I have to admit it, we are hot spring groupies. We look for them everywhere we go and have been known to drive for hours to visit ones we think might be good. I need to clarify what we think is a good hot spring. Firstly, the more natural the better, while we are ok with the ones that are developed if the water is really good, if we had a choice between a pool made of stones near a river on the side of the road and a big complex with all the trappings of a waterpark, we will always pick the roadside pool option first.
New Zealand delivers
New Zealand is a country that delivers when it comes to good hot springs, but you have to hunt for them. The ones we think are good ended up in the strangest of places, such as a park dedicated to dog walking in the town of Taupo, on the North Island.
There, we found a piping hot stream running straight into the Taupo river that was such a favourite for us that we never even made it to the commercial hot spring along the river from it.
We stayed in New Zealand for 3 months. It started as a family visit. Our oldest daughter lived near the bay of islands. After the firs couple of weeks, we loaded everyone into a hire car, including her and drove all over the north and South Island. We stayed in caravans on farms in places that were more remote than we ever thought possible. Besides climbing mountains and tramped around in the snow, we also swam in the ocean, (brr, NZ is almost perpetually chilly).
We glammed it up in a friend’s multi-million dollar Queenstown apartment. Some wicked scooter sessions were had in skate parks all over the country. The kids were dead keen to learn as many tricks as they could. The local kids were really obliging and helpful.
Making friends easily
This is one of the things that impresses me the most about our kids. Everywhere they go they make friends. Not just friends for the day, but so many friends that they are still in regular contact with. They have buddies in every corner of the world and are now have sleepovers on every continent in the world!
We are constantly being complimented on the charm and brightness of our kids. Honestly, I struggle to take the credit for it, it is all them. We give them guidance, push them when we can see they need it. Don’t think we don’t make all the mistakes other parents make. Somehow they are turning out to be beautiful young adults in the making!
We had a wonderful time in NZ, but it was time to head back to Bali. Time to warm our chilled bones properly in the tropics.
We will go back, the next time we want to arrive by yacht, after crossing the Pacific by sail!