If you are a family that loves adventure and beautiful scenery, then you must make your way to New Zealand! Made-up of two, small islands, the country of New Zealand features a variety of destinations very distinctive in character, and because the country is so compact, you can easily visit several different areas on your holiday. Whether it’s adrenaline-fueled activities or day long tramps (that’s hikes, to you and me), you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy.
One of our favorite ways to see the mountains and waters of Mt. Aspiring Park is on an easily maneuvered, inflatable kayak, or “funyak”. Drift down the Dart River (say that fast 5 times!), only dipping-in the paddles every little while to ensure you stay on the right path, as you marvel at the crystal blue waters and rocky chasms along the way.
There are many different biking routes to explore throughout New Zealand, some through forests, along coastal trails and even following old rail lines, but the DUE team are definitely fans of those that include wine tasting! While not for all family members, adult children and their parents can make a day of cycling past gorgeous scenery with strategic stops for a sauvignon blanc or pinot sample.
With an amazing array of hiking and walking trails available, there is no shortage of options for exploring New Zealand’s beautiful vistas. You can find at least one to suit all fitness levels, ages and experience. Make a day of it, or if you really want to get off the beaten track, we can help you select a multi-day excursion that will allow you to deeply immerse yourself in the incredible landscapes and get swept away on your own adventure…
A trip to the west coast of the south island will definitely be a highlight as you traverse the stunning alpine glaciers. Because the area is fairly temperate, it’s much easier to visit them, but it makes them no less imposing and massive. Board your helicopter for a quick and scenic flight to the top, where you’ll attach your crampons to your boots and hike (carefully, please) along the ice, noting the deep ravines and dramatic frozen terrain.
For those interested in water that isn’t frozen, both islands offer exciting white water rafting options. An especially thrilling ride are the rapids at the Kaituna River, where you’ll have the chance to conquer the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world, as well as gain a little perspective on Maori culture. Fun and educational for the whole family!
While New Zealand is known more for its natural beauty than its wildlife, there are three species of penguin that call it home. The little blue penguin, which is the world’s smallest penguin; the yellow-eyed penguin, distinguished by it’s vivid yellow eye band; and the Fjordland Crested Penguin or Tawaki, which is one of the rarest penguins on the planet. You cannot help but be charmed by these unique and amazing birds.
Created by underground streams pushing through the soft limestone earth over thousands of years, you’ll find a labyrinth of caves on both islands, complete with stalagmites, stalagtites and river systems; with walls covered in thousands of twinkling glow worms. There’s a myriad of activities on offer, catering to all levels of adventure – you can choose from boat and walking tours through the maze of caves, to more extreme blackwater rafting and abseiling or ziplining, all under their phosphorescent glow.