What are your favourite memories from childhood family holidays in NZ?
Our mum worked for a campervan company so we sometimes transferred the vans and had a road-trip holiday as a result. Before that, we had gone to a holiday park barely out of town, so that was a huge upgrade.
Where is your favourite off-the-beaten-track spot in NZ to get away from it all and what makes it so special?
Great Barrier Island is amazing, although I've only been once. It was the first trip my husband and I went on together; he kept the destination a surprise but said I should bring my passport. We flew to Great Barrier and I was embarrassed I hadn't been there before - lush bush and beautiful scenery, amazing seafood.
If you were heading on a family getaway now, where would you go?
We often go to Rotorua so I'll go for Piopiotahi/Milford Sound - that was one place we didn't quite make it to on our South Island trip at the beginning of the year, from Queenstown, Wānaka, Haast, Hokitika, and Tekapo. The Wānaka to Haast drive was stunning, my husband was blown away.
What are your best tips for a successful family holiday?
Organise according to your family's needs, for instance, kids' ages, how well they travel, and choose travel times that make things easier for you, if you can. Sometimes an early departure makes things cheaper, but then the rest of the day needs to be realistic and not too busy for the little ones.
What's your dream NZ road trip?
If this is a dream situation and there are no time or cost restrictions, it would be a three-week campervan trip around the North Island then another three weeks for the South Island! When I've met tourists who have done that I've felt envious, although with three kids involved I might throw in a couple of motel and hotel stays to break up the campervan time.
And if you could choose one ultimate, luxury, dream holiday in NZ, where would you go?
I'd love to stay in one of the exotic treehouses at Hapuku Lodge in Kaikōura. A friend recommended it, saying it was exceptional, and she lives in London and knows five-star accommodation well. Kaikōura is such a special part of the country. I haven't been there for a few years, and this luxury stay looks like a dream scenario.
This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.