Cross Country Kiwis was created by Chanelle O’Sullivan and Sarah Drummond with kids from ages 5-12 in mind. In brief, it is a New Zealand kids travel activity book.
Note from the creators
After doing our research, we realised there was nothing available like this for the New Zealand market. We did come across books from overseas which were similar but with much less detail and none that covered smaller, country towns. Often these small country towns are where great people, ideas and products have originated from.
We also love teaching our kids unusual facts and showing them places off the beaten track so this is why the book is full of ‘Did you know’, secret spots and child-friendly hikes, alongside word searches, anagrams, car games, photos of stunning locations, areas of Maori cultural significance and Maori place names as well history and brainteasers.
For us, travel, nature, local history, understanding how certain rock formations were created, or even Latin names for clouds and constellations is our way of teaching our kids that there is more to life than Netflix and iPads and reminding them that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful, unique and untouched places in the world. For them to be proud and passionate about our country, they need to know as much about it as possible. In turn, we hope it will give a strong sense of belonging and drive for what New Zealand has to offer and how we can look after it going forward. We want to instill our passion in our children and give them a childhood full of adventures, excitement and dirt without relying on technology.
About these Kiwi creators
Chanelle has a 6 year old boy and a 9 year old girl. She originates from Auckland but has resided between South Canterbury, the Mackenzie and Hawea for the past 14 years after marrying a local. She is a raging multipotentialite with a background in the primary industries and entrepreneurship with many projects on the go and came up with the book concept when her eldest was 6 and asked: “How many towns are there between Timaru and Nelson?”
Sarah was born in New York, raised throughout Southeast Asia and spent her high school and university years in Florida before also meeting her South Cantabrian man. She has based herself in Timaru for the past 10 years, working as a professional freelance photographer and designer. Sarah spent the majority of 2018 backpacking the world with her husband and her then 5 year old girl. In 2021 Sarah welcomed a wee boy, Alby, into the world!
Both Sarah and Chanelle get fidgety when they haven’t travelled for a while which results in wild impromptu road trips around New Zealand with 4 kids and 3 dogs in tow. This is where XCK all began – in our desire to lessen the occurrence of road trip scraps and the constant question of: “Are we nearly there yet?”
Find out more about Chanelle and Sarah on their author page.