Family Holidays Fun Comes First

New Zealand offers an outstanding opportunity to create educational, cultural and fun family holidays for you and your children.

For family holidays, fun comes first!

New Zealand offers an abundance of opportunities for you and your children to engage in educational and cultural activities as well as enjoy the natural outdoors.  The country is like one giant natural theme park.

Often it is the simple things that create the most fun, such as building sandcastles on the beach, tucking in to a delicious picnic lunch on a remote river bank or taking a gentle hike through native forest in the evening to see glowworms.

Connecting with wildlife is quite enchanting, whether it be in a reserve such as Willowbank, Wild Kiwi,  Kiwi Birdlife Park or Rainbow Springs where you can see local birdlife up close, or in the wild when a kea, our native parrot, perches on the rear vision mirror of your car – which can also be very close!  In Oamaru and Dunedin there are opportunities to see penguins coming in to shore early evening after a day fishing. Dolphin watch cruises in Akaroa, Kaikoura and the Bay of Islands are a wonderful way to see how these amazing creatures love to play in the waves.

Split Apple Rock. Abel TasmanSafe swimming, golden sand beaches such as Kaiteriteri near the Abel Tasman National Park offer an inexpensive way to spend the day outdoors with the kids. Take a picnic – treat yourselves to delicious New Zealand ice cream.  Lake shores and rivers are also wonderful swimming pools, but take care to swim with others and check the depth of the water first.

Of course, farms are everywhere and there are plenty of opportunities to see sheep, cows, deer etc as you drive through the rural regions.  Spring, Aug/Sept, is the best time to see the cute lambs frolicking in the paddocks.  For a more up close encounter, visit Walter Peak High Country Farm near Queenstown or the Agrodome in Rotorua where there are oppourtunities to get up really close and touch the animals.

New Zealand’s unique Maori culture offers entertainment as well as an educational experience. Rotorua in particular is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, displayed when visiting a Maori marae (village) for a hangi (traditional dinner) and evening of chants and songs, including the renowned Haka, made famous by the All Blacks.  If you are only travelling to the South Island, check out Willowbank for a guided kiwi tour followed by Ko Tane Maori cultural performance and Kiwi Haka at the Skyline in Queenstown.

Sports are an integral part of our New Zealand culture and you will easily find sports grounds, adventure playgrounds etc as you travel around.  Saturday mornings are for family sports, so why not head to the local sports ground and watch some rugby, soccer or netball or hockey from the sideline?  Take some Cadbury chocolate to keep up your energy levels.

When you are travelling with children, family-friendly accommodation is important.  New Zealand’s family-style motels are a great way for everyone to enjoy living space and kitchen facilities so you can cook your own meals if you like.  Self catering is convenient and helps the budget too!  Many motels have BBQ facilities, swimming pool and playground for children.  Plan your trip well so that you have “stay put” time at key destinations so you can relax and enjoy some fun together.  Consider sample itineraries as a helpful start to your family holiday and ask for advice so you make the right choices.

New Zealand is perfect for exploring and learning. Simple and fun.

 

Curtacy of Tekapo Springs

New Zealand Hot Thermal Pools

New Zealand’s hot thermal & mineral pools add a very relaxing dimension to a New Zealand holiday. Have family fun or relax with your travelling companion.

New Zealand is sprinkled with an amazing array of hot thermal and mineral pools, thanks to its regional geothermal activity and some very clever man-made creations.

At Rotorua in the North Island, Polynesian Spa is renowned with its public and private pools, day spa and breathtaking views of the tranquil Lake Rotorua.  Further north on the Coromandel Peninsula, near Whitianga is Hot Water Beach where you can literally dig yourself your own private pool in the sand.  Just scoop out a shallow bath-shaped hollow, stretch out and let the hot water soak up.  Bliss.  This itinerary will take you there http://www.kiwicombopass.co.nz/KiwiComboPass/Kiwicombo-route-B/

As well you can call in to Taupo and visit the De Brett Hot Springs, AC Baths (great for kids) and Wairakei Terraces Hot Pools (adults only).  Walk along the foreshore of Lake Taupo and in some places you’ll feel  hot water seep up between your toes through the pebbles.

In the South Island, the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools are nestled into lush rainforest.  With private and public pools, massage and day spa, it’s the perfect day’s end after a hike on the glacier.

At Arthurs Point, near Queenstown, the Onsen Hot Pools are perched high on craggy cliffs overlooking the Shotover River canyon.  Hot & steamy on snowy days and magical at night. This relaxing itinerary is a good option – KiwiCombo Pass Route E

The wood-fired Hot Tubs at Omarama offer mountain fresh water from snow & glacier melt, in an open air winter alpine landscape.  The mountain views are stunning.  And at Lake Tekapo, the Tekapo Springs overlook the exquisite blue water of the lake with alpine backdrop.  Landscaped into rock, the water temperature ranges from 36-40 degrees.  With a day spa with sauna and steam room, plus skating rink and tube park, it’s a wonderful family destination.  If you are short on time this will get you there. Southern Glacier Lakes Helicopters

Just one hour, 45 minutes north of Christchurch is the beautiful alpine village of Hanmer Springs, famed for its theraputic hot mineral pools.  As well as luxury day spa and private pools for the adults, there are fun water slides and pools especially for the kids.  With an on-site cafe it’s a great place to spend a few hours in the summer or winter KiwiCombo Pass Route C

KiwiCombo Pass is a great option when considering a New Zealand road trip.  The flexible pass options include Thrifty car rental and your choice of motel or hotel accommodationActivities,  including hot pool and spa bookings, can be added for extra convenience.  Visit KiwiCombo Pass website for more information and assistance.