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Holidays with kids

Now that the trans-Tasman bubble is a reality, we asked family friendly travel consultant Helen Rolton for fun, activity based holidays for young families. 

In this column, Helen looks at kid friendly Queenstown adventures, where the littlies will have just as much fun as the big kids!

Before you go, get in touch with Tots on Tour, a parent’s best friend in Queenstown. ToT have everything you need (and sometimes things you didn’t know you’d need) for a stressfree holiday in Queenstown. They hire portacots, strollers, car seats, highchairs and baths AND offer a babysitting service. They’ll liase with your rental car company or accommodation provider and have everything set up before your arrive. And they’re locals – see their blog for the best Queenstown playgrounds here

Kiwi Birdlife Park is 5 acres of native bush in the middle of Queenstown. Family owned and operated, they’re dedicated to conserving New Zealand native birds and wildlife. The entry fee is valid for three consecutive days; there’s no rush to visit the Kiwis, spot some of the 20 native birds in the conservation show, see the bees making honey in the transparent behive or follow the self guided audio tour. There’s also an opportunity for a private tour to get up close with a tuatara.

TSS Earnslaw has been a fixture on Lake Wakatipu for generations. Jump on board and cruise across the lake to Walter Peak Station for a farmyard tour where kids will meet the deer, highland cows and alpacas before watching the working dog demonstrations and maybe feed the sheep. Look out for the ‘kids go free’ promotions during the New Zealand school holidays. Note the Earnslaw is off the water for it’s annual maintenance until 26 June.

The Queenstown Trail is 130kms of walking and cycling trails starting in Queenstown that enables you to explore the region by bike or on foot. Around the Basin cater for families with young children with bikes (and e bikes), tag-alongs & trailer hire. Call them to organise a shuttle drop off and pick up to suit your family.

What to do on rainy days in Queenstown? Head to Alpine Aqualand at the Queenstown Events Centre in Frankton. The water features and toddler pool will keep the littlies entertained while the older kids might like the climbing wall, lazy river or hydroslides.

If you’d like to see the region with a local or don’t want to hire a car, Alpine Luxury Tours will put together a private half or full day tour to show you their favourite spots around Queenstown.

My tip for travelling with kids; travel slowly and enjoy seeing the world through kids eyes.

For more Queenstown information see Queenstown NZ, The home of Adventure

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