The royal family has taken on New Zealand and so can you. If you were wondering where to go on your own Kiwi adventure, you can follow this 13-day itinerary from the New Zealand Visitors Bureau.
Following in the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess, travelers might be interested in visiting:
Auckland – Known as the “City of Sails” Auckland is a vibrant city of harbors, beaches and islands; its Harbor has hosted two America’s Cup campaigns, and is also where Duchess Kate recently beat her husband in a sailing race!
Hobbiton – An enchanting village of perfectly-formed Hobbit holes, Hobbiton is the must see Middle-Earth filming location for all Lord of the Rings fans.
Rotorua – A fascinating place of Maori culture and geothermal wonders, Rotorua lies on the Volcanic Plateau and is home to both Te Puia (the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute) and the world-famous Pohutu Geyser.
Wellington – New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, is nestled between a sparkling, expansive harbor and emerald green hills. Famed for its arts, culture, cuisine and natural beauty, Wellington is also home to New Zealand’s national museum (Te Papa) and Zealandia – a unique eco-sanctuary for native animals.
Blenheim – The sunny town of Blenheim is known for its vineyards and artisan food culture but perhaps most renowned for its fascinating Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, one of the world’s largest private collections of Great War aircraft and artifacts. The royal couple, escorted by Sir Peter Jackson, made sure to visit!
Marlborough Sounds – On the doorstep of Blenheim, the beautiful Marlborough Sounds is home to emerald-green inlets, white sandy bays and crystal- clear water. The perfect waters for a leisurely boat cruise!
Christchurch – Known as the “gateway to the South Island”, Christchurch is a resilient city rapidly recovering from the devastation of its 2011 earthquake. It’s set to hold the opening match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Francophiles should make time to also visit the nearby boutique town of Akaroa, a charming place infused with French culture and cuisine.
Queenstown – One of the country’s most popular visitor destinations, set on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu at the foot of a huge mountain range, Queenstown is known as the home of adrenaline activities in New Zealand, from bungy jumping to the Shotover jet-boat ride enjoyed by the Duke and Duchess! (See photo below.) Queenstown is also a destination for luxury experiences – from gourmet cuisine to spa treatments, the perfect bit of pampering to conclude a royal travel experience.
Sail Auckland’s harbor aboard one of Team New Zealand’s successful America’s Cup yachts;
Tour the enchanting village of Hobbiton, the filming location built exclusively for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings andThe Hobbit Trilogy;
Explore the enchanting Waitomo Caves, a labyrinth of underground caverns twinkling with glowworms;
Visit the world-famous Pohutu Geyser in Rotorua, and enjoy a traditional Maori feast and cultural performance in Mitai Maori Village;
Stroll through the fascinating Omaka Aviation Heritage Center in Blenheim, home to one of the world’s largest private collections of Great War aircraft and artifacts;
Take a spectacular Shotover Jet boat ride across the beautiful waterways of Lake Wakatipu.
The BodyHoliday is best-known as a premiere all-inclusive resort focused on health and wellness and not for family travel. In fact, it’s an adults-only enclave with a dedication to outdoor activities and a fantastic spa. So, why is The BodyHoliday good for families? For part of the summer, the resort will welcome families with its annual Well Fit Families retreat, focused on, you guessed it, getting fit. Encouraging travelers to take a break from the typical all-inclusive vacation, the adults-only resort opens its doors to children age 12 and up between July 6 and August 31. The program, which is hosted this year by professional English rugby player Alex Goode, consists of active challenges, classes to build mental focus, and skill-building activities that are designed to encourage family bonding and friendly competition. Activities include basic first aid, CPR and lifeguard training, healthy cooking classes, a mother-daughter spa experience, father vs. son watersports competitions, abseiling adventures down waterfalls, family quiz nights, and concludes with a spirited family beach-athlon. Pricing from $482/person/night (all-inclusive rates include a daily spa treatment). www.thebodyholiday.com
Families can find fun and savings in the Bahamas this holiday season and beyond. Paradise Island Harbour
Resort is offering a reduced rate of $90 per person double occupancy, through November, perfect for a last-minute Thanksgiving family vacation. Children also stay and eat for free from now until the resort closes for renovations in July of 2014.
Paradise Island Harbour Resort also offers U.S. government employees special room rates from now until the end of the year. Qualifying employees will receive a savings of 45 percent off regular room rates.
The resort will close in July 2014 to complete a full-scale resort renovation but, until then, families can take advantage of the kids stay free savings, free wireless Internet access, a la carte and buffet dining and nightly entertainment at the resort.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like if family flights existed. Would it be all screaming, crying and tantrum-throwing? Or would it be a more communal, understanding environment without the looks of disdain and the feelings of shame when you are “that mom”? In reality, I don’t think it would be either. Parents are equally as judgmental when flying as non-parents. Read more.