The whole way down from Auckland towards Oamaru we were stunned by the nature. But we were still missing the wow-effect. I talked to some people on our way and noticed some rivality between the people form the north and south island. No matter where they lived, it was important to them where they came from. In almost every talk sooner or later the other said: “You know I’m from north/south island!

Sometimes I’m surprised how far Linnéa has come already and that she’s not the baby girl anymore. Last week a guy came along with his bike, a dog without leash at his side. He was slow, a little fat, enjoying his day. The dog was agile and eager about the things happening around him. Another dog showed up in some distance. They saw each other and the first one escaped his owner.

When we arrived at the South Island we first headed south along the coast.And stopped at a wonderful campsite at the beach. We used the day to relax and rest from the previous days. Linnéa loves the beach, so we could be there for quite a while and search special stones to extend her stone collection. No idea, how stones can be that important :) Niklas likes the sound of the sea as well.

We finished our stay on the North Island in Wellington and surroundings.First we were skeptical about the city. It just felt a bit hectic. Going with the campervan through a city where space is limited due to mountains and the sea can be quite challenging as well. But after walking around there, talking to people, eating in a nice place and seeing the harbour area and its surroundings, it felt like a nice place to be.

After leaving Hobbiton our next stop was Rotorua.After the first days of driving around New Zealand you get a grasp of the difference between distance on paper and actually driven. End the end I would like to see a statistic of my driving and if I actually drove more straight or turning left and right on the (kurvige) roads. No idea. But every drive takes longer than expected. We arrived at Rotorua in the evening and we stayed at a wonderful DoC campsite next to Lake Okareka.

To clarify one thing first: I’m not the biggest Lord of the Ring fan there is. By the time it was released, I didn’t like the buzz about it, and I simply ignored it.Later my friends pulled me into the 2nd and 3rd movie and I felt a bit “forced” to watch them, which didn’t make too much sense, as I hadn’t seen the first one by then. I watched the first movie a couple of weeks ago, to get a better understanding of what will be shown in Hobbiton.

Let’s simplify the world a bit today. Let’s assume that there are just two kind of people regarding to camping. The ones who get relaxed doing it and the ones who get stressed.In our relationship the roles are pretty well distributed. And I can relax completely camping. :) Your home is always with you. You stay (almost) everywhere you like it the most. No matter if it’s at the beach or deep in the mountains.

We landed Wednesday evening in Auckland and arrived at our hotel next to the airport at two in the night. We continued our good nights sleep, which got interrupted by the customs at the airport quite badly and after we had a little snack. The next day we got into the city with one of those airport buses. It was a quite convenient way into the city, even though a cab would have been almost the same price.

People say travelling long distances with children is stressful and that they wouldn’t do it. We talked so much about it before, that I almost believed it myself at the end and got really nervous. Of course, the preparation is quite different. What to take with you? Where to stay? How much has to be fixed before you go? Quite some things to consider, which can make it harder. But at some point the departure date arrives, you pack, you go and see what happens.

As our family is located in two countries, we have to decide every year where and how to spend the Christmas holidays.Usually we spend Christmas in one place and Annikas’ birthday and New Years in the other. This year we spent Christmas in Germany, so the natural second stop on our way around the world was Finland. Most of the time in Finland we spent in Vaasa at Annika’s sister Heidi, Matthias and Bonzo, the young dog they got a couple of weeks ago.

Daniel Wilms

living in tel aviv. parent of two kids. husband. explorer. enthusiastic about my family, bike-swim-run, photography, cooking, baking. traveller. idealist. optimist. passionate triathlete.

Tel Aviv