Eight ideas that will fire your children’s inquisitive nature when on holiday in New Zealand........
It can be challenging, to say the least, to keep everyone in the family happy while on holiday, but luckily for you, New Zealand has a range of exciting activities to accommodate everyone’s interests - New Zealand is a Family Friendly Holiday Destination. Here are eight great ideas that will fire your children’s inquisitive nature, challenge the most intrepid of teens and captivate everyone’s attention with the best that nature has to offer.
1) A Funyak Safari down the Dart River - finishing in Paradise
After a scenic boat trip deep into Mt Aspiring National Park, this downstream journey gets you and the family close to nature, listening to bird song as you serenely float down the crystal clear waters of the Dart River. Both comfortable and stable, these inflatable canoes "Funyaks" are the ideal means for this leisurely adventure. Your guide will share stories and point out the unique features of this awe-inspiring area as you explore the hidden rock pools, side streams and dramatic chasms. Stopping at the Rockburn chasm (a narrow gorge with crystal clear waters) for a wonderful locally made lunch in spectacular natural surroundings. For those who have seen the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movies, Paradise (our finishing point) was used for scenes in Isengard, Lothlorien, Amon Hen and Fangorn.
2) Kids of all ages can explore the caves and glowworms found at Waitomo.
Even adults will love Waitomo caves, but kids will be blown away! Take them on a journey deep underground to a luminescent world of large crystal formations, ceilings of twinkling stars (glowworms) and through an underground network of caves and waterways. Millions of years in the making, the world-famous Waitomo caves provide a playground unlike any other. With a large selection of caves to choose from, enterprising locals have added adventure activities to enhance the experience offering everything from 20 minute gentle dry walk-throughs, underground scenic boat rides to the southern hemispheres longest commercial abseil (rappel) on an epic 8 hour extreme adventure. Kids a little frisky? Then get them to burn some energy, choose a more challenging route. How about drifting down a cave stream on a car tube with just a headlamp to see, or perhaps one of the many abseiling (rappelling) adventures available – you will be reassured by the knowledge that your kids will be in the hands of some of New Zealand’s most experienced guides. There are many different caves suitable for people of all ages.
3) Puzzling World (Wanaka)
Located in Wanaka, Puzzling World is a very unique attraction specializing in puzzling eccentricity. For over forty years this remarkable center has been entertaining and amazing visitors of all ages. Offering an incredible array of Illusion Rooms, the world’s first "3-D" Great Maze, a Puzzle Centre/Café – Throw in with that some very odd architecture and the mind blowing Psychic Challenges and you wont see your kids for dust.
Visiting New Zealand's most unusual toilets is a must - you'll find out why!
4) Hanging at the Beach
If you are into the beach lifestyle then New Zealand has plenty on offer. All major cities are situated on the water and being an island nation we are literally surrounded by beaches. Our beaches are diverse with the coastline along the East Coast characterized by white sand and gentle waves that are great for swimming, making sandcastles and having picnics. The West coast, however, is often wilder with black sand and is known for surfing and wilderness walking. So make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen and have your boardies or bikini at hand, because you’re going to find it hard to resist getting the sand between your toes at every opportunity – and there are plenty of them A list of surf breaks can be found here.
5) Hanmer Springs Alpine Village – a Family Destination.
A popular destination for New Zealand family’s to holiday, Hanmer Springs has much more on offer than just its award winning thermal pools and spa – it’s a haven of adventure and activity! For thrill-seekers Hanmer has jet-boats, rafting and the good old kiwi ‘Bungee’ - and for those wanting into the great outdoors Walking, Horse and mountain bike riding are available – All this in a low key but beautiful alpine setting.
6) Agrodome Sheep Show and Farm Tour Rotorua
Only 10 minutes from Rotorua city centre and set in 350 acres of lush farmland is the Agrodome Farm providing a great day our for all the family. See their award winning sheep show, which includes sheep shearing, working sheepdogs and a cow milking demonstration – There is also a chance to feed baby lambs. The inter-active farm tour on a tractor-drawn trailer is certainly worthwhile and will take you around the 350 acre farm allowing you to see sheep, cows, deer, emus, alpaca, pigs and ostrich on a real farm. The tour allows many opportunities to pet and feed the animals. Agrodome also has on-site a café and restaurant.
7) The International Antarctic Center - Christchurch
This exciting, all weather environment, is a hands-on experience for the whole family to enjoy. And includes an indoor Snow & Ice Experience, the Penguin Encounter (New Zealand’s first combined indoor/outdoor penguin viewing area) featuring Little Blue penguins and an exhilarating outdoor adventure ride in the Hagglund, a genuine Antarctic all-terrain vehicle. Experience real Antarctic conditions with Touch Screen and Audiovisual technology, feel genuine Antarctic wind-chill or slide down a snow slope in the Snow & Ice Experience. Twice winner of the prestigious New Zealand Tourism Awards for ‘Best Attraction’ it also offers exclusive Antarctic Product in the Antarctic Shop and meals in the Caf'e and Bar.
8) Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium - Auckland
Great Fun! Sharks and stingrays swim around and over you as you move through the perspex tunnels on a slow moving conveyor. This facility is also home to the largest colony of sub-Antarctic penguins and offer a rare opportunity to view penguins up close in their icy domain and a snow-cat ride brings you within arms length. Kids feeling adventurous... Get them to join one of the animal adventures and dive with sharks, feed stingray or snorkel the fish tank - you wont hear the old 'I'm Bored'! Are you interested in a New Zealand family holiday we can customize an itinerary to suite your requirements. For further information or inspiration contact our friendly team at First Light Travel