Wednesday 27 April 2022

Family Babymoon

Things are a little different when you have your three year old in tow! Not quite so far as Morocco this time! I loved our first babymoon and enjoyed that pre-baby bonding time with Jake. However, this time around I wanted to do things a bit differently as it’s not only Jake and I this time. I knew Arlo would also benefit from some serious pre-baby bonding time before adopting his new role of big brother. It would be our last big holiday as a family of three! So, we decided to have a family friendly babymoon! We’ve always wanted to do a campervan trip and this was the perfect excuse. New Zealand is a dream destination for all travellers, from adventure seekers to lavish luxury seekers. But, it's also the ideal place to create some incredible family memories. We had actually originally planned to do our campervan trip around the South Island however, after a few cancellations due to COVID we decided a change of plan was needed and decided to drive North instead. Coromandel and Northland here we come!

Ready to hit the road with us?

We booked the Maui Ultima Plus, an ideal campervan for two adults and one child! This self-contained vehicle comes with toilet, shower and kitchen facilities, with plenty of space for a family of three and everything we need right at our fingertips. We planned a route with some exciting stops along the way including freedom camping, holiday parks and also a couple more luxurious stops because well this is a babymoon after all! We loved being able to travel at a pace that suited us.

Ready for a little tour?

It's easy to see why so many people choose to travel in a campervan in New Zealand. And why wouldn't you? There’s plenty of space to explore, and lots of perfect spots to park your camper. It’s a safe and secure way to sleep soundly, whether you've parked up in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of a bustling big city.

Best thing about a roadie is finding New Zealand's secrets gems. on our drive up North we made a stop at Waikite Valley Thermal pools in Rotorua. Wow! What a way to kick off our babymoon. Hidden amongst the most beautiful scenery and they also have a campground adjoining the pool complex, with both powered and non-powered sites available with full access to the pools!

Now I said this was a babymoon right?! After our drive up North we arrived at our first destination. It was time for some luxury and a good outdoor bath for this mumma! I had booked us two nights at Arohanui Cabins in Mangawhai because we all know how much we love glamping. This beautiful glamping spot is set on the majestic seaside town of Mangawhai with breathtaking views of the surrounding native bush and farmland.

Arohanui Cabins is made up of three cabins all built from recycled native timbers, sustainable and up-cycled materials, and the cabins are completely off grid and beautifully designed. In the 'bedroom' cabin you will find two queen beds with French doors that open up connecting you to the natural surroundings. We loved lying in bed at night and being able to star gaze through the picture windows in the bedrooms.

At the heart of all the cabins is a landscaped courtyard and covered pergola, complete with an authentic pizza oven and hammock, providing the ultimate outdoor living experience.

In the bespoke macrocarpa kitchen, you will find a quirky orange sink. The tiny kitchen provides all the essentials including a fridge, gas hobs, and cooking equipment. Jake and Arlo enjoyed making the pizza dough for us to use for dinner later that evening. It’s also a great spot to also cosy up inside with a good book and they had a selection of board games too.

Finally the last cabin and probably my most favourite, the 'bathroom' cabin came with a big cast iron bath with big barn doors turning it into an outdoor haven! They also had a cabinet filled with kids bath toys which Arlo loved!

What girl doesn't love an outdoor bath?! Especially one with an epic view!

Another thing that Arlo loved was the Polaris Ranger ATV which you are provided use of during your stay. The cabins are situated in a paddock so if you have a 4WD you can drive straight down to the cabins. If not, you can park your vehicle at the farm shed and jump into the Polaris Ranger ATV which is super fun with plenty of room in the back to take all your luggage as well.

Down by the trees you can find a couple of swings which had multiple visits from us during our stay.  You can also find a open fire pit down here which we came back later in the evening to roast some marshmallows.

We made use of their awesome pizza oven during our stay. Arlo and Jake enjoyed making the pizza's together from the pizza dough they had made together earlier in the day. There's nothing cuter than a toddler helping out making dinner, sure its messy but that's half the fun!

Nothing says glamping like roasting marshmallows over a open fire!

We loved our time in Arohanui Cabins. It was the perfect place to start our family friendly babymoon however, it was time to jump back into our campervan and head to our next location, the Bay of Islands!

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