wanaka with snow chains but it was scary and they have a shuttle at all of them anyway.
Treble come is less packed than Cardrona and better for kids.
Snow farm is great for kids, but didn’t have snow pants for them (take snow pants) and only teaches cross country skiing. Does have dog sledding and “fun zone” (tubing and toboggans).
If your in Wanaka…BOOK DINNER!- its super busy! (Mind you, we had 4 adults and 4 kids)
If you hear the loud alarm, it’s not an earthquake or an avalanche - just a fire brigade! lol
Give both skiing and snowboarding a go, so you know which you like best. You never know!
Ski at least 2 days if your learning, you’ll want that because by the time you get the hang of it, you’re leaving! :(
If you want the best snow, come in July/August - but bring the layers! It’s cold!
Go with friends or another family, its so much fun for the kids to have others to play with and the adults to have some drinks, dinners and laughs! We went with another family and wouldn't have it any other way! Love you Jen, Brendo, Lilly and Savvy! ;)