An adventure: Christchurch to Takaka by car, with two preschoolers. And a dog.

Taking kids to a location 530 km away (The Man's cousin lives in Takaka and we decided to visit her during the long Easter weekend that's just gone by) means getting up in the middle of a night and leaving the house at 3:30 am.

It means driving through the dark of the night, watching the sun get up, and hoping the kids sleep in their car seats until around 7 am so we get to cover at least half of the journey before they awake.

But in all of its tiredness and the ensuing grumpiness, even the journey's good.

On the way there our first stop was at a beach between Kaikoura and Blenheim. We let the kids (and the dog) run off steam and ate breakfast in the form of homely packed-to-go sandwiches. Everyone got sandy - and it was alright :)

From then on, we stopped every hour. The kids wanted to run. Everybody wanted food. Adults needed changing their roles of driving and sleeping in the passenger's seat ;)

And once we got to Takaka, it was mayhem! The Man's cousin has four kids, all aged between 1 and 7 years old, so between her kids and ours it was... 6 kids under 7. Shared between 3 adults. Plus dogs - one hers and one ours. Mayhem. Mayhem!

Every day we went to a beach - each day a different one.

Every day we made a mess of a house and bathed kids wherever it suited us the most. It was nice and spacious on the verandah - I wish you had seen what the house looked like...

And before too long, it was time to pack our stuff in the back of a car and head home again. 3 am leaving time, with a first real stop at a Ward beach, 7 o'clock in the morning.

Watching a crayfishing boat being launched from the back of a tractor

And then more stops along the way - sometimes for ice creams, sometimes for seal-watching.

It was a heck of a journey!

But we'd so do it again.

After we sleep for about three months that is. 


  1. I remember those early starts when I was a kid, though we were going from Papakowhai up to Rotorua with my parents to visit Nana and Grandpa.

  2. OI! Niii ilus kõik! Ja soe?