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Trip List by hongkongflewie

NZ North Island Adventures

18 Feb 2008  family with 6 year old twins
4.0 of 5 stars based on 3 votes

Adventures we did on a 2 week trip to the North Island of New Zealand

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Ngongotaha, Waitomo Caves, Auckland
  • Category: Recent trip
  • Appeals to: Families with small children
  • Seasons: Summer
  • 1. Waiau Waterworks

    An engineer property with a gorgeous swimming creek running through it. On it he built all kinds of water powered and fun things, from bikes that make you feel like you are flying to a clock powered by water. There are two fast zip lines too.

  • 2. Sea Kayaking at Hahei/Cathedral Cove

    around islands, through caves, up to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world for a drink and a swim. Jumped off a rock.

  • 3. Blokart Heaven

    Racing around a track in a kart with a sail. A cross between go-kart and sailing. A blast. This was one of the few activities the kids had to watch though. I think you need to be 8, but it was so windy that day that they wanted only 12 years and above.

  • 4. Zorb Rotorua
    Zorb Rotorua, Ngongotaha, Rotorua District, Bay of Plenty Region

  • 5. Luging downhill

    There are 3 courses downhill, scenic, intermediate and advanced. The courses are long too and the views are beautiful.

  • 6. Sledging and Rafting near Rotorua

    This is the same company used in tv show Amazing Race. Husband did morning sledge and afternoon raft. The kids and I did a Maori tour in the morning then hiked the Okere falls. Our timing was perfect. We were able to see dad come over a huge waterfall, then hiked 10 minutes more and caught him coming over a second one. We were able to wave to him afterwards.

  • 7. Huka Falls Jet Boating Taupo

    Great adrenline, but amazingly comfortable too. Did 360s and raced to a waterfall. Heard that RapidsJet is even more adrenline.

  • 8. Aratiatia Dam, rapids

    They release the water from this dam several times a day. Watch a scenic rocky wateway turn into a rushing white water rush. Some fantasitic photos. We hiked 10 minutes downstream from the dam to get to a lookout spot back to the dam.

  • 9. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland

    A hike through a volcanic thermal reserve. Our kids thought it was dangerous-cool to walk on boardwalks over boiling pools with NO RAILINGs. The place is eerie, cool and pretty all at the same time. There are 3 levels to the hike. We managed to do all three.

  • 10. Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours
    Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours, Waitomo Caves, Waikato Region

    We had read bad reviews of the main gloworm operation in town that handles the busloads of tourist. Spellbound takes small groups only. You get in a van to a cave that is so pretty it could be the attraction itself. THere you get helmets and walk in until you get to araft. They take you down river in pitch dark, but he worms glo overhead. Then after a drink and a cookie, they take you to another cave with great formation, bones and features. The guides were beyond excellent. My 6 year said it was the most interesting part of her life. HIGHLY recommend this company.

  • 11. Billy Blacks Kiwi Culture show

    There were only 6 of us in the audience and my husband was a bit weary as it seemed a bit too touristy. But at the end, we were all laughing and enjoying ourselves. Talks about lumbering and settling NZ and sheep and animals. Lots of stage participation.
    It's located on a motel of airplane, boat, hobbit house and train. We stayed in the plane, which was very cool.

  • 12. Ruakuri Walk

    Best hike we did in NZ. Beautiful woods, caves to walk through and along a great stream. Was easy with young kids. Can do at night with flahlights to see gloworms too.

  • 13. Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World
    Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, Auckland

    We snorkeled IN THE AQUARIUM. PRobabably our favorite adventure of the trip. We were waving to the tourists going through the clear tunnel. The turtles, eels, fish and stingrays were used to people so we were able to touch them. It was also great to see behind the scenes.

  • 14. The Rock Overnight Boat

    This was many adventures in one. It's a floating hostel great for families, single backpackers, and older couples too. We started out by having a shooting contest at a plastic duck, first time for my kids. Then we did fishing --catch and release or keep if big. We caught SO many fish. Then a bbq and a night kayak to see phosporus algea glow at night (not to mention the stars)
    THe next day we spotted a huge pod of dolphins and a penguin and then went to a gorgeous island where we snorkeled, hiked barefoot through soft grass to the top and had a picnic. The hosts and staff were amazing!

  • 15. Swim with Dolphins

    We were a bit sad that the pod we found had a baby in it, so we couldn't get in the water. But we got very close and the animals were amazing. We'd do it again for the chance to get in with them.

  • 16. Pakiri Beach Horse Ride

    It was pouring rain. We wanted to cancel, but didn't think we could and were hoping the weather would break as we drove out there. The weather didn't break and we almost canceled (they said we could) But we are soooo glad our 6 years said let's go and get drenched. Our 6 year olds were on their own horses. We rode through a river, through a forest onto the beach. On the way back we galloped through increbible sand dunes. Our kids were laughing and giggling the whole way. It turned out to be a favorite of the trip. And it stopped raining just as we got back to the stable.

  • 17. Snorkeling at Goat Island Marine Reserve

    The rain had broken after horse back riding and we were driving close to the reserve so we stopped. Husband and son had a great time snorkeling, while my daughter and I explored tide pools and could see tons of fish right from the rocks. Very scenic too.

  • 18. Auckland America Cup Sailing

    Last adventure kids couldn't do. But dad went while we went to Parnell and at a chocolate boutique. It was actually too windy that day to take the AMerica cup boat, so they took an alternate. Was worried husband would be uspset, but opposite, the boat was even faster in that type of wind and he was able to help sail the boat as much as he wanted to.

  • 19. Skytower Auckland

    The price is highway robbery. But since we were there we figured we should do it. The one cool part is part of the floor is plexiglass. You can walk over it and look straight down. It was an appropriate end to our tour.