There’s so much to explore in our beautiful country, but while the breathtaking scenery of the Milford Sounds might be your perfect idea of a holiday activity, it might not be the same for your teenage kids. To help, we’ve put together a guide featuring activities in popular holiday locations around the country that will make your teens say “OMG” (in a good way), about your next family getaway.
Rotorua: More Than Geysers
Redwoods Nightlights: Floating lanterns light up the forest in this wondrous experience created by world-renowned designer David Trubridge. Not only is it a visual spectacle, but it’s also a thrilling one – with the walk taking place 20 meters above ground.
Kaituna River White Water Rafting: If your teens love adventure, then white water rafting is an awesome option and the Kaituna River rafting experience is not for the faint hearted, allowing you to go down world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall, the 7m Tutea Falls. Only for those 13 years and over and those not afraid of a little adventure!
Skyline Gondola & Buffet Dinner: If your teens are like the majority their kind, then they’ll like to eat – a lot. Bribe them with a buffet dinner at Stratosphere Restaurant. They’ll remain occupied by the buffet offering, leaving you to sit back and enjoy the view. You can thank us later.
Wellington: Our Quirky Little Capital
Brunching: Wellingtonians love to brunch, and let’s be honest who doesn’t? We’ve selected our favourite brunch stops to try when in the capital. You’ll get to experience amazing coffee and your teens will get to capture an awesome food picture for their ‘gram - everybody wins.
• Husk: An inner-city brewery, bar and eatery in a converted boxing gym. Location: Ghuznee Street, CBD.
• Prefab: One of Wellington’s most popular brunch spots. A trendy and warm atmosphere – perfect for big or small groups. Location: Jessie Street, CBD.
• Salty Pidgin: An award-winning bistro with a menu focused on heroing local produce. Location: Todman Street, Brooklyn.
• The Larder: Locally owned and operated, The Larder serves fine, honest food and is renowned for its creative and innovative take on classic dishes. Location: Darlington Road, Miramar.
Wellywood: Go behind the scenes of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters with a Weta Studio Tour. Get up close to incredible props & costumes, followed by a journey through amazing movie miniatures, life size character creations and more. What better opportunity for a Snapchat?
Everything in one place: Wellington has some fabulous inner-city hotels allowing your teens to easily venture out to explore eateries, markets or just the general unique urban feel of the city. Consider the Mercure Wellington Hotel & Apartments if you’re needing more room, or if you want something a bit more luxurious then consider the Sofitel Wellington, conveniently located amidst the bustling city.
Queenstown: Adventure & Beauty
Relax with a view: The Onsen Hot Pools are perhaps one of the most photographed destinations in Queenstown. Looking out onto the Shotover River Canyon, take in the sheer beauty while immersed in a relaxing hot pool complete with refreshments.
Skyline Gondola and luge: The Skyline Gondola rises steeply 450 vertical metres above Queenstown giving you the most spectacular views of the city and lake. Take the driving seat with the gravity-fuelled Skyline Luge. There’s the scenic & more relaxed Blue Track, or the thrilling Red Track, will be perfect for teens!
Mountain Carting: Race the teens downhill using the speed of gravity in New Zealand’s first mountain carting experience. But, what is a mountain cart? Featuring 3-wheels, the alpine specialised, German-made mountain cart is designed for performance, comfort and safety. If you’re after a thrill and a bit of wind in your hair, then this is a must do for you and your teens.
The best burgers in town: Queenstown’s Fergburger is practically world famous with many regarding the burger joint as a Queenstown MUST do. Their burgers feature everything from your classic beef and cheese, to gluten free, dairy free or vegan. This one is definitely a winner if you’re looking for somewhere to dine with the family.
Taupo: The lake and more!
Geothermal escape: Craters of the Moon is a walkway that runs through geothermal activity and Lunar Landscapes. This is no ordinary stroll. Along the 45 minute walk you’ll witness natural thermal activity such as bubbling craters, steam vents and colourful soils which are sure to keep the kids entertained.
Huka Falls Jetboat: This is an activity that your teens definitely won’t sleep through. Glide past Taupo’s unique scenery at an incredible 80km/h, getting up close to one of New Zealand’s most-visited natural attractions – Huka Falls. With trademark 360-degree spins, this one’s not a great idea after a big brunch, but is most definitely a must if you’re wanting a thrilling experience you’ll never forget.
The Wairakei Resort Track: When it comes to biking, Taupo has you covered. From the beautiful Great Lake Trail, to the more family-friendly Craters Mountain Bike Park, Taupo has something for all levels. If your teens are into sport and the great outdoors then exploring one of Taupo’s many mountain-biking trails is a must.
Feeling inspired? Check out our best NZ family deals here!