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Christmas Family Holidays: New Zealand



Like Australia, New Zealand is an outdoor adventurer's paradise filled with breathtaking scenery, beautiful lakes and forests, spectacular mountain ranges, a tropical north and an glacier filled south. The two islands are home to a diverse group of Europeans, Asians and the different polynesian islander population, including the Maori. The people are warm, laid back and it is very family friendly.

Travelling

Families travelling to New Zealand from Ireland around Christmas time can expect higher fares than in other parts of the year. Still, there are plenty of travel agents and airlines with offers and packages, so do some research. Flight times are around 24 hours with stopovers in Asia or LA and Australia, depending on which airline. Like Australia, summer season is christmas time so there will be plenty of travellers and with peak season loads of things to see and do.

New Zealand with Families

New Zealand and it’s inhabitants are all about nature. The outdoor and rural life nested in it’s amazing scenery is what keeps New Zealanders so grounded. Families travelling the islands will notice how chilled the lifestyle is, and because outdoor life is the norm so will your budget. There’s plenty of free and cheap things to do like walks, trekking, and bicycle rides, and even in just a short road trip you will encounter it’s middle earth landscape ( Lord Of the Rings Trilogy was filmed here). Museums and galleries are mostly free and even kid’s can partake and enjoy the wild thrill-seeking side like kayaking and the water sports that it is famous for.

Where to go: The North and South Island

New Zealand is located in the southwestern pacific ocean and consists of two islands, the warmer north and the cooler south. Because of it’s vastness, there only a few things you can do with the time restraints of a family holiday, so here are our favorite highlights:

North Island

Flying into NZ’s capital, Auckland, you will see a European style city with Polynesian roots. The diverse mix of people can be seen in it’s history and kids and adults will enjoy the Maori influence at the Auckland Museum. There are plenty of markets, sailing, a zoo and even a whale and dolphin safari. In the southern tip of the Island you find Wellington, NZ’s cultural capital.

Here you will find the National Museum, a city wildlife reserves, and a cafe lifestyle. Taupo is home to all the outdoor action and is one of the best places in the world to skydive, you can also bungy, jetboat, white water raft and kayak around New Zealand’s largest lake, with plenty of kid friendly activities too.

South Island

NZ’s south island is filled with national parks, glaciers, adrenaline fun, whale watching and loads of nature and wildlife to go trekking and walks. Check out Abel Tasman National Park, with native forests, golden sandy beaches and rivers to go kayaking. Queenstown is home to all the outdoor madness of bungy jumping but also amazing views of mountain ranges and lakes that surround it. For the ultimate family experience bring them whale watching in Kaikoura where Maori run tours will bring you out to see sperm whales, orcas and dolphins.