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We took the Skyline Gondola up the mountain, which was so much fun. The view is breathtaking. And as you travel up the mountain you can spy the bungee jumpers too. When we got to the centre, we then hopped on a chairlift that took us even higher up the mountain. Then with our colourful helmets firmly in place, we rode the luge down. Our one year old [Manilla] was able to sit on my lap and ride tandem with me – he was giggling the whole way down. Hungry adventurers will be pleased to know that at the top there is a café serving gourmet pizzas, a restaurant that offers panoramic views of the mountains and even a Jelly Belly store.
When we were researching what to do in Queenstown, the crystal clear water of the Blue Pools quickly caught our attention. The pools are about a 90-minute drive from Queenstown, just past Wanaka. We parked the car, caked on the bug spray, and took a 10-minute hike to the pools. The forest hike there is dreamy and we spent the whole time looking for fairies with my daughter. The water is crystal clear and you can see the fish swimming around. Our kids spent a while playing on the shore and making prayer stacks with all the stones. We stopped for lunch in Wanaka on the way home and the kids napped the rest of the way back to Queenstown. Perfect day!
The house we stayed at was about a half mile walk to the beach. We had a few boogie boards that we towed with us and hiked up a pretty steep sandy hill. There were a bunch of families sledding down it. Great workout for the parents and loads of fun our little guy who loves speed. Our daughter’s favourite part of the day though was playing in the rock pools.
Another breathtaking 30-minute drive from Rotorua is the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. There are a bunch of pools and each of them are varying temperatures. It was basically a day at the pool (but more like hot tub). There is a beautiful short walk where you can see the natural springs and the water that is coming from the ground is actually boiling.
Arrowtown is an adorable old mining town that has been restored. It’s about 15 minutes from Queenstown. We brought a picnic with us to Dudley’s Cottage and they gave us lessons on how to pan for gold. We each received a phial where we could put the specks of gold that we found. Afterwards we took off to the river to look for more. The kids played in the water and with rocks. We had a blast.
Follow Garrett, Jessica, Dorothy and Manilla on their next adventure at The Bucket List Family