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The Right Time for a Family Adventure to New Zealand

The Right Time for a Family Adventure to New Zealand

July 29, 2019

It’s my only son’s 18th birthday, and he comes running up to me, in public, and gives me a double high-five followed by a hug that literally lifts me off my feet!  If your 18-year-old acts like this all the time, lucky you… Mine does not!  But today we’ve just bungy jumped from the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand, an epic birthday activity which we did together!  I went first, and he followed, and he gave me a glimpse of uncensored adoration for my efforts of bringing him here to share this memory together!

As someone who works in the travel industry and is a New Zealand specialist, clients, friends, and family often ask me when the best time to travel to New Zealand is, and it’s an easy answer for me.  Despite the year-round changeable weather, the winds that can cancel your once in a lifetime helicopter glacier visit, or the waves that can postpone your cruise to see the unique little blue penguins or the Hector’s dolphin unique to this area, there is absolutely a right time to go to New Zealand…

It’s when you’re young enough to enjoy hiking, rafting, ziplining, and yes, perhaps bungy jumping, and your kids are old enough to enjoy great food, nice hotels, and having a drink with you at the local pub after a day of adventure (which can be at the age of 16 as long as they are with you and you approve)!  New Zealand’s perfect season has nothing to do with the calendar and everything to do with your point in life.

Although its beauty is unrivaled, not every 6-year-old wants to go for an 8-hour hike or fish for trout for hours on end at Lake Taupo, and there is not the amusement park atmosphere here to keep your over-stimulated kids engaged at every moment, no matter what time of year you visit.  It’s a place that slows you down, that makes you look outside of yourself at the world around you, that makes you look at the person next to you and see them again after work, sports, school, and life in general has kept you from just being together.  New Zealand is all about sincere and kind people, real experiences, and a slower pace than you have at home.

Of course, you can pack your days with activities, and believe me, you won’t want to miss a thing!  The point is, though, that once you’re out in the world doing something, that something can be as quiet or as action packed as you prefer as long as everyone agrees when it comes to just how much action you’re up for.  It’s even fun if, as the parent or grandparent, you don’t want to bungy jump, you go to the platform and sit securely on the deck watching your loved ones as they talk themselves into that last step off of the bridge; it can be (almost) as much of a thrill just being there to share it and you’ll be the hero for making it happen… remember that hug?

And don’t forget the incredible food and wine that you can enjoy throughout the country that might draw complaints from a young or picky eater.  By hitting a time in life when you’re all able to enjoy unique dining, like the green mussels of the South Island, not to mention the venison that you can taste while at a nice dinner, you can all enjoy the experience that you want or you can divide and conquer, letting mom and dad go to a nice dinner while the older kids or young adults hit a hamburger joint up the street… or share both experiences if you’re all up to being flexible!

There is so much more to travel than just picking the right time of year to go to a place; your time of life can be just as relevant to your enjoyment of the destination that you choose, or even more so!  When deciding what you want to do, consider everyone in the group and their interests, and go to New Zealand when you’re all able to appreciate the unique experience that you’re going to have together!    

Sari Gartner

Sari Gartner, Travel Designer


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