By Iona Mansfield

Fantastic, thrilling, stunning, amazing and dangerous? The plans were simple, the expectations high. Then reality hit – three weeks in a motorhome with three active children.  After visiting family with much boredom from the three youngest members of our family, we finally began our playground holiday of New Zealand.

We soaked in hot thermal pools, squeezed into small novelty trains (watch your head!), lazed in steaming hot puddles at hot water beach. We tramped through fern lined bush tracks, explored dark gold mine tunnels, threw countless snow balls and drove up ice covered mountain tracks. The views were stunning at every turn, but so were the unprotected shear drops!

We swayed our way through a swing bridge playground between tall trees. “STOP swaying and bouncing on the bridges” we hear Dad scream in the darkness of night. Then onto a railway ride – in a converted golf cart. Closely followed by the extreme sport of the “luge”, hurtling down the hill with reckless abandon.

Then of course there were the extreme slides, giant hamster wheels and impressively long zip lines of the public playgrounds, but that’s a whole other story.