GO NZ: New Zealand’s best road trip memories

Some car journeys will always be with us . . . the sights, smells, the people

Last month we asked you to write in with your favourite memories from Kiwi family road trips, for our Interislander competition. Your responses were full of evocative nostalgia and stories of happy holidays from days gone by. Here is a selection of our favourites. Thanks to everyone who wrote in — we’ll publish more of your stories in weeks to come. In the meantime, happy travels.

Some things never change

North to Kerikeri. Three little girls in the back seat. We stopped at Makana Chocolates and their eyes lit up … macadamia butter toffee crunch for mum, truffles for dad, and our girls pacing up, and down, and up as they chose a chocolate each for themselves. Treasure wrapped in a shiny gold individual box. Up the road for ham and egg sandwiches from the hot bread shop and then paddling in the water in front of the Stone Store.
I sat on the river bank and remembered being in that same river as a child. My skirt tucked into my undies, tightly holding my nana’s hand. The food on sale is fancier now, but the birds still try to steal your lunch. And the adventure of balancing on slippery rocks is one that has spanned a generation. “Mum … ” I focused on the river again and then laughed and laughed at the disgruntled look on my sopping wet eldest daughter’s face. Her father grinning behind her. Ah yes, if you visit the Stone Store — take a towel.
— Helen Haine
* Helen was the winner of the $1500 Interislander prize pack

Epic there and back

The Saul family road trip of the summer of 2014 was an event that went down in history. The final road trip before us kids spread our wings and went to uni. We stuffed our car to the brim with five people, five tramping packs, camping gear, two kayaks, snorkels, wet-suits and a tent and travelled from Christchurch to Cape Rēinga and back again over four weeks. We surfed for the first time, we tented and tramped, I had my first driving lesson on 90 Mile Beach, my sister got so badly sunburned that she had the tan lines for two years and my bro was forced to sit in the middle for the whole trip (sucks to be the youngest!). Trip of a lifetime.
— Kristina Saul

Stop … go … stop … go

When we drove from Queenstown to Franz Josef, every corner we turned, we were greeted with another stunning landscape that just kept changing. It was so unpredictable, with so many great spots to stop and enjoy along the way. What we thought would take around five hours ending up taking up 11 — but it was one of the most memorable days of our lives.
— Tom Leonard

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