New Zealand is the ultimate outdoor adventure playground for kids and big kids too! The winter season is my favourite time of year in New Zealand. There’s nothing like cool mountain air and endless snow capped peaks. From skiing near Queenstown, helicopter trips over the West Coast mountains, snow tubing at Lake Tekapo and road tripping with awesome mountain views. Looking for cool things to do with kids in the South Island in New Zealand? Then read on…
Skiing and snowboarding in Cardrona:
Skiing and snowboarding are great activities for all ages and New Zealand has some awesome slopes. Cardrona is a 45 minute drive from Queenstown and is a must visit for mountain lovers. There’s ski and snowboard lessons available for all ages. For skiing, lessons are available from ages 5 and upwards and snowboarding from 7 years old. Group and private lessons are available. Ski lessons are also available for under 5s at Cardrona’s Ski Kindy children’s daycare.
Keeping safe on the slopes is such an important thing to teach young ones. The Piste X Code is a fantastic campaign aimed at creating awareness around staying safe on the slopes. The list covers 8 ways to keep safe. Centred around awareness of others, respecting piste signs, skiing and snowboarding within your ability and planning where you stop to prevent accidents on the piste. The quiz is a useful reminder for everyone and a great way to get kids engaged in keeping safe in the mountains.
If you’re not skiing but fancy seeing the mountains, buy a sightseeing pass and jump in a gondola to the top to explore the snowy peaks. Kids under 6 can go for free.
Helicopter ride over mountains and glaciers:
You can’t miss a trip to the glaciers. This is one of the very cool things to do with kids on New Zealand’s South Island. Fox and Franz Josef Glacier are both on the west coast with the towns a short drive apart. If you have small kids and don’t want to go on a hike to the glaciers, then you can catch mesmerising views of fox glacier from the roadside. If you have older kids it’s a short hike to the base of Franz Josef glacier.
Another fantastic option if you have older kids a helicopter ride; it is an incredible experience. Flying right over the top of both glaciers and landing on a nearby mountainside is unforgettable and well worth the cost. Seeing Mount Cook from the air and all the incredible mountain views is awe inspiring. I booked a trip with Glacier Helicopters, it’s an experience I’ll never forget.
Snow tubing at Lake Tekapo:
Lake Tekapo is a brilliant spot for kids. The scenery is breath-taking and the lake is perfect for stone skimming! Tekapo Springs has something for all the family with hot pools, a children’s aqua play area, an ice rink and snow tube park. The snow tubing is so much fun and is open from July to September. The ice rink opens from April to August. Tekapo Springs has a cafe and bar with awesome views of the lake.
Milford Sound boat trip:
To see the mountains from another angle, jump in a boat from Milford Sound. The road trip itself is a majestic one. The drive takes you past towering snowy mountains and through mountain tunnels. From the water you feel tiny in comparison to the huge mountains with waterfalls cascading down.
Te Anau Glowworm Caves:
This is not strictly a winter activity but seeing glow worms is such a magical thing to do, I couldn’t not include it. The journey begins with a boat trip to the caves where a guide takes you deep underground to explore a magical grotto. The best part is the boat ride in the darkness, don’t be scared, look up and the luminous light of the glow worms will light the way. It’s an incredible sight like no other, surrounded by silence and nature it’s another unforgettable moment!
There are so many cool things to do with kids on the South Island, New Zealand. Whatever you choose to do there are plenty of adventures to be had in the mountains!
I’ve written this post as part of the Ski Safe Blogger Campaign by AliKats Mountain Holidays and Piste X Code. By posting this blog and creating awareness of the Piste X Code I am entering into a competition to win a stay in a self-catered chalet in Morzine, France. If you are a blogger and would like to do the same head here for more information: Ski Safe Blogger Campaign.