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Experience Christmas with a New Zealand Farmer’s Family

Our amazing trip to New Zealand with kids still continues. Finally, I have Wi-Fi again and so much to write about! Let’s start with our visit to Kaikoura, where we went on a whale watching tour.

Whale Watching in Kaikoura

The weather was beautiful, the sea was calm. When we were out on the open sea, we saw whales straight away. Very impressive, they are so huge. Whales stay on the surface for several minutes before they take a dive underwater. The last thing you see before they disappear into the deep is the tail, and that’s exactly the part I wanted to capture in a photo. Mission completed! See the photo below, only a little blurry. When the whale disappears underwater, they can stay there for up to 45 minutes. We even saw his huge head, Hidde keeps talking about his black eyes. After the whales, we also saw dolphins and albatrosses. We loved the whale watching tour! After this exciting experience, we went back to our campground to swim and have a wine with our neighbours.

Christmas Celebration at Kawatea Farmstay

We left for Okains Bay, near Christchurch, on the first Christmas day. We stayed on a farm and celebrated Christmas with the farmer’s family at Kawatea Farmstay. The farm, as well as the accommodation, was beautiful. In the afternoon, we enjoyed a drink on the beach. The kids entertained themselves by looking for shells. We absolutely loved visiting New Zealand with kids around Christmas. We are used to low temperatures and even snow at this time of year. Enjoying the sun at Christmas felt like the biggest Christmas present ever.

Christmas Dinner with the Farmer’s Family

We were invited for Christmas dinner at the farmer’s family. All four of their kids joined the Christmas dinner as well. The kids had a table outside and the adults shared a table inside. The dinner was wonderful with pumpkin, carrots from the oven, salmon, turkey, fish cakes, salads, and all kinds of meats.

The dessert was amazing as well with pavlova, fresh raspberries, cheesecake, banana cake, and ice cream.

Exploring Akarua and Queenstown

On Boxing Day, we visited Akarua, a lovely little town with a French vibe. Akarua is located on a beautiful bay. We found a coffee shop with a playground right next to the water, a beautiful spot to spend our afternoon.

Tuesday, we took off to Queenstown. As it’s quite a long drive, we spent the night in Fairly. Fairly has a huge ski area in the winter. After a good night’s sleep, we continued our drive to Queenstown, making some stops along the way. Our first stop was Tekapo Lake with beautiful blue water and snowy mountains. Our second stop was at New Zealand’s most famous bungee jump spot on a very high bridge. The view from the bridge was amazing: the river and the mountains. There was a bungee jump possibility for kids as well, jumping on the trampoline. They loved it!

Arriving in Queenstown

We reached Queenstown at the end of the day. It looks like a vibrant city. Hidde left his shoes on the campground in Fairly. Our first stop in Queenstown city center was at a shoe store. After our little shopping spree, we ended the day with a delicious pizza. We wouldn’t recommend the campground. It feels more like a parking lot. The upside is we are very close to the city center. Tomorrow, we have a whole day to explore Queenstown, the day after we will visit Milford Sounds. The weather is absolutely amazing! We are facing 2 less sunny days, after these days we expect only sunny weather again. We are enjoying our trip to the max! New Zealand with kids is a big fat YES for us.

Tips & Tricks for New Zealand with Kids

  • Don’t miss out: up close and personal with the whales in Kaikoura
  • Kawatea Farmstay is a great experience for the kids, spend the night on a real farm
  • We loved the road from Fairly to Queenstown, take your time and plan a break at Tekapo Lake

This guest blog is written by Lonneke, she is living in the Netherlands with her husband Marcel and two sons Thije and Hidde. Lonneke tells us about the amazing trip she made with her family to New Zealand when the boys were 2.5 and 4 years old.


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