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NZ in winter

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#1 _audrey_

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

We are going to NZ next July for a family holiday.  So far the only plans we have are to stay in Queenstown for a few nights as DH is going snowboarding for a few days.  Neither of us have been to NZ before and so I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations on things to see/do while we are over there.  DS will be 20months so they have to be child friendly activities too :-)  

#2 rowd

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

Apart from Queenstown, which areas are you thinking of visiting? Where are you flying in/out of? I live in the North Island and have travelled around there quite a bit so happy to give recommendations for the North Island if you will be visiting there.  I haven’t covered much of the South Island so not much help there sorry.

#3 _audrey_

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

We will be flying in to Christchurch and we'll have a car so we will be driving down to Queenstown.  We are only there for 10 days so we will just be staying on the south island.  To be honest, I'm not sure where else we should visit apart from Queenstown.  I'm getting some brochures from the travel agent next week but thought I'd just ask if anyone has any 'must see' places they recommend.  If we didn't have DS with us, we would probably do a lot of driving and go to as many places as we could but we don't want DS in being in the car every day for hours on end so I think we will have to limit the places we can visit.

#4 Grobanite

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:26 PM

I can't offer any suggestions on ideas  but please rug up. Even away from the snow it will be really really cold.

#5 Apageintime

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:32 PM

Visit Franx Josef Glacier. Probably walkable with a 20 month old. its quite spectacular

#6 _audrey_

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

Apageintime:  The glaciers were on my to do list but I was unsure if they would be suitable for DS.  Will definitely look into it more, thanks.

Grobanite:  I love the cold so I am looking forward to rugging up  original.gif  (I say that now but maybe after a few days there I would have changed my mind!)

#7 B.E.Y.

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:47 PM

Hubby and I went to Queenstown for 7 nights in Sept, so end of winter. It was AMAZING!!! Such a beautiful area!

Activities in and around Queenstown that I can recommend are;
Sky diving
Bungy (Do the big Nevis one ohmy.gif )
Mini/putt putt golf
The old steam ship (cant remember what its called)
The buffet at the restaurant at the top of the mountain near town (the one you get to via gondolas) - unbelievable!!!

Also, I was looking into going again next year with friends, all of us with at least one child, and I discovered that Queenstown has fantastic child minding and nanny services, which are not too outrageously expensive so you could do a lot of the activities child free if you went that route.

Ive heard that Arrowtown is beautiful, and worth a drive to visit. And the glaciers are apparently spectacular too!

#8 Jekaho

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

We went with a 21 month old for three weeks on the South Island - but in October so it wasn't as cold as winter time. We flew in and out of Christchurch, and hired a car to go to Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown and back to ChCh. So that would be more driving than you are after, as our son is fine with driving - but there is plenty of to in ChCh, Queenstown and even Dunedin... also some of it is weather-dependant.

If you want a full list of what we did, let me know and I can post it.

Just wanted to say we stayed here in Queenstown and it was fantastic! Even had a toy box ready to go for our son.

#9 rowd

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

If you are flying into Christchurch you could do the drive over to Akaroa, it is easily a day trip, only about an hour and a half drive. It is a really picturesque little town and you can do boat trips in the harbour to go whale and dolphin watching.  There are lots of nice shops and cafes there as well.  

In Christchurch you should find plenty of things to do with a toddler.  The botanical gardens in the city centre are easy to walk around with lots to see, fountains etc.  You can take a gondola ride down the Avon River which winds through the city.  I haven’t been to Christchurch since the earthquake but there is an aquarium in Cathedral Square which I think is still open.  

In Queenstown you could go up the gondola and then down the luge, it is a low-speed scenic luge ride so should be fine for your 20 month old.  There are lots of tourist-y things to do in Queenstown but most are adult orientated, adventure-tourism type things.  There are a range of cruises you can do on the lake, or you could drive over to Wanaka for a cruise from there.  There are a few good day or half day trips to take from Queenstown – Arrowtown is an old colonial town and good for a look around.  Try Patagonia (in Arrowtown and in Central Queenstown) for amazing chocolates and desserts!

In regards to the cold it depends what you are used to but it won’t necessarily be too bad.  In Christchurch it will often be around 10-15 degrees throughout the day.  

I haven’t been myself but if you were up to the drives Nelson and Kaikoura would also both be great places to visit.  Nelson is the sunniest place in NZ so would be a nice escape from winter original.gif

#10 kiwi-girl

Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

NZ in winter is beautiful. There is heaps to do in Queenstown and it really comes alive in winter.
The steam ship is a lovely outing http://www.zqn.co.nz/earnslaw/
Arrowtown is gorgeous and well worth a visit.
In Christchurch, while a lot of things have been affected by the earthquakes it is still s thriving city....the aquarium in Cathedral Square is no longer there but other animal things to visit would be Orana Wildlife Park or Willowbank. The central city has been revitalized with it's shops in shipping containers (very funky) and is well worth a visit even to see how the city has responded to the quakes.
Akaroa is a very easy drive from Christchurch for a day visit/overnight visit and you can go on boat cruises to see dolphins.
Hanmer Springs is an alpine town a couple of hours drive north from Christchurch but has an amazing hot pool complex that is awesome in winter - child friendly as well.
Enjoy your trip! NZ has lots of little great places to visit.

A good resource is the AA (Automobile Association) and may help you to plan a trip/what to see/where to stay

#11 _audrey_

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:54 PM

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.  Arrowtown sounds like somewhere I would like to visit.  I have a few things to research now, can't wait to plan our trip!

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