Tips for surviving a New Zealand family road trip

It’s incredible how the human brain will find ways to entertain itself on long boring drives & the various methods parents find to entertain bored kids.

Holding your breath over bridges

This classic car game is popular with lots of Kiwi families and it’s super simple. Every time you cross a bridge everyone in the car has to hold their breath until you reach the other side. Things get really interesting when driving over the epic bridges of the Canterbury Plains. The adventurous and healthy-lunged among you may find yourselves in a breath-holding battle that lasts a long way past the end of the bridge – sometimes until the next town!

Needless to say, breath holding until you start seeing stars is not recommended for drivers.

The animal game

This might have an official name, but no one we spoke to knows it. So we’re calling it the animal game. If you know its correct title, please post a comment!

This game can involve everyone in the car, including the driver, and all you need is a sharp pair of eyes. In a nutshell – everyone’s on the lookout for animals, be they sheep, goats, horses or birds.

The first person to spot a sheep, say, is scoring on sheep. Every time they see another sheep they score a point. Until someone else in the car spots a sheep before the person who is scoring on sheep. When that happens, sheep are ‘dead’, and no one can score on sheep.

It gets fun when different people are scoring on different animals – so you’re all trying to score on ‘your’ animals while ‘killing’ the other people’s scoring potential by spotting their animal first.

The game ends when everyone’s sick of it and the person with the most points wins.

Kiwi Holiday Parks Road Trip Bingo

Tui!  Volcano! Bluebridge Ferry! Bingo!! Enjoy the scenery and keep everyone entertained with some good old kiwi inspired road trip bingo created by our good friends at Kiwi Holiday Parks. Download and print off here before you leave home or let a member of our friendly crew know how many you would like when you check-in with us.

Sing alongs

In an age of media saturation and endless streaming of the latest pop tunes straight into our homes, workplaces and cars – even the term ‘sing along’ looks archaic. Like something from another age.

But anyone who grew up in the 70s (or any time before) will remember the AM radio in Dad’s Holden (or Falcon) cutting out on long drives. And when the radio cut out there was only one thing for it – a good old family sing along.

Any parent with half a clue will have kept the tradition alive and have a grab-bag of classic tunes, mixed up with a few Wiggles numbers, to keep the troops entertained.

To join in on a sing along you need one of two things: a good singing voice or the ability to laugh at yourself. With either of these attributes you’ll have a great time.

When you’ve got a few tunes under your belt and are looking for an extra challenge, introduce the kids to the rare satisfaction of singing in rounds. Row, Row, Row Your Boat is a good one to get you started with singing rounds.

What’s your favourite way to kill time in the car? I spy with my little eye, perhaps? Points will be deducted for saying ‘putting the portable DVD player on’!