This 10 day New Zealand family vacation package is the perfect self-drive option for an unforgettable family vacation. This is a great way for you and your family to visit some of New Zealand’s best vacation spots and top destinations. With fun activities to entertain the kids, and the planning stress taken away for you, this vacation package will offer a unique family vacation.
Arrive in Auckland. The “City of Sails” and New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland is bordered by two stunning harbours. Collect your rental car from the airport, explore the city with many family activities on offer, then make your way to your accommodation.
This evening, if you would like to dine with a spectacular view, you might like to visit the Sky Tower. You are spoilt for choice with three restaurants and cafés up the Sky Tower, including the Orbit 360-degree dining revolving restaurant; The Sugar Club, which is superbly chic and elegant; or the Sky Café, where you can relax with a coffee, cheese board or ice cream. You will have the opportunity to view the city from 328 metres high above street level and take in the beautiful views, up to 80 kilometres in every direction. Spot the key landmarks, including a number of volcanoes and historical locations within the greater Auckland area.
Stay 1 night in Auckland City.
Driving time Auckland to Rotorua 235 km / 146 miles, 3.5 hours
The Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park is Rotorua’s most active geothermal area featuring a walkway lined with unique geothermal wonders and interactive opportunities. Experience the geothermal features with a self-guided map to show you around or join a guided tour of the reserve to learn more about the history, features and uniqueness of the geothermal area.
See bubbling mud pools, steaming craters, mineral pools, learn about New Zealand’s history and culture, and even try Maori weaving and wood carving! After this, the geothermal waters of the Hell’s Gate Sulphur Spa will rejuvenate and refresh you, as you relax and take in the surreal surroundings of the wondrous geothermal landscape.
In the evening, enjoy dinner at Rotorua’s most spectacular location – Skyline Restaurant. Sit back and relax as the views from the gondola unfold while you journey to the Skyline complex. The Skyline Restaurant will then serve you a mouthwatering taste of New Zealand, a buffet of legendary proportions. Feast on mouth-watering fresh soups and salads and seafood specialties such as mussels, queen scallops, sushi and sashimi. Enjoy carvery roasts of beef, lamb or pork with specialty sauces to match, with live cooking from your friendly chefs. The legendary Art of the Grill menu will tempt your taste buds even further, with a selection of fillet steak, prawn and Morten Bay Bugs – all cooked on the grill to your liking. Add to that a range of sumptuous desserts, and you’ve got yourself a unique dining experience not to be missed. Tiered seating guarantees stunning views from every table!
At the top of the gondola you also have the option to add on a thrilling Luge Ride, enjoy nature walks and visit the Jelly Belly Shop and Volcanic Hills winery and tasting room.
Stay 1 night in Rotorua.
Driving time Rotorua to Taupo 76 km / 47 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy the short drive south to Taupo, rich in natural beauty and filled with family attractions such as the Huka Falls, incredible bush walks, relaxing boat cruises, and bungy jumping. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience.
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Driving time Taupo to Wellington 372 km / 231 miles, 5.5 hours
Enjoy the scenic drive from Taupo to Wellington. Along the way, you will come across Tongariro National Park, an impressive collection of volcanoes which stretches from the southern shore of Lake Taupo. Continuing south, the route hugs the west coast as it approaches Wellington, passing a number of nice beaches that may beckon you to stop and explore on a nice day.
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, has so much to offer. Set on the edge of a stunning harbour, surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city rich in culture waiting to be explored. From shopping and picturesque walks to live theatre, exhibitions, Te Papa Tongarewa: the Museum of New Zealand, and more – Wellington is a great family destination.
Wellington’s top attractions include Te Papa, Weta Workshop, Wellington Cable Car, Mt Victoria Lookout and Wellington Zoo.
Stay 1 night in Wellington.
Sailing time Wellington to Picton 70 km / 43 miles, 3 hours
Driving time Picton to Kaikoura 156 km / 97 miles, 3 hours
It’s all about the journey today as you continue your family vacation and board the Interislander Cook Strait Ferry, which will transport you on a scenic cruise to Picton. Enjoy the coastal drive along the East Coast to Kaikoura.
In the afternoon, experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with a Whale Watch Scenic Flight to view the majestic Sperm Whales off the Kaikoura Coast.
Stay 1 night in Kaikoura.
Driving time Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs 134 km / 83 miles, 1.5 hours
Travel on to Hanmer Springs, a year-round family holiday destination offering a variety of outdoor activities and of course the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. Visitors have been travelling to bathe in the rejuvenating mineral pools for over 120 years! Relax in open-air thermal pools and de-stress with spa therapies.
Stay 1 night in Hanmer Springs.
Driving time Hanmer Springs to Lake Tekapo 357 km / 222 miles, 4.5 hours
Travel south across the Canterbury Plains and inland towards the Southern Alps to reach Lake Tekapo, an amazing turquoise lake. Lake Tekapo presents many world class family attractions, from the famous Church of the Good Shepherd and Tekapo Springs to scenic flights exploring NZ’s highest mountains and largest glaciers, including Mt Cook, Tasman Glacier, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier.
Stay 1 night in Lake Tekapo.
Driving time Lake Tekapo to Queenstown 254 km / 158 miles, 3 hours
Venture past Lake Pukaki, a picturesque turquoise glacial lake, before you travel through the dramatic Lindis Pass which links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. Queenstown awaits you, New Zealand’s adventure capital and top family vacation destination.
In the evening, enjoy a relaxing evening cruise on the TSS Earnslaw. Cruise on the historic steamship across to Walter Peak Station for a gourmet BBQ dinner followed by a farm tour. Cruise back to Queenstown as the sun sets over the mountains and lake.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Today, get ready for the world’s most exciting jet boat ride! Shotover Jet is the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons. It’s a thrilling ride – skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet ‘Big Red,’ you will twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breathtaking speeds. And a major highlight – hold tight for the world-famous Shotover Jet full 360º spins!
Relax and explore Queenstown for the afternoon.
Today you have the option to make a trip to Arrowtown. You’ll be enchanted by historic Arrowtown, a New Zealand treasure located 20 minutes from Queenstown. Arrowtown is charming and quirky – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a procession of heritage buildings that stretches into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miner’s cottages. The buildings in this lovely precinct house shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants – many classy, most individual, and not one from an international chain.
Drop off your rental car at Queenstown Airport and depart Queenstown.
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