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NZ Family Adventure with Young Adults - 15 to 20

If the teens are happy, then everyone’s happy! These guys are often enthusiastic travelers but their interests and schedules aren't often aligned with their younger siblings or parents - right. We have wrestled with the 'sleep in' and mosey to around noon scenario so we have thrown in some inspirational incentives to get them out and about.

3-Days Sailing, Surfing Raglan, Caving Waitomo, Rafting the Kaituna, Geothermal Rotorua, Dart River Jet, Camping Mt Aspiring, Milford Sound Overnight Cruise, Routeburn Camping Adventure.

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Itinerary

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1
Welcome to Auckland!

Welcome to Auckland!. Today is a day to relax from your flight as the next three weeks will provide some of the most pristine landscapes and thrilling experiences imaginable. Auckland City is situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, next to a large harbour that bustles with life, both on water and on land. The Auckland isthmus straddles a slim piece of land with coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean, and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea.

Some activities and sightseeing options available are:

Explore Waiheke Island Island Kayaking Adventure America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation Auckland - 1 night 

2-4
Three Day Sailing Adventure - Bay of Islands

A pleasant drive north along the famed Hibiscus Coast gets you and your family to the Bay of Islands,

Northland’s Bay of Islands is a sailing paradise. A 2 night, 3 day nature cruise aboard the comfortable Manawanui is the perfect way to explore the emerald islands and thriving marine life of this subtropical paradise. Drive to the Bay of Islands before boarding the cruise in Paihia and experiencing three magical days of kayaking, snorkelling, fishing and exploring. Enjoy the diversity of the Bay of Islands first-hand and learn about the area’s fascinating history. It’s the perfect start to your NZ Family Adventure.

Approximate Distance: 237 kms | 147 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 15 mins

Accommodation - Day 2 & 3 - The Sailing Ship Manawanui

4
Afternoon in the Idyllic Town of Russell

Russell is a small, historic seaside village on a peninsula in the eastern Bay of Islands. Since the 1700s it has provided a haven for visitors, offering shelter and hospitality. Because of its relatively remote location it retains an island quality and a charm that reflects the tranquillity of earlier times. Despite this, it is a vibrant, cosmopolitan community that attracts visitors from New Zealand and all over the world. Its hard to believe now but Russell was the first capital of New Zealand and one of the first European settlements. The town’s Victorian atmosphere has been carefully preserved, for here you will find two of New Zealand’s oldest buildings, Christ Church (1836) and Pompallier House (1841). The Russell Police Station built in 1870 originally as a Customs House is still in use today. On a more relaxing note there are numerous waterfront cafes and restaurants, making this a great place to soak up the atmosphere and really enjoy a most memorable holiday.

Excursions available in the Bay of Islands:

Historical Island Cruise Diving Rainbow Warrior 4WD Adventure Cape Reinga
Sailing the Islands Dolphin Swimming Giant Kauri Forest Walk
Cultural Tour of Waitangi Golf at Kauri Cliffs Sea Kayaking the Bay

Approximate Distance: 15 kms | 9 miles  Total Driving Time: 40 min

Accommodation Russell - 1 night

5
Raglan: New Zealands Little Hawaii - More Than just a Surf Scene

Famous for surfing, music, artisans, cafés and bohemian lifestyle’s, the Raglan community is set on the beautiful west coast. This is a relaxing isolated place where you can spend time at one of the many beaches swimming, surfing, Kayaking and body boarding. 

Approximate Distance: 381 kms | 237 miles  Total Driving Time: 5 hours 20 mins

Accommodation Raglan - 2 nights

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Learn to surf, Surf or boogie board

Whether you want to learn surfing or you already master this sport, Raglan is definitely the place for you to come and enjoy surfing. Learn all techniques thanks to an innovative system of dry land surf board model that allow you to experience surfboard dynamics prior to entering the water. Whether in a group or individual lessons, the emphasis is put on fun and safety for a pleasurable and safe ocean experience. In just a few lessons, you can be taken from riding the whitewater to gliding along open faced ground swells! And after surf time, the area offers plenty of possibilities, as the zipper line “Flying Fox”, hiking trails on Mt Karioi, mountain biking or glowworm caves… 

7
Lost World Epic Caving Adventure - Waitomo (Something to Remember)

We consider this to be Waitomo’s best caving adventure and it’s dramatic! You start with a 100 meter abseil (330ft) into the depths of the ‘Lost World’ – this is considered the world’s longest commercial caving abseil (rappel) and it takes some fifteen minutes to get you down – and that is just the beginning! In the company of a very experienced guide, you start your journey.

Once down, you embark on a journey back to the surface through one of the worlds most incredible cave systems. Climbing upstream you follow a challenging underground river by whatever means, so its: swimming, climbing ropes, wading, exploring vaults the size of cathedrals, up waterfalls and monolithic stalactites, squeezing through tight cracks and jumping into deep black pools!

This is a full on caving experience and you need to be fit and you are going to get very very wet, but fear not you’ll be in the safe muddy hands of some of New Zealand’s most well trained guides.

Approximate Distance: 102 kms | 63 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 20 mins

Accommodation Waitomo - 1 night

8
Rotorua - Rafting the Mighty Kaituna & Natural Hotpools

The great think about the Kaituna River is that it is not only one of the most popular whitewater runs in the country, with the distinction of being the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall, but it is also very scenic and takes you through the depths of a magnificent bush-lined gorge steeped in Maori history.. The exhilarating seven metre drop of raging, thundering whitewater is the ultimate rafting experience to be found in New Zealand! The Kaituna is classified as a grade five river because of its seven metre waterfall, however it is suitable for all people who are reasonably comfortable in water.

Spend your afternoon soaking in Rotorua's Polynesian Spa. Very relaxing thermal hot pools with onsite massage therapies.

Approximate Distance: 137 kms | 85 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 mins​

Accommodation Rotorua - 1 night

9
Geothermal Rotorua & Flight to Queenstown

Wai-O-tapu Thermal Wonderland
Just south of Rotorua lies Wai-O-tapu, a wonderland of stunning geothermal activity and a really exciting place for both kids and adults to visit. Wai-O-Tapu means 'Sacred Water' and it is easy to see why as the hot pools range in colour from turquoise blue, rich green and gold to an almost olive/yellow, make the water at Waiotapu a dazzling kaleidoscope of natural colour caused by the many mineral salts in the water including arsenic, gold and silver. This is the home to the world famous Champagne Pool, seen by many as the most beautiful example of geothermal activity around. The steaming vents with New Zealand’s largest bubbling mud pool while being surrounded by huge volcanic craters make the experience very other worldly - but wait, there is more... the Highlight is the Lady Knox Geyser that spectacularly erupts daily at around 10.15am (ish) - The kids will love that.Shhh here’s a little Secret: Take the family for soak in a free natural hot pool. Just past the 1st entrance of 'Waiotapu Thermal Park' is another about 500 meters (1640 ft) further down the road, take this second entrance and drive another 500 metres (1640 ft) down this tiny winding road and you'll come a across a small bridge. Make your way down the bank into the steamy stream.

Alternate excursions in and around Rotorua:

See Geysers & Boiling Mud Polynesian Hot Springs Whirinaki Forest Walk
Thermally Active Golf Biking the Mighty Forests Flight to Volcanic Island
Museum of Art & History Evening Cultural Experience White Water Rafting

Fly to New Zealand's Adventure Capital - Queenstown

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 night

10
Free day in the adventure Capital

It is well known Queenstown is New Zealand’s ‘four season’ resort town and arguably the adventure capital of the world. There are certainly enough crazy activities here to challenge the teens – Sure jump off a bridge, try skydiving or roar down a river in a jet boat, but Queenstown offers much more as you can just as easily go fishing, golfing, gold panning, wine tasting, or boating. One thing is certain your family won't run out of things to do.

Recommended Queenstown excursions:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail
 
11
Milford Sounds Overnight Cruise

When the last day-boat ties up in early evening and the visitor’s leave a silence descends... An overnight cruise amidst the spectacular Milford Sound is a "once in a lifetime" experience and certainly one the most beautiful places in New Zealand. It's no wonder it was described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world'.

Cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea before anchoring for the night in the sheltered Harrison Cove. Then it’s of exploring with the nature guide in the ships tender crafts and kayaks spotting the resident seals, dolphins and penguins, before enjoying a delicious evening buffet meal in the spacious dining saloon, before retiring to your cabin.

Approximate Distance: 289 kms | 180 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 

Accommodation Milford Sound Cruise - 1 night

12
Penquins, Seals & Dolphins

Dolphins such as Dusky, Bottlenose and Hectors are regularly seen swimming in Milford Sound, while lay about on the rocky shoreline enjoying the sun are the inquisitive New Zealand Fur Seals. Penguins are numerous throughout the fiords. Two species predominate, especially the rare yellow-eyebrowed Fiord-land crested penguin and the Little Blue Penguin.

Once back on land its time to return to Queenstown.

Approximate Distance: 289 kms | 180 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 

Accommodation Queenstown - 1 night

13
Routeburn Overnight Camping Adventure

A ‘real’ New Zealand experience. Camping out is to become one with nature. This private walk in Mount Aspiring National Park, that starts with a gradual climb through a 130 million year old magical world of ferns, mosses, lichens and Beech forest. We dive off trail into the North branch where we make camp amongst the forest. There is plenty of time to explore further up towards the head of the valley before dinner.

Friendly, knowledgeable local guides ensure you have the time to enjoy the whole experience nature has provided. We’ve chosen this overnight experience for its natural history, scenic beauty, remote location and varied terrain.

Accommodation Wilderness camping - 1 night

14
Ancient Maori Trails

On our return the next day we explore the old forgotten paths of the ancient Maori moa hunter, as we walk along the old Greenstone trails through enchanting native bush, where native birds abound and rivers are crystal clear.

NB: Reasonable fitness, a well formed track that climbs into the valley as well as some off trail. Between 20-30km (12 to 18 miles) over 2 days. Dinner included.

Accommodation Queenstown - 1 night

15
Homeward Bound

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
Sadly, your NZ family adventure is at an end. We know you will enjoy our New Zealand Family Adventure and our promise to you is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about the NZ Family Adventure - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!