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Family Fun in the South Island
The Truman Track
For an easy 30 minute walk that offers the best New Zealand nature has to offer - take the Truman Track - a short distance from Punakaiki Resort. Walk through beautiful native bush to a small, picturesque beach on the short 1.5km walk.
The Charleston Nile River Rainforest Train
Take an open-carriage train ride through an ancient rainforest into the spectacular Nile River limeston canyon. During the trip you will take a short walk to the Nile River Suspension Bridge or even on to the caves entrance.
Located just six kilometres from Westport, Carters Beach is a wonderful example of the famous wild West Coast beaches New Zealand is known for. Carters Beach is a safe swimming beach and a great place to take the family in summer.
Cape Foulwind Seal Colony
Cape Foulwind is located near Westport on New Zealand's West Coast; it's home to a Fur Seal colony which is accessbile via a well-maintained walking track to Tauranga Bay.
Shantytown Heritage Park
No South Island visit is complete without a visit to Shantytown - a heritage town dedicated to telling the stories of the gold miners of the 1860s. See a working sawmill, experience the bang of a sluice gun and even pan for your own gold!
History House provides an insight into West Coast living in the pioneering days - a great place for the whole family.
Little Earth Model Village
Little Earth is New Zealand's first major model village and has been lovingly built by Alan Hunt over the last 16 years. It includes models of real West Coast towns including Waiuta and Reefton.
Hokitika Jade Country
Hokitika is the Jade and greenstone capital of New Zealand - stop in at one of the many jade shops in the area and purchase a souvenir to remember your trip to the West Coast.
Hokitika Glass Studio
Stop in at the Hokitika Glass Studio and watch some master glass blowers create some amazing works - you can also purchase original items here.
Bruce Bay is a tiny settlement located on the Coast Road where the forest meets the sea; it's located approximately half way between Haast and Fox Glacier. There are plenty of historic landmarks to discover or just take a stroll along the wild West Coast beach.
Christchurch and Canterbury
Whale Watch Kaikoura
Kaikoura is located 2.5 hours from Christchurch, but is well worth the trip. Jump onboard with Whale Watch Kaikoura and be in for a chance to see the enormous Giant Sperm Whale at any time of the year. They have a 95% success rate of seeing a whale on every encounter, so if you don't see one - they'll refund 80% of your ticket price!
Orana Wildlife Park
Get up close to some incredible wildlife at Orana Wildlife Park - New Zealand's only open range zoo! You can hand feed the giraffes, watch a cheetah sprint, or even travel through the lion reserve in a safari vehicle! Orana Wildlife Park is a great experience for all the family and is located only 15 minutes from Christchurch city.
The International Antarctic Centre
The International Antaractic Centre is a fun place for all the family to come and experience a taste of the icey continent. There are plenty of attractions to keep all the family entertained, including an Snow & ice Experience, hagglund rides, penguin encounters and much more. The Antarctic Centre is located next to Christchurch International Airport.
Alpine Springs and Spa
Alpine Springs and Spa is one of New Zealand's leading tourist destinations - and is situated at the base of Mount John on the shores of Lake Tekapo. There is something for all the family here including ice skating, hot pools, luxurious spa treatments, and a snow park.
Mount Cook Salmon Farm
The Tekapo Canal is renowned as the source of some of the best quality farmed Salmon in the world. Visit the Mount Cook Salmon Farm located just 18 minutes from the Tekapo township. You can feed the fish and purchase some of the best fresh salmon there is to be had.
Mount Aspiring National Park
A rugged 355,518ha alpine wilderness of forest-cloaked slopes, glacial mountains, and river flats. There are excellent walking tracks for hikers, including the popular Routeburn Track, and adventure activities such as hunting and fishing. Shorter walks include a track to the Rob Roy Glacier (3hrs return), and the West Matukituki Valley track (4hrs return). Drivers along the Haast Highway enjoy outstanding views.
Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World is a unique Wanaka attraction specialising in puzzling eccentricity for over 35 years. There is something for all the family including a Great Maze, Leaning and Tumbling Towers, Hologram Hall, the Hall of Following Faces, Ames Forced Perspective Room, a Tilted House as well as a shop and cafe. A visit to Puzzling World is a must!
Walks and Hikes
There are 11 walks around Wanaka, including a 30 minute lakeside walk to Beacon Point, a gentle climb up Mount Iron (45 minutes) offering views of the rivers and mountains, and the 3hr Diamond Lake Track to the top of Rocky Hill with stunning panoramic views.
As well as excellent fishing and boating, the South Island's longest lake offers swimming, jet boating, water skiing, and white water sledging - fun for all the family!