Cricket Graff

Traveling the world with my mom for 4th grade...

My First Camping Trip Was In New Zealand

We stayed in Auckland for 2 nights to pick up the car and tent. Our place in Auckland looked right out to the water. I loved it. The area is called St. Mary’s Bay.  

We learned all about the maritine history of New Zealand. I got to play like I was sailing a sailboat. It showed all kinds of boats inside and one room was actually a boat and it was rocking back and forth. It was a boat of immigrants. People who saw ads in their newspaper to move to New Zealand. New Zealand is a very young country. Next to the museum was an ice cream shop where you could pretend milk a cow!

We picked up the car and tent but we were suprised when the brought the car around and the tent was on top! At first, Mommy had really bad driving skils because they drive on the left side of the road.  Once we got out of the city, she got really good. 

The countryside is green green green and mountains. It is so hard to explain how pretty it is. We saw 5 rainbows, plus lots and lots of sheeps and cows. I want a pet sheep now.  

Our first stop was Rotorua. It is in the middle of the North Island.  It is a town on top of lots and lots of geothermal activity. That means all over are hot pools and steaming parks. Our campground even had a natural hot tub! 

We went to a farm and learned all about New Zealand’s farms. I got to feed sheeps, chickens, cows and Alpecas! They all came running. Alpacas were a little scary to feed beacause they are almost as big as me and not as cute as sheep. We got to go into the kiwi trees. They were almost rioe tonpick but needed a little bit more time. They even had a sheep show. We got to learn all about the different kinds of sheep. We also got to see a sheep getting it’s hair cut. They threw tbe sheeps hair all over us. We also gotvto see the sheep dogs herd the sheep. The sheep do not like the dogs! One was taightbtonrun on the backs of the sheep! The dogs even hearded geese!  I wven got to play with the baby bunnies and lambs. Best part was I found out that I love honey! Or at least I love their honey. They had the honey in the refrigerators so it was like honey eatting a honey lollipop!

Driving around Rotorura is amazing beacause all you see is big steam coming out everywhere. All the parks are steaming! We saw the most smazing sunset there too. It was like sky was on fire! We saw it on the was to a Mauri Village. Mauri people are the native people who found New Zealand. They have tatoos on their faces and have really cool songs and dances they do. 

Driving around New Zealnd is lots of fun beacause it is just a bunch of little cute towns. We got gas at everyone one of them because sometimes we woukd srive a long time without seeing any. 

We went to see the famous glow worm caves in Waitomo.  The place was so nice we stayed longer than we thought we would.  The stars at night were amazing! It was my favorite campground. 

The glow worm caves are kind of scary but first we took a long walk through the hills to get to the caves.  The glow worms are really only in caves with water because they eat bugs and bugs go around the water more.  The river that was in the cave we visited had these crazy eels in them.  Scary! I was scared going into the caves but seeing the glow worms was worth it.  We walked a long way in then we got in a boat.  Now I was super scared because I could hear a waterfall but it was pitch black!  The glow worms look like stars but when you turn on your flashlights you see the worms with long strings hanging from them that catches the bugs they eat.  I loved the glow worm caves!

The best thing about driving around New Zealand is all the free sights along the way. You can just pull over and walk to a waterfall.  We pulled over and hiked to a natural bridge that you have to cross a swing bridge to get to. A natural bridge is a cave that fell down but only the top remains so it looks like a bridge. It is so cool to walk through the forest and just find something so pretty. I think we found like 4 waterfalls during our time camping. 

We made it to the beach.  The sand was black and SO HOT! We had a camp site right on the water. The whole bay empties out at night and fills back in by lunch. Crazy!

I think New Zealand has the best playground in the whole world.  They are like ninja warrior courses and the kids are such dare devils. I loved it! They have things we would never have in the US. 

My favorite place was Hot Water Beach.  It is a beach that has hot water right under the sand from geothermal pools. At low tide everyone goes to the beach and digs their own spa.  Some are too hot and some are too cold so you just keep digging until you get a good one.  The campground at Hot Water Beach was great too.  It had a big rainbow bouncy pillow that was a trampoline. It was so fun!  We also took a super long hike to a cove called cathedral cove. It was like a secret beach with a waterfall.  Secret because you could only get to it by boat or by a very long hike. 

We spent the rest of our time in New Zealand in a house by the beach right back in Auckland. The beach had the best shells to collect and the neighborhood park was another great one.  It had a zip line! It was so nice to have a house but I did miss the tent on the roof! We even got to see the kids racing box cars down the street. The kids really are dare devils here. 

Well, bye!!!!


  1. Cricket! Wow! Your blog post really made me want to go to New Zealand!! Loved it. Can’t wait to see you in a month. Love, Daddy

  2. WOW! I love this camping trip. This is an amazing countryside. Absolutely beautiful! What kind of food did you eat? Did you have a favorite? Did they make goat cheese? Looks like you and your Mom had a fun country experience. Love, Aunt Sandra

  3. Cricket, I think you really enjoyed camping in New Zealand. Seems like a lot of interesting sights and experiences. Great blog job. Love, Aunt Sheila

  4. Hi Cricket
    I would say the way to see New Zealand is definitely camping. Great way to take advantage of natures bounty. The camping rig is interesting and gives you a memorable view.
    You have a talent of painting vivid pictures with words. I felt like I could feel the damp dark cave and see the glow worms. Good job.
    Have a fun and safe flight to Peru. Last continent. Love, G

  5. Cricket, I liked your tent, and I think we should get you a job for 6 months on a sheep farm. Did you ask the New Zealand people about the Alpine Fault—a real people mover. Did you know that New Zealand provides more milk to the world than any other country? I say moo to that information. Have fun on your adventures to South America. Love, Popster and Gran C.

  6. Cricket, I liked your tent—and I think we should get you a job on a sheep farm for 6 months. Did you ask the New Zealand people about the Alpine Fault? It could be a real people mover. Happy travels to South America. The Popster & Gran C. are heading to Scotland and England on May 11. We hope to learn the English language. Love you. Popster and Gran C

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