Ten things I learnt spending a week in a camper van with three kids.
1. If you are going to live in a camper for a week, New Zealand is the place to do it.
I lost count of how many times I said “wow” at the amazing scenery. Around every corner is a greener hill, bluer water and the whitest clouds.
2. Five people can fit in a space meant for two.
The kids gave the top bunk a one night try but preferred to be close to us without their faces pressed into the roof. We hired a Toyota HiAce that had seatbelts for five and drove 1600 kilometres in a week.
3. There is nothing better than the hot shower you will have after three days on the road.
I was in heaven when we got to Hot Beach and used the shower until the hot water ran out. It was that good.
4. Kids can do the dishes without you nagging them.
All you really need is a bucket and some soapy water. Each morning Woody would go to the tap and collect the dishes to wash.
5. Kids don't need toys when they have nature.
My kids spent hours playing with sticks and grass at a campsite near the Kauri forest. Pepper loved doing handstands amongst the green, green grass.
6. Even when it rains for 24 hours it’s still fun to explore
That is as long as you have a heater to dry everything at the end of the day.
7. Kids love navigating and being in charge of Google Maps
They often have a better sense of direction than their parents. Pepper was chief navigator sitting up the front with her Dad.
8. We can all get out of bed early
We enjoyed getting up every morning for sunrise even though on school mornings it seems impossible to wake anyone up.
9. Space is a luxury
After spending an extended period of time in such close proximity, you realise that both physical and mental space are a luxury.
10. We want to do it again
But we might need a slightly bigger camper!
Bron Leeks leads the adventurous team at Smithsholidayroad.com where she shares her families adventures with a focus on wheelchair access and inclusion. Based in Melbourne, Australia and exploring far and wide.