Planning a trip to New Zealand the end of Dec to beginning of January. We are a family of four, my husband and I and our 2 adult children. Any ideas on what we must see during our trip there? Would love to do some sightseeing, outdoor activities, hiking(6 miles or less, no more than 800 feet elevation gain, one person has slight knee problems), kayaking, rafting, snorkeling. Heard there is a rain forest, caverns and glaciers there. Weather mild during that time of the year, but do we still need to pack warm clothes while visiting the glaciers.
My children love animals, so seeing the wildlife and visiting farms are a must do. We also love food, and want to sample local fare.
Any suggestions on where to stay and for how long in each location. Budget open, $175-$275USD. Will probably rent a car for short trips, but don't want to spend all day driving. Are there other forms of transportation between the two islands? Best to start at one end and travel to the other? We can fly in and out of different airports if necessary.