There is nothing quite like a South Island roadie and I am kicking myself that it's taking me all these years to actually explore what the South Island has to offer.
Now mama we all know how toddlers can turn a dreamy scenario bad real quick. So I'm sharing all my tips from a winter trip with a girlfriend and her toddler. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as we did!
First Stop - Snack Supply!
Make sure you grab lots of food! Like if you think you have enough snacks for the kids pack double, no triple just to be sure (seriously theres nothing worse than a hungry toddler). If your leaving from Queenstown central then make sure you stop at Pak and Save in Frankton to get all your road trip snack supplies. Make sure you go for easy non-messy snacks like chips and biscuits. Nothing messy like yoghurts (seriously, don't do it) as there's nothing like dairy all over your rental car to ruin your trip. Food pouches can be hit or miss depending on your childs age and especially if there's no one sitting in the back to help (again, liquid food squirting everywhere is not fun to clean up).
Ok so your good to go now right?! Nope, make sure you have packed EVERYTHING - if you're doing a day trip make sure you have a change of clothes for yourself, at least 3 changes of clothes for the little babes, enough nappies, formula/milk, their blanky and ALL their favourite toys. We were lucky that we checked out of our hotel and were staying in Wanaka so we didn't really have to worry about forgetting anything.
Alright, Lets Make A Move
There's a perfect place to stop in between Queenstown and Wanaka and that's the Cardrona Hotel. So instead of just popping in the route direct from Queenstown to Wanaka rather go Queenstown to Cardrona Hotel. It's super gram worthy and oh so baby friendly! It has a beautiful outdoor area although be careful there is an outdoor fire place so in winter it may be best to keep the babes in doors. They have high chairs, and it's super cozy inside. The menu is fab and the portions are large so we just got the Chicken Wings (they were the BOMB DOT COM), which came with chips and that was enough to share with each of our little babes and of course they got fluffies and hot chocolate too!
Those Views, Tho! #goals
There are plenty of lookout points on the way roughly about 3 good ones where you can stop and get those gram worthy "On top of the world" pics. So if your babes are fussing and its not a good time to get out of the car and you see a lookout point coming up - don't stress there's plenty so pick one when it's a better time for you and ya babe.
Don't Hurry, Honey!
Seriously the drive takes only about 1 hour but add 2 - 3 hours if you have plans while in Wanaka. Travelling with kids as we all know can be very unpredictable but also the terrain can get quite slippery and we did experience a bit of fog while driving through the mountains so you don't want to be in a hurry. It can quickly turn stressful with all the whiny roads, so make sure time is on your side.
Just Go With The Flow
If nothing seems to be keeping the babes calm then ya know what, just go with it! Enjoy the views anyway it's an experience!