10 Top Tips for Travelling with Kids

Traveling with Families

Your long awaited family holiday has finally arrived.

With the whole brood looking forward to a fun and relaxing time away, a little bit of planning goes a long way to ensuring the holiday runs smoothly for everyone – including parents!

Whether you are heading off for a city break in Sydney or a beach holiday in Samoa, our top tips will help to make your vacation everything you dreamed of.
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  1. Involve the whole family: Right from the moment you first book the holiday, it’s important to communicate with your children. During the build-up, spend time researching and showing them what can be expected in terms of activities, climate and staying in the hotel. This is also the time to share your expectations about airport and hotel behaviour and what to do if they get lost. This will build their confidence and allow them to give input in what they would like to do during the trip.
  2. Pack smart: By involving the children in the planning stage, they should be able to help with their own packing. Again, talk about what is appropriate to bring, and remember to include some activities for down time. When it comes to putting things in suitcases, children love the idea of looking after their own things. However, try to spread each person’s clothes throughout your various pieces of check in luggage, so that if something happens, each family member still has a few outfits. If you have an umbrella buggy, take it with you. They are a great way to transport your hand luggage and duty-free right up to the plane and a great place for kids to nap.
  3. Stock up on apps: If you have a tablet, prepare to share! There are hundreds on great apps on the market that don’t require an internet connection. They will keep the kids occupied for much longer than a movie and some are even educational. Some of our favourites are Usbourne Books dress up characters, with options for both boys and girls aged 3 to 8 and Peppa Pig’s Holiday, both of which are available for Apple and Android devices.
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  1. Park, Stay and Go: Parking at Auckland Airport can be pricey, so it’s worth considering staying at a hotel close to the airport and making use of the 21 days free parking that is included in your room rate. Depending on how long you need to park for, you can even save money. Plus, after a good night’s sleep, the trip to the airport will be short, relaxed and not rushed. Check out Holiday Inn Auckland Airport’s Park, Stay & Go package.
  2. Be prepared for emergencies: There is nothing worse than scrambling around for Pamol in the middle of the night in a strange place and realising you don’t have any. Minor emergencies have a habit of happening when the pharmacy is closed, so pack a small first aid kit containing the essentials such as Pamol, band-aids, Pedialyte sachets, bite cream, painkillers and diarrhea remedy. Pack all prescription medicines in your hand luggage as these can be costly and inconvenient to replace if your check in baggage gets lost.
  3. Adopt a positive attitude: The idea of getting your family through Auckland Airport and trying to catch a flight on time doesn’t need to give you sleepless nights. Children will mirror your attitude, so if you appear relaxed and happy, they are more likely to keep calm as well. Remember if things go wrong, keep a smile on your face- you’re on holiday after all! You will find that there are always people willing to help if you look around.
  4. Activity time: The key to a relaxing holiday is planning your activities ahead of time buy cialis overnight shipping. It can be tempting to cram as much into your time away as possible, but especially with young children this won’t work. Plan one big activity or trip each day, with plenty of down time to relax by the pool, beach or wherever you may be. This means you won’t be in a rush to see everything, and that downtime has been planned for.
  5. Snack Attack: Are you familiar with the term ‘hangry’? Being so hungry you get angry and cranky? This one will hit the whole family hard if snacks haven’t been pre-planned. From the moment you leave your house have something available in the car, something handy on the plane and snacks for when you’re out and about. It’s a long time between mealtimes for small tummies! Also plan your restaurant meals, if you’re having a late evening plan a low key lunch and afternoon downtime. Make sure you pack re-usable water bottles too so that you don’t end up being overcharged for mineral water.
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  6. Parents can have fun too: A family holiday doesn’t mean you need to spend the entire holiday together. Speak to your hotel about organising a babysitter and have a much-needed adult’s night out! The kids will be in good hands, and you can enjoy an evening of delicious food and perhaps some cocktails.
  7. Skip the souvenirs: Depending on your budget, the holiday can add up quickly. Resist the urge to buy a ton of souvenirs that will only clutter up your suitcase. A fun idea for making memories is to give each of your kids a disposable camera for the duration of the trip. That way they can take snaps of what interests them, and be able to bring some amazing memories home with them.

Team Building Activities in Auckland

Vector Wero Team Building Auckland

Everybody knows that team work is an essential element of the work place and that having fun outside the office can do wonders to productivity and morale. So what are the best team building options out there? With the introduction of Vector Wero’s Whitewater Park we look into the best team building activities in Auckland South. With our flexible meeting and conference spaces, create the perfect day out for your team. Just let us know when booking if you would like to add on one of the below and we can do all the organising for you.

Vector Wero Whitewater Park

Vector Wero Whitewater Park is New Zealand’s first facility to offer an artificial river and water course for sports and recreation. The facility offers three main activities on two grades of rapids. Enjoy stand-up paddleboarding, white water rafting or kayaking. A short 15-minute drive from Holiday Inn Auckland Airport, Vector Wero is a great Auckland team building option to add on to the end of your meeting.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a great entry level activity – make sure you keep your balance!

Kayaking is the next step and the most exhilarating option – prepare to get wet!

White water rafting is the best option for a group and requires the least amount of skill – sit back and enjoy the ride!

Vector Wero Team Building Auckland    Vector Wero Team Building Auckland    Vector Wero Team Building Auckland

Vector Wero Team Building Auckland    Vector Wero Team Building Auckland    Vector Wero Team Building Auckland


Winter Hours (June to September): Wednesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm. The park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

For inquiries, please call (09) 976 7777.

<a href="http://www.locknloadpaintball you could look here.co.nz/groups/team-building/” onclick=”__gaTracker(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘outbound-article’, ‘http://www.locknloadpaintball.co.nz/groups/team-building/’, ‘Lock N Load Paintballing’);” target=”_blank”>Lock N Load Paintballing

Lock N Load Paintballing is very close to the airport and a great way to bring the whole team together. Paintball will help teach your colleagues important skills including leadership, working under pressure and communication. Prepare to come out with a few bruises though!

Rainbows End is one of the most popular activities around the Airport area and is still great fun for adults too. Take a group along to enjoy some of the classic rides and the newer additions.

Rocket Ropes is a great location for team building in Auckland. The challenging course will help build trust and develop confidence. There is a two and three-hour course and prices are very affordable.

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Holiday Inn Auckland Airport

Mangere, Auckland 2022, New Zealand

Easter Holiday Fun in South Auckland

Butterfly Creek Airport

There’s plenty to do in the South Auckland region around the Easter holidays.

Here is our list of the top attractions and activities to keep the family entertained.

The Amazin’ Maze n’ Maize

The Amazin’ Maze will be holding a Giant Easter Egg Hunt over the Easter weekend. Head along between 11-2 to claim your share of the thousands of eggs that will be hidden every day. Enjoy getting lost in the cornfields as you try and make your way out. This is great for slightly older children who can head off in their own small groups.

The Lollywitch of Mumuland

This modern day adaption of Hansel and Gretel promises to be a great show. Spark the kids’ interest in the performing arts as they journey with Hans and Gertie on an adventure which sees them in the clutches of a wicked Zumba-dancing witch. Sound silly? The kids will love it! With engaging performers and plenty of action, the young ones definitely won’t get bored. Click here to find out more.

Rainbow’s End

Night Rides Until the end of April, night rides are on every Saturday at <a href="https://rainbowsend.co.nz/" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'outbound-article', 'https://rainbowsend.co.nz/', 'Rainbow’s End cialis without a doctor prescription.’);” target=”_blank”>Rainbow’s End. Come and experience the park coming to life in the evening before it gets too cold. What could be more thrilling than your favourite rides in the dark? Let the kids stay up after their bedtime and enjoy the fun together.

Butterfly Creek

This Easter weekend, Butterfly Creek is the place to be! There will also be school holiday fun for the entire holiday period in April, with the Daily Dino Dig. Besides these special events, Butterfly Creek is always brimming with things to see and do.

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Royal Easter Show

So it may not be quite in South Auckland, but not too far away is the biggest Easter event in Auckland. For a fun day filled with rides, games and plenty of animals, head to the ASB Showgrounds in Ellerslie. There will even be an ice skating rink! Click here for the full event schedule.

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Photo Credit: Easter Show by Angela Thomas

Experience the Thrill of a Lifetime in Auckland

Driving Auckland Airport

Do you have a free day between flights or want to fit some excitement into your layover? For the perfect treat for yourself or a gift for a petrol-head or lover of speed, try a drive experience at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park! What better way to experience Auckland than at a world-class facility, being looked after by a group of friendly, enthusiastic Aucklanders. There are a range of options for any age and any skill level and everyone is sure to have a blast at one of New Zealand’s premiere racing tracks. Ensure you check availability and book ahead of time to avoid disappointment (our Concierge team can help!).

A leisurely 40 minute drive along the motorway, follow the clearly-marked route from the Hampton Downs exit from the motorway and be welcomed onto the track by experienced, knowledgeable staff and volunteers. Enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat while spectating or if you’re the lucky recipient, get ready for the ride of your life.

Formula Challenge

You’ll be briefed, geared up in full race gear and shown around the track by a qualified driver. When you’re ready and confident, you’ll be taking the wheel of a Formula Challenge V8 Holden or Ford. Guided by your instructor, you’ll learn about lines, speed and cornering – the fastest way to get around the track. The track has a number of challenging corners, plus a straight stretch that will let you really feel the power of the V8 engine in front of you.

At the end of the session, you’ll receive a certificate with your fastest lap time and a picture of you beside your chosen car. Visit the Formula Challenge website to find out more and book.

 

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BMW and Audi driver training

Spend a day with a trained instructor, receiving professional tuition on advanced handling and driving techniques. A day sure to be both informative and fun, you’ll be on the track and sliding around on the purpose-built skid pad. See the Hampton Downs website for more information.

Freeman X Supercars

This is a truly unique opportunity to take the wheel of one or more exotic supercars! With three Lamborghinis, a Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Lotus, Mitsubishi Evolution and Mini Challenge race car, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You’ll start with a driver’s briefing then be taken by an experienced driver for a “sighting lap” to get a feel of the layout of the track before you take the wheel of your chosen car (or cars) visit the website.

Your instructor will ride with you and give you tips while you’re driving – when to brake, at what point to turn and when to shift gears if your car has a manual transmission. There is also the option to have a picture taken beside the car and have your drive videoed, so you can replay your experience again and again. Check out the Freeman X website to view the available cars and book your drive.

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Hot Laps

For younger participants or those without a full licence, you can still have a hair-raising experience at Hampton Downs. Hop into the passenger seat while an experienced driver takes you on an exhilarating trip around the track in a Formula Challenge V8 or Freeman X supercar.

Don’t forget to plan ahead and leave plenty of time to return, especially if you are catching a flight on the same day. The traffic on the Auckland motorway can sometimes become quite congested and cause delays in travel time.

Picture credits:
Murphy V8 Super Tourer by Auckland Photo News, CC-BY-2.0
Lamborghini Drive by Amelia Ritchie

Top Five Tips for Travelling with Kids

Traveling With kids

Your long awaited family holiday has finally arrived.

With the whole brood looking forward to a fun and relaxing time away, a little bit of planning goes a long way to ensure the holiday runs smoothly for everyone- including parents! As seasoned travel experts, we’ve put together some top tips to help your holiday be everything you dreamed of.

1. Involve the whole family

Right from the moment you first book the holiday, it’s important to communicate with your children. During the build-up, spend time researching and showing them what can be expected in terms of activities, climate, and staying in the hotel. This is also the time to share your expectations about airport and hotel behaviour and what to do if they get lost. This will build their confidence and allow them to give input in what they would like to do during the trip.

2. Pack smart

By involving the children in the planning stage, they should be able to help with their own packing. Again, talk about what is appropriate to bring, and remember to include some activities for down time. It’s a good idea to invest in activity books and card games if you can. When it comes to putting things in suitcases, children love the idea of looking after their own things and particularly like to choose what toys and games to put in their hand luggage. However, try to spread each person’s clothes throughout your various pieces of check in luggage, so that if something happens, each family member still has a few outfits.

3. Adopt a positive attitude

The idea of getting your family through a busy airport and trying to catch a flight on time doesn’t need to give you sleepless nights. Children will mirror your attitude, so if you appear relaxed and happy, they are more likely to keep calm as well. Remember if things go wrong, keep a smile on your face – you’re on holiday after all! You will find that there are always people willing to help if you look around.

4. Pace yourselves

The key to a relaxing holiday is planning your activities ahead of time. It can be tempting to cram as much into your time away as possible, but especially with young children this won’t work. Plan one big activity or trip each day, with plenty of down time to relax by the pool, beach or wherever you may be. This means you won’t be in a rush to see everything, and that downtime has been planned for. A fun idea for making memories is to give each of your kids a disposable camera for the duration of the trip. Don’t forget that as you are in a new, exciting environment, children will often get more tired than usual, so make sure they get to bed on time wherever possible so that they don’t get cranky.

5 try this out. Snack Attack

Are you familiar with the term ‘hangry’? Being so hungry you get angry? This one will hit the whole family hard if snacks haven’t been pre-planned. From the moment you leave your house have something available in the car, something handy on the plane and snacks for when you’re out and about. It’s a long time between mealtimes for small tummies! Also plan your restaurant meals. If you’re having a late evening plan a low key lunch and afternoon downtime.

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A Day Trip to Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island is New Zealand’s youngest volcano.

Its distinctive symmetrical cone is Auckland’s most recognisable islands.

There are a number of walking tracks up and around the island, along with explorable lava caves and a tractor train that takes visitors to just below the summit.

The island is only 5.5km wide, and only a 25 minute ferry journey from Auckland.part of the Hauraki Gulf and linked by land bridge to its neighbour, Motutapu Island.

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What to take

A backpack with water, snacks/lunch, a hat and sunscreen is advised. While there are toilet facilities on the island, there are no shops so the ferry is the last place to buy food before you arrive. Some terrain on the island is rough and rocky, so you’ll need sturdy walking shoes. A torch may be useful if you’re planning on exploring the caves as they can be dark.

Be pest free

Ensure your belongings and shoes are free of dirt, soil, seeds and pack food in rodent-proof containers. Rangitoto is proud to be pest-free and you can help keep it that way.

How to get there

Just a 20km drive from Holiday Inn, you’ll catch the Fullers ferry from the ferry terminal at 99 Quay Street. The ferry departs at 9:15am and 12:15pm every day of the week.

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Once you arrive at Rangitoto, here are some popular walks and activities:

Take the Summit Track

Time: Allow 1 hour each way.

The most popular walk on Rangitoto takes visitors to the peak of the island at 259 meters above sea level. This track passes through forest and lava fields and provides 360° views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf once you reach the top. Another track connected to the summit circles the rim of Rangitoto’s crater.

Ship remains at Wreck Bay

Time: 1 hour each way.
If you want to visit Wreck Bay, also known as Boulder Bay, the Wreck Bay Track crosses lava flows and drops into bush before emerging at the coast. At low tide, the remains of several old ships are visible. Sturdy shoes are required for this track generic cialis overnight delivery.

Wander amongst the Bach Communities

Three bach (holiday home) communities were built on Rangitoto during the 1920s and 30s, mainly for private weekend/holiday use and boatsheds. These unique buildings reflect the era of their creation – the depression meant these buildings were cobbled together from what people could find, even using remains of the ships in Wreck Bay.

Further building was prohibited in 1937, and a historical society is now working to preserve some of the baches for visitors to see the social and architectural significance of the time.

Explore the lava caves

A 15 minute detour from the Summit Track takes you to the natural phenomena that are the lava caves and tunnels of Rangitoto Island, formed around 550 years ago. Be aware of the terrain as it can become quite uneven – a torch is useful for lighting your way through some of the tunnels, the longest known cave is around 50 meters long.

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Please note: Rangitoto Wharf is closed until the 5th of August for reconstruction. During this time ferries will sail to Islington Bay Wharf, just a short distance from Rangitoto Wharf. All tracks are still accessible from Islington Bay Wharf.

Have you ever been to Rangitoto Island? Share stories or pictures with us in a comment below!

Picture credits:

Rangitoto in Shades by Chris Gregory, CC-BY-2.0

Rangitoto Island by portengaround, CC BY-SA 2.0

Auckland: Rangitoto Island by keskyle70, CC-BY-2.0

Best Beaches to Visit in Auckland

Best Beaches

While Auckland is New Zealand’s biggest city and the commercial heart of our country, it also boasts some spectacular scenery, including world class beaches.

With hundreds of kilometres of coastline, the region is home to numerous beaches, including some secluded bays and coves. If you’re visiting Auckland this summer and craving a beach day, we recommend visiting one of these beaches!

The beaches listed below are some of our top picks for visitors who have limited time to enjoy Auckland’s beaches.

Closest to the airport

If you only have a few hours to spend at the beach before your flight, these city beaches are your best bets.

Kelvin Strand Beach

Kelvin Strand is just a 35-minute drive from Auckland Airport. Located at the top of a long peninsula that juts into Waitemata Harbour, this beach offers white sand and beautiful views of the city skyline in the distance on a clear day. The beach doesn’t tend to get crowded, so you’re likely to find a spot to stretch out and relax. There are also wetlands, a beautiful walkway, a park and playground at Kelvin Strand, which means your family can easily spend the day here if you have the time.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay is another very popular urban Auckland beach, just 15 minutes from the CBD along Tamaki Drive. There’s plenty to do besides enjoy the sand and water – people watching and enjoying lunch at a café are the favourite activities here. It can get crowded here on summer weekends, which is hardly surprising since the shimmering turquoise water and white sand beach are too appealing to pass by!

Mission_Bay_Beach

Wattle Bay Beach

Wattle Bay is about 20 minutes away from Auckland Airport by car. This is a quiet beach on Manukau Harbour, hidden behind residential properties. There are some grassy areas and tables alongside the water, so don’t forget your picnic basket! While it’s not an ideal place for swimming, it’s the perfect spot for the busy traveller to relax to the sound of lapping water.

North Shore

If you have a little bit more time, we recommend taking a drive up to Auckland’s North Shore. Two of our favourite beaches on the North Shore are located within a one hour drive of Auckland Airport.

Takapuna Beach

Considered to be Auckland’s most popular beach, this is a great spot for people watching, swimming and sunbathing. With dozens of cafes and restaurants nearby, you can grab lunch or an ice cream without interrupting your day at the beach. The views from Takapuna Beach are stunning – Rangitoto Island’s impressive volcanic outline dominates the horizon.

takapuna beach auckland

Devonport

Located just across the water from the city is Devonport, a charming neighbourhood that is easily accessible by a ferry from downtown Auckland. Not only is this a great place for a walk, but there’s also a small, family-friendly beach nearby.

Narrow Neck Beach

Once you’ve arrived in Devonport, Narrow Neck Beach is a 25 minute walk from the ferry landing. The beach is small and the swimming area is safe for children. There are barbeques and picnic areas around the beach. If you have children, you just can’t beat a ferry ride and a beach day that ends with a barbeque and ice cream!

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Southeast Auckland

Tawhitokino

If you’ve got a bit more time and have a sense of adventure, we recommend a day trip to Tawhitokino beach, about a 50 minute drive southeast of Auckland Airport. Between Orere Point and Papanui Point townships, a stretch of beaches skirts the Firth of Thames. These beaches are only accessible by foot at low tide or by small boat at other times, so these beaches are almost always empty – allowing you to explore the beautiful coastline in peace. To access the beach, you’ll follow the Tawhitokino track, which takes about 45 minutes to walk. If you’re after an adventure, this is the perfect way to combine a hike and beach time, all while taking in amazing scenery.

Have you been to any of Auckland’s beautiful beaches? Did we miss any of your favourites on this list? We’d love to hear from you in the comment area below.

Photo credits:

Takapuna Beach Postcard by wonderferret

Narrow Neck Beach by Deanna Gallagher

Five Fantastic Adventure Activities In Auckland

Auckland is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations.

Combining a vast landscape with a bustling city, fine dining restaurants and a wide range of tourism operators and activities, there’s something to suit every traveller.

One of Auckland’s best-kept secrets is that it’s home to some of the best adventure activities in the country. Whether you’re based in the inner-city or in the rural outskirts, you’ll find a range of adrenaline-pumping activities to suit any adventure lover! Read on to discover the top five adventure activities in Auckland.

AJ Hackett Bungy

 

The Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy

While you’re in Auckland, don’t miss the world-famous AJ Hackett Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb and Bungy Jump. Start out with a 1 ½ hour climb across the bridge, enjoying the views over Auckland. Then take the opportunity to bungy jump out over the Waitemata Harbour!

Snowplanet

If you love snow sports, Auckland’s Snowplanet is the perfect day-trip for you. This all-year indoor snow resort features a 200 metre slope and terrain park, complete with jumps and rails, as well as a ski line and beginners area. Try skiing, snowboarding, tubing, tobogganing, or enjoy a bite to eat at their bar and restaurant.

The Auckland Adventure Jet

Based from Auckland’s waterfront is the Auckland Adventure Jet. On your 25 minute trip around the harbour, you’ll get the opportunity to see the sights while enjoying supercharged jet boat spins, sweeping turns and tricks. The boat departs hourly from Pier3A, beside the Ferry Building at the bottom of Queen Street. Give it a go while you’re in town!

AWOL Canyoning

AWOL adventures offers full day, half day and night canyoning trips in the Piha canyon and a full day trip in the Blue Canyon. Enjoy abseiling, slides and big jumps, and navigate narrow gorges and caves while enjoying the rugged west coast landscape; you’ll see waterfalls, native rainforest and volcanic rock valleys. You choose your level of adventure with AWOL canyoning – no experience is necessary and full training is provided on the day.

4 Track Adventures

Take a guided quad-bike safari with Track Adventures in Auckland’s Woodhill Forest. Full instruction and tuition is given during a 15 minute training session before you begin your quad-bike adventure; roaming through towering forests and along wild surf beaches. Short or long tours are available – book with a group of friends or combine your safari with a helicopter ride or wine tasting tour.

If you’re planning on visiting Auckland for an adventure holiday, you’ll find comfortable, accessible accommodation at Holiday Inn Auckland Airport. We’re conveniently located a short distance from Auckland Airport via our canary yellow shuttle bus and offer comfortable accommodation at affordable rates. Find out more about our rooms or book now to reserve your room.