April is a good month for holidays in New Zealand–Easter was last weekend and both the Friday before and the Monday after are public holidays. And April in NZ has decidedly better weather than April in NY! Jeremiah had planned a 10 day hunting trip with buddies, so I met our friends Laura, Audrey and Noah up at Hanmer for the weekend. Hanmer is well known for the cultivated hot pools. If Water + Kids = Happiness, imagine if that water is warm! Come to think of it, if Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Hot Springs installed a sandy beach, the joy would be complete.
When we arrived at the Top Ten Campground on Thursday it was relatively empty, and it was interesting to watch the ancient contraptions finagling tight corners behind their little four-cylinder towing cars, then setting up their satellite TV dishes and grills. “Glamping.” Jeremiah scoffs at the Kiwi way, tiny cars dwarfed by the contraptions behind them, negotiating alpine passes on their way to the holiday parks. But it seems to work for them. We, of course, had our tent. Car camping isn’t really our forte, but after this trip I get it. The kids can run amok in a safe environment WITH a playground and other kids. If the parent has a buddy there too, the happy picture is complete.
One fine warm autumn morning we went to a local animal park, where the difference between NZ and NY views on animal/public contact were in stark contrast. Feeding wallabies was really fun. They’re like overgrown squirrels with beefy tails, though not nearly as cheeky or chattery as a squirrel.
Leaves are turning yellow and starting to fall–it feels like autumn.
Just next to the holiday park was a forest reserve with biking trails. It sure felt like Ithaca, with the mix of deciduous and pine, and the fluttering fall leaves.
A little pump track in the reserve was a kid highlight of the trip. Our crew zoomed over the humps on their balance bikes, and Naomi jogged up and town the hills on her own two precarious legs. Jordy (Laura’s husband) joined us on Saturday with his new toy, a Go-Pro camera. The kid biking video below is his first production. Nice job Jordy!
Track</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/mjjordy”>mjjordy</a>
; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>