New Zealand is a picture of perfection in winter. With the majority of visitors coming through summer and spring, the winter visitor is extremely blessed with both the activities of the warmer months, but also the winter-only activities and new landscape and scenery. We’ve created a list of our favourite relaxing winter activities – we’re sure you’ll love them too!
We haven’t forgotten about the accommodation either. You can stay in one of our Kiwi Holiday Parks scattered throughout New Zealand and take advantage of staying warm in one of our heated cabins, which can accommodate two to eight people. This deal is sweetened throughout winter, as you’ll earn quadruple Fly Buys points when you stay at least two nights.
Seal, whale and wildlife adventures
You’ll find many tours all over New Zealand offering the chance to see whales, dolphins, seals and more in their natural habitats. Places such as Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, Kaikoura, Milford Sounds, Abel Tasman and the Bay of Islands are popular viewing destinations.
Get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures, take pictures or just sit back and enjoy the wonderful spectacle that unfolds before you. Because it’s winter, there will be a lot more animals in the water as they breed and migrate, meaning more of a chance to see your ocean creature or animal of choice.
Take a tranquil train journey
Through Christchurch, Canterbury, the Southern Alps, Wellington, Tongariro National Park and more – watch the landscape gracefully slide by through the window of New Zealand’s premiere scenic train service. The Kiwi Rail trains stop at a number of destinations across the North and South Island, perfect for travelling between cities and regions.
Since 2011 each train has boasted spacious viewing carriages that are carpeted and heated, with panoramic windows, comfortable seats and GPS directed commentary that can be heard through headphones plugged into the seat. An open-air carriage lets nothing between you, your camera, and our spectacular scenery – but take a coat during winter as it can get quite chilly! Along with these fantastic new additions, the café carriage offers a variety of options for breakfast and lunch, as well as healthy (or not, if you prefer) snack foods, cold and hot drinks and a delicious selection of alcoholic beverages.
Heavenly hot pools and wonderfully warm water
Visiting and experiencing a New Zealand hot pool or natural spring is a must and certainly in winter when you can escape from the cold into a steaming pool of clear and calm water.
There are over 100 of these in New Zealand – mainly in the top half of the North Island and the west coast of the South Island, so it will be easy to find one near the Kiwi Holiday Park you’re staying at. You only need your bathing suit and a towel to relax and rejuvenate. Around 35 of these 100+ hot pools are commercially operated, some including a number of pools and massage or spa facilities for an extra treat. The rest of the hot pools are natural, non-commercial sites often surrounded by lush bush and the sounds of nature. What better way to spend a morning or afternoon, especially if you’ve been doing some of the active activities we describe in our next blog!
What’s your favourite winter activity or destination in New Zealand? We’d love to hear about your adventures!
Kaikoura - Whale Watching by whoapower, CC-BY-SA-2.0
TranzAlpine 2011 by Bob Hall, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Waikite hot springs by Monty VanderBilt, CC-BY-SA-2.0