Theres no doubt about it travelling with kids can be testing at times. My trick is to keep them busy and get them outdoors as much as possible. I find them much calmer when surrounded by nature. I was bought up in Wanaka New Zealand and now take my 3 under 5 there for big adventures. Here are my top things to do with kids.
1 – Wanaka Lavender Farm – Pack a picnic and head to this gorgeous farm where you can experience 10 acres of beautiful lavender fields. Meet the friendly farm animals, play a game in the garden and unwind over a cup of herbal tea + lavender ice-cream’s. Cost no more than $10 for an adult in peak season or $5 off peak.
2 – Dinosaur Park – This playground is right on the lake in Wanaka and is best known for its dinosaur slide. There is something for all ages and a BBQ area for families.
3 – Hook – A very cool lake to plate dining experience. You can hire rods and fish in the lakes for salmon. They will slice it up for you then and there to take home. If you are just wanting a dining experience its perfect for kids. Grab a bean bag or big table set in a stunning area next to their lakes. There are loads of fun outdoor activities to keep children both young and young-at-heart entertained all day. Dining options include salmon dishes, tasting platters, vegetarian options and a kids menu. Local wine and craft beers are available.
4 – The Cow – This cool little rustic setting is a great place to eat for families. Sit next to the open fire and you feel like you have gone back in time with the gorgeous stone walls and exposed beams. Classic Italian Pizza and pasta is served.
5 – Fish n Chips at the Lake – Grab takeaway fish n chips and head down to the lake. Erik’s fish n Chips would be my choice, they have a great deal on family packs.
6 – The Cardrona Hotel – Grab a wine, order the kids a hot chocolate and head out the back to the open fire to soak up the atmosphere of this historic building.
7 – Blue Pools Track – Around an hours drive from Wanaka, the drive is extremely scenic and worth a trip. The walk to the pools is easy and short and takes around 15 minutes. You go over this incredible swing bridge but beware of the sandflies nipping your ankles. In Summer you can jump off the bridge into the pools.
8 – Snow Farm – Had a great day up at the Snow Farm – fantastic beginner lesson and then time to explore the trails before having fun at the Snow Zone, kids loved playing in the snow as did the grown-ups. Snow Farm is the best experience if you have children or anyone who wants a relaxed family friendly atmosphere and a perfect slope for sliding / playing in the snow.
9 – Mt Iron – This is a great little walk just out of Wanaka. It is a little steep and takes around 45 minutes to the top. Maybe a little challenging for toddlers. My girls aged 4 and 5 did with with a bit of encouragement. I love to run up and down the other side which takes around 45 minutes.
10 – Cardrona – This is fantastic for families that love to ski. It is designed for families and has a great ski school and creche for the little ones. The kids magic carpet is a cool covered tunnel.