So you’re on holidays? Then it’s time to relax! We’ve compiled some of our favourite holiday activities for you and the family to enjoy together over this much deserved break.
The holidays can be an expensive time, what with Christmas just passed and the kids on holidays – it can all add up pretty quickly. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favourite free (or close to free) things for you to enjoy. A lot of these holiday activities involve getting out in the sunshine and being active with your friends and family, what better way to enjoy this beautiful time of year?!
North Island, New Zealand
Voted New Zealand’s best one day hike; The Tongariro Crossing is a must this summer. There is the option of climbing the summit or completing just the 18.5km one way hike.
If Tongariro is a bit much for you, you could check out Rangitoto for a smaller one day hike. Get the ferry across and hike the 2.4km summit and enjoy a picnic whilst you’re there.
Auckland Museum is a great way to spend a day with the family. Escape the heat and take in some of New Zealand’s most prized cultural possessions. With sections dedicated to World War, Pacific Influences and Natural History, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – and if you’re a NZ resident it’s free.
Escape to the Coromandel for a day or two and dig your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach. With beautiful surrounds and lot’s to do, the Coromandel is the perfect summer escape for you and the whole family – take a book or a board and spend the day in the sun.
Why not take the family on a bike ride this summer? It’s the perfect way to see the sights while getting out and about with the whole brood. We suggest cycling through the Karanghake Gorge and then having a picnic lunch in the stunning Waihi Water Gardens.
And if you love BBQ’s and picnic lunches why not spend a day in Palmerston North’s Victoria Esplanade Gardens? With the highest number of restaurants per capita in New Zealand you can always eat out if you feel like a night off in Palmy.
If you’re from Taupo or heading there for a few days there is so much to see and do. Why not check out the Huka Falls or go bike riding through the Great Lake Trail? If relaxing by the water is more your thing, Taupo is famous for its trout fishing, throw a line and dinner is sorted.
If Wellington is where it’s at for you this summer, head to Mount Victoria for a little walk and take in the breathtaking views from the top. You could also spend the day wandering around the Wellington Botanic Gardens or visiting the Great War Exhibition or Museum of New Zealand.
Hawke’s Bay is a must see destination for any New Zealander. With picturesque walks and bike rides for the family to enjoy and some of the world’s best wineries for you – you can’t go wrong spending a day or two cycling about this flat land and sampling some award winning wines.
If you’re staying in Auckland city there are still plenty of ways to transport yourself. Check out Auckland Art Gallery daily from 10am to 5pm to see some of New Zealand’s best sculptures, paintings and installations.
South Island, New Zealand
Ohau Waterfall Walk should be your first destination this summer. A short walk leads you to a beautiful and tranquil waterfall where you’ll be met by cute baby seals frolicking about in the water. Take a picnic and a camera and spend hours getting up close to these gorgeous animals in their natural habitat.
Now this next one isn’t free but by taking a picnic lunch you can cut down some costs and spend a great day at Puzzling World with the family. Designed to get your brain working and sensors sharpened, you’ll love working your way out of the Great maze and Illusion Rooms.
If you’d like a few hours (or the day off) why not drop the kids at Kidz Club and explore Queenstown on your own for a bit. Everyone needs a little time off and the kids will love the face painting, rides and games that are offered. Unfortunately this one is on the pricier side but if you have the budget for it, everyone will enjoy this one!
If you’re spending the summer or even just a few days in Christchurch you have to take advantage of the Christchurch Gondola. Boasting incredible views there really is now better way to see the Garden City of the World.
Whilst you’re in Christchurch there are also plenty of bike trails and relaxing walks to do too. Check out Hagley Park for some stunning routes or head to the Antigua Boatsheds and go for a row around Avon River.
Heading to Otago? Then you have to do the Otago Central Rail Trail. A great trail for those that aren’t part of the cycling spandex crew, this ride goes through quaint towns and historic sites, with plenty of places to stay and eat along the way.
If your family is the outdoorsy type, why not tackle the Routeburn Track this summer? There are huts and camping grounds throughout the park and you can take this walk at your own pace. A great way to escape to nature for a few days, this walk has been added to the world’s greatest walk list, making it a must do activity.
Home to an abundance of wildlife, Dunedin is the perfect getaway this summer. Spend your days relaxing with a book on the beach or take on any of the great walks that will lead to you to some of the world’s most stunning wildlife.
If you’ll be spending your time on the West Coast however, Pancake Rocks is where you need to go. The park has no entry fee and you can spend hours wandering about and taking in this beautiful part of the world. Pack a lunch and make a day viewing the blowholes and rock formations.
Our number one thing to do in the South Island these school holidays is to check out the Otago Museum. Entry is free and there are a heap of cultural and virtual exhibitions. We can’t wait to check out the much hyped Tropical Forest where hundreds of beautiful butterflies take flight.
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