If you follow my Instagram, you will know that we recently returned from a nine-night trip to Queenstown, New Zealand. This is a destination we have visited many a time, however with every trip we discover new and exciting things to do and see.
In terms of our most recent trip to Queenstown, it was the first time we travelled as a family of five. Previously we had always gone as a group of friends, a couple, and once with nine-week-old Ari. Travelling with a family to the snow is totally different and is not for the faint hearted. We are lucky that we have been to the snow lots of times before and have an idea of what we are doing, but there is a lot involved. With that said there is so much fun to be had.
A few new places we visited which have not been mentioned in previously bogs include Deer Park Heights which is an animal sanctuary almost in the middle of Queenstown and home to deer, goats, cows and many more animals. you can drive through the park like a safari, get out and feed the animals. You need to book online and pay per car to visit, then bring some $2 coins with you to purchase food.
Another new place we visited was the Queenstown Ice Arena. This is so much fun and well set up. We enjoyed ice skating and ice bumper cars. There is also a cafe and places to relax. A fun and easy outing.
I took a walk through the Queenstown Gardens, which was new to me. Oh, my gosh they are stunning. I don’t know what took me so long to go there. It is really child friendly, and there is a new play park at the Queenstown end of the gardens. Our children loved that park.
We mostly ate at restaurant which we had been to before, but we did try Madam Woo for the first time. It was ok but I didn’t love it. This could have been my own food choices though as I have had plenty of friends visit in the past and raved about their experience.
Here are some tips for travelling to Queenstown as a family:
1. Book all your restaurants and activities in advance as it is so busy over there now and everywhere is short staffed.
2. Get your ski rentals from Torpedo 7 and pick them up the afternoon before you intend to go to the snow. I would keep the same hire gear all week to save the hassle of daily fittings.
3. Hire a car.
4. Stay in a house and make sure it has parking included. Walking around to car parks with all our snow gear and children can be hard work.
5. Get your lift passes in advance. Even children who you don’t pay for need them.
6. Book you ski lessons in advance.
7. Collect your lift passes the afternoon before you intend to go up the mountain. You can do this in town.
8. Book an online grocery shop to arrive at your house after you check into your accommodation. Or do a click and collect order in advance.
9. Don’t try to take too much gear up the mountain each day, just keep it simple. As Rosie is two, we didn’t take a pram or anything like that. Literally our boards and one backpack with some snacks and water in it. We didn’t pay for a locked, we just popped the bag outside the cafe like everyone else was doing.
10. Do drop and for one adult and the children when you are getting dropped up the mountain. Then the other adult can park the car and walk to the entrance.
11. Late naps and late bedtimes are ok. Take it day by day and what works for you.
12. I highly recommend taking a family member with you to help if you can. I would much rather stay in cheaper accommodation and put the money towards paying for some help.
13. Don’t over pack, especially if your place has a washing machine and dryer. A packing list can work well. are sure to take lots of layers. I generally go for two sets of everything incase one gets wet. Think thermal top, thermal plants, jumper, vest and times by two.
14. Keep little ones hydrated, it is really easy to forget after when it’s cold.
15. Smile and have fun!
So that’s it! As I said this one is short and sweet, and just a top up of info from my previous blogs. Make sure you go back and check those out!