We got to stay in a two-story tree-house that had heated bathroom floors. We explored the main lodge and lodge suites. We got a three course dinner just for kids and huge breakfast. Then we had to leave for a two story apartment awhere we watched the Hobbit.
Then we went to Lake Tekapo where we had snowball fights and tried to build a snow man. We also went to a playground with a zip-line and another with a hamster wheel for people.
Then we went to Arrowtown and we went ice skating. I started off with Daddy pulling me. Then, I did it with one foot and finally two feet. After that, we went to a place called Fergburger. Daddy said it was world famous, but it was just New Zealand famous. On one of the days we hiked around a lake. On another day, we hiked a big loop that took us through forests, across fields, and over a mountain. We also went on a jet boat tour where he would go so fast, if you blinked, you missed it. Sometimes he would go in a super fast circle.
Our private Lord of the Rings tour was great – we got to use real swords, wear cloaks. Our guide went real fast in the car on the way back.
I loved the indoor sky-diving! We would lay on our instructors knee and he would bring us into the wind tunnel where a a bunch of wind would blow us up into the air. Our instructor would keep us from bashing into the walls and falling to the floor. Once, he even balanced me on his head. We went twice and then Ma paid for us to go five more times for my birthday present.
The next day we went to a sheep far and watched the dogs herd sheep and learned all about the farm. We met two people who talked to us during lunch. On the ride back to town we Irish danced for them and then begged mommy and daddy to let us go Luging.
When they finally said yes, daddy dropped us off at the gondola and went to get a parking spot while we went to get tickets. It felt like forever till he got back – when we finally got on the gondolas, I thought I was going to die. When we got into the luge carts, we had to take a little test to make sure we could go alone. On my first time, it was a little scary. On my second time, it was really fun and on my third time, my arms were so tired, I almost didn’t’ make it. On our way back down, we saw many mountain goats.
Kerikeri & the Northland
I got to spend my birthday in the coolest hotel in the history of hotels. When we got there, they took us to a nice seat in front of the fire for lunch. Then, we got to go see our room that had a big bath, separate beds for Emily and me, and two bathrooms. After we saw our room, we went golf carting down to the pink beach sign. That night we had a six-course dinner, finishing with Birthday cake and profiteroles. We finished the night playing duck duck goose in our room..
The first fun thing we did near Cambridge was our visit to Hobbiton where we learned about all the things that the director did to make it perfect for the movie – wiring plum leaves to trees, hanging clothes every day to leave the footprints in the grass, spray painting metal trees. Our guide let Emily and I open the door to go inside a Hobbit hole, but it didn’t have anything inside except a few things in the window. We finished our tour with a huge lunch and some yummy desserts. It was a great day.
We also got to visit the glow worms. Guess what? Glowworms are actually a kind of baby fly larva. They use sticky lines to catch their food like spiders. At the end of the tour, we saw so many glow worms it looked like dot art.
We visited a really nice lodge, Treetops, that had a giant kids room that Emily and I could play in all day, but we didn’t. On the first day, we hiked up to see the water falls. On the way there, I fell on my leg, so on the way back, daddy carried me over his shoulder. Before we left, we went on a horseback ride and at the end we went to see alpacas. One came up touching me with it’s nose. I was a little afraid it was going to spit on me!
The last place we visited in Cambridge was the the Maori cultural center. A lady took us on a tour of the village she grew up near and told us a legend. Afterwards, we saw how our food would be prepared and watched the traditional Maori dance. They even invited us up on stage to be part of it.
We’ve arranged for most of our family touring in New Zealand through Southern World. We like exploring new destinations by all methods of travel – cruising, touring, or on our own. The thing we like best about private custom tours is that we can collaborate with and design our experience exactly the way we want, under the expert guidance of a trusted local operator.
Southern World has contacts all over both New Zealand islands. Under their knowledgable guidance, we’ve coordinated several day tours as well as chosen cities to serve as our home base while we explore the amazing country.
There are several options for cruising around the perimeter of New Zealand – Large ship, small ship, expedition. The cruises are a great way to see the sections of the country you may like to return to at a later date. With as long as it takes to get to New Zealand from the States, we recommend also organizing some pre-or post touring to experience the local towns and villages while participating in some of the fun adventure activities available.
Taking a tour with a small group provides the opportunity to experience the sites of New Zealand with other like-minded travelers on popular pre-designed itineraries.