12 February 2020

View en route to TMGT geocache Anaura Bay Gardens


There is something a bit special about the numbers this year relating to vision.  I have adopted them as a tagline: Hindsight, Insight and Foresight (the past, the present and the future).


While our present situation does not make it obvious, we do hope to realise the goal of travelling New Zealand in the not too distant future; all spurred on by a small history challenge!



This year marks the 250th anniversary of New Zealand's discovery and the Ministry of Education has partnered with Geocaching.com to set up 100 geocaches of historic significance all waiting to be found.

[Gecaching was an activity we were introduced to whilst we were overseas.]

At first we did the 4 in our local area, but could simply not understand how anyone in their right mind would justify a tour of New Zealand just to collect a souvenir badge.  We watched as the first handful of geocachers threw their time, money and effort to complete it.


Then we got an opportunity to use a bach in another part of the country and the idea percolated that we might be able to complete those TMGT regional caches whilst we were there.  This led to another little goal of returning home via a different route and possibly collecting a 2nd area and completing the outlying geocaches from our own. 


27 TMGT geocaches - 3 regions completed!


Map of North Island, New Zealand


It wasn't all plain sailing at all, and included sleeping overnight sitting up in a vehicle with 6 people which is NOT FUN at all, and not something I want to do unless I was desperate as it does affect your quality of sleep for driving.

Anyway here we are at the beginning of February and contemplating how we might be able to do the whole TMGT tour ourselves.


It would be our New Zealand geography, social studies, and history lessons for this year; and another adventure that our family desperately craves.  It seems our European OE awoke a sleeping giant in us all to discover, and experience; and made life at home 'boring' in the minds of the children.


So now to figure out how and when this exactly might happen, preferring sooner rather than later as the weather is still good at present, but facing the main reality of finances.



New Zealand - North Island
25 August 2015


In researching air fares, bus fares, accommodation and everything else that goes with travel you realise there is nothing standard about being a child, so it may seem futile to be writing about it.  However it is something valuable to know especially if you are in the budgeting phase of your journey.  There will be other 'hidden' costs, or those totally foreign to you, that being exact with what you can, will help rein in any contingency blow-out.


So here are a few GUIDELINES:

Airlines generally charge full fare at 12 years of age, discounted between 2 and 12, and free if under 2 and the child can be accommodated on a parent's lap.

In New Zealand 16 years old is the age most companies charge as an adult.  Family tickets are 2 adults and 2 children only.  Under fives (pre-schoolers) are mostly free.

Austria is über cool, allowing child prices under 19 years of age (ie from 0 - 18 inclusive).  

Belgium looks upon children under 6 as free, and children under 18 as portioned.

Iceland generally designates children to be under 6 if making a distinction at all, and doesn't allow family tickets - you pay for each person.

Germany are great for their family tickets, normally without limit on the number of children that are included and often allowing for these to be grand-children as well (German Rail).  Although the age in many commercial institutions is under 14 or 16 years, children can get the same concession up to 18 years and/or if they carry a student ID (even in tertiary).  There are also concessions for the disabled and those over 65 years old.



  • Plan meticulously!
  • Do free activities and attend free events.  Often museums will have a free day per week or month.
  • Check online prices, as these may be slightly cheaper than in-person ones.  
  • Winter usually costs less than summer, if attractions and accommodations are still open - you will then need to check the specific dates that dictate the season.
  • Cook your own meals.
  • Book your airfare approximately 60 days prior to travel for the best rates.
  • Think about renting an apartment or staying in hostels to get longer-term discounts.
  • Use public transport and look for day/week or group travel discounts.
  • See whether buying a vehicle is more economical than renting (note though insurances, registration, plates, and ongoing variable costs like fuel etc).
  • If travelling in summer only, consider camping or buying a second-hand caravan or motorhome.  Camping grounds may charge per person or per unit.  Many are closed for winter