New Zealand is an outdoor adventure playground ideally suited to creating unforgettable family holidays. From glaciers to geysers, beaches to bungees and Sauvignon blanc to sailing trips – there’s truly something for everyone. Here are just some of the highlights guaranteed to delight both young and old.
City of Sails
Known as the ‘City of Sails’ due to its numerous marinas, taking to Auckland’s waters is the ideal way to begin your family adventure. Spend two-nights in the city and sail an America’s Cup racing yacht, kayak around island-studded bays, then swim alongside a pod of leaping dolphin on an action-packed day out. If you’re travelling with daredevil teenagers (or adventurous adults), then a bungee jump from the Harbour Bridge or skydive from Sky Tower should blow away any lingering cobwebs.
Home of the Adrenalin Junkie
Fly to the South Island for a two-night stay in Queenstown with stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. A city designed to produce adrenaline, you can ski, jet boat, para glide, mountain bike and hike – and that’s just before breakfast. Tackle the rapids of the wild Shotover River before rafting through the Oxenbridge Tunnel for a real family challenge. For a gentler paced day out, hit the world class golf courses or pamper yourself in one of the many health spas.
Continue north to Franz Josef for an unforgettable day of glacier climbing. Scale new heights under the expert tuition of some of New Zealand’s most experienced ice climbers, as you learn the skills needed to carefully and comfortably climb the glacier.
Reach the top of the South Island for a three-night stay. Spend a day exploring the islands and coves of nearby Abel Tasman National Park on a private cruise. Watch dolphins ride the bow waves, then lay anchor in one of the many sheltered bays for a swim or snorkel. Take a cycle tasting tour of local wineries, hike the beautiful national parks or try a spot of canyoning for an exhilarating family day out.
Your next stop is the famous Marlborough wine region, for a two-night stay. Visit a selection of exclusive wineries where you’ll taste award-winning wines and meet passionate producers amid the beautiful vineyards. Top it all off with a gourmet lunch of locally grown produce and seafood delicacies.
Geysers & Waterfalls
Fly back to the North Island for three-nights exploring Rotorua’s bubbling mud pools and shooting geysers. Soak in natural thermal springs or paddle at secluded hot water beaches. Head out on a hike to Tarawera Falls, stopping enroute at secret swimming spots before feasting on a picnic lunch. World-class Rainbow Trout fishing, helicopter tours to White Island and miles of cycle trails ensure there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.
Your New Zealand adventure ends on Waiheke Island with two nights relaxing and reminiscing on it’s white sand beaches. If you feel like venturing further, hit the road in an open-top Moke jeep to explore the island’s coastline and vineyards.