Local Heart, Global Soul

June 4, 2010

Meadow Park Top 10 and unusual Nocturnal Kid Diversions…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We manage to get to go to New Zealand every few years,  we can often stay with friends and family for bits of the trip but usually we begin and end our trip, here… at Christchurch’s  Meadow Park Top 10 camping ground.

It’s located in Papanui on the north side of town, a short drive from the airport.

They have everything here from tent sites to motel rooms, cabins and masses of places for camper vans. We  like it because the location is close to several people we know and because we can have flexibility that staying in a family home doesn’t necessarily offer.

Our kids are still quite young and we have been traveling to New Zealand since they were babies and I wouldn’t dream of stepping off the plane with the kids and going directly to family… after all, there is a 12 hour time difference between The Netherlands and New Zealand and guess what?

I can personally attest to that fact that we ARE all wide awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed at 1.00 in the morning, and at  midnight, 1.00 am, 2.00 am,  3.oo am… and 4.00 am and then struggling to keep our eyes open after 8.00 am in the morning again.

It takes us a few days to compete the worst of the time zone shift, and if the kids are bouncing off the walls at 2.oo am in the morning then at least when we stay here in a cabin on arrival we don’t have the additional stress of trying to keep them quiet because our hosts have to get to work on time and need their sleep.

Himself and I are also not comfortable either with the idea of getting off the plane with this kind of jet-lag and then driving the one and a half hours on small roads to Hanmer Springs…  we would simply not be alert enough and a chance to catch up quickly with a few family and friends is before we disappear into the hills is also an opportunity not to be missed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The additional bonus of Meadowpark’s location is that just a few minutes down Papauni Road there is a Countdown Supermarket… and it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For some of you dear readers that is no big deal: you have those sort of shopping hours for years or decades already, but in the Netherlands it doesn’t exist and even in  the South Island’s largest city there are only two of these supermarkets and both are fairly recent  additions to the local scene (not the shops themselves but their opening hours)

For us it’s brilliant… not least because  it solves a parental problem: what to do with two restless wide awake kids at 3.00 am when the playground is in pitch darkness, there are no other kids to play with and large amounts of noise is not acceptable.  We take them shopping of course!

The strategy is simple. since we will be 4 weeks mostly in Hanmer, and there is a very small supermarket in the village that is not the cheapest around ( transport costs naturally factored in to the prices there)  so we will need staple supplies for the next 4 weeks before our journey to Hanmer.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

So the plan works as follows: in the middle of the night we occupy two kids with a family trip to a 24 hour supermarket… and stock up on toothpaste, sunscreen, soap, toilet paper, baking supplies and other non-perishables. In daylight next day I can then pack these very compactly into the van so that we ony have to add the suitcases from the cabin before we leave Meadowpark and stop quickly again just for meat and vegetables before leaving town.

It works a treat.

On the way out of New Zealand we skip the cabin (no jetlag so the kids are sleeping regular night hours) and take one of the motel units. These photos are of our unit, this trip before we leave New Zealand.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. Hallo kiwidutch! Your parcel with the book (and sweeties – I remember them from our last visit to Holland years ago) arrived yesterday, thank you very, very much, also for your kind message. I tried to send you an e-mail yesterday and found e-mails not working (seems a server problem, not mine, they are trying to fix it).

    Comment by Radka (tower93) — June 4, 2010 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  2. […] first we don’t mind and head to another favourite accommodation spot of ours, Meadowpark. https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/new-post-98/ (photograph © […]

    Pingback by MeadowPark « Local Heart, Global Soul — September 21, 2012 @ 1:01 am | Reply

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