There is no doubt this year has been a challenging one. Thankfully things are looking a lot brighter and it's time to start thinking about reconnecting with the people we love all over the country. Maybe you're finally going to meet your new nephew, or get to give your Mum and Dad a big fat overdue hug, or catch up with your friend who had to put wedding plans on hold this year (thanks Delta!) It's pretty damn exciting. Many Kiwis will be heading out of town to see family and friends this summer, so why not combine it with doing something new as a group? What could be better than your kids ziplining with their cousins, or you soaking in an Onsen in Queenstown with your bestie?
Here are some suggestions on how to combine catch ups with fun, thanks to packages Stuff have carefully curated - based on what our readers tell us they love. By paying the one upfront price for car hire, accommodation and some entrance fees you'll save money and not spend half your trip trying to work out what to do. So sit back, relax and enjoy some of these must-do travel packages in NZ this summer:
It's jet-boating time over Lake Wakatipu.
Lake action in Queenstown
Five days in and around Queenstown, where do we sign up? This trip is the perfect self-drive tour to combine with seeing family. It includes a stunning road trip to Glenorchy, a thrilling jet boat ride and plenty of time to relax and take in the views from your hotel set above Lake Wakatipu. There are lots of suggestions in our guide but you can do as little - or as much - as you want.
Bike through the Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest.
Central North Island Magic
This four day self drive family adventure has a little bit of everything. Ziplining through the forest canopy on an award-winning eco tour, mountain biking through the gorgeous Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest, relaxing in a hidden geothermal hotspot after a cruise on Lake Rotoiti and ending every day unwinding in luxury in four star hotels. The perfect mix of action, adventure and relaxation to keep everyone happy.
Take your non-lockdown picnic to new heights.
See Fiordland like you've never seen it before
This trip is one for those folks who've been there and done it all. Striking summits, remote fiords, cruising one of our most famous sounds, helicoptering over rainforests and valleys and gourmet picnics in places other people can't access are just some of the highlights of this four day self-guided tour.
Have a drink and enjoy Auckland's vibrant citylife.
Living it up in the big smoke
If you're based in Auckland and have family visiting you this five day adventure will keep everyone happy. Head up the Skytower, cruise historical Devonport on a Segway, have your mind blown at Weta Workshop Unleashed, check out the Maritime Museum, Kelly Tarlton's and the All Black Experience and stay in the centre of the city all for the one package price. That's a lot of fun for just five days.
Get inspiration from other people's houses and gardens.
House and Garden love
Got members of your whanau who love to get inspiration from other people's houses and gardens? The 2022 NZ House & Garden Tours are where you need to take them. Choose from three day self-drive packages in either Nelson, Manawatu, or Wanaka and enjoy tickets to the NZ House & Garden tour for that area, premium accommodation, a three course welcome dinner, a full breakfast each day, three day car hire and plenty of time for you to explore other things around your chosen region.
Eat, drink, and be merry in Queenstown and Fiordland.
Queenstown & Fiordland Adventure
Combine the epic Queenstown Lakes and Fiordland on this adventure and see why people flock from all over the world to this part of the country. Take a road trip to Glenorchy; a thrilling jet boat ride; see Milford Sound; eat, drink, be merry and spend hours just gazing at the million dollar views from your accommodation.
Take a dip in the onsen pools in Queenstown.
Surely if there was ever a year when we all need some serious relaxation it's this one. And if you're in Queenstown the Onsen Hot Pools are where you need to get it. Combining the therapeutic benefits of hot water to relax your body with the visual power of some of the best views in the country to relax your mind, this is a must-do. The pools sit high on a cliffside overlooking the Shotover River and breathtaking alpine vistas. You can control the temperature of the spa and there's a retractable front wall and roof - the ultimate soak with a view.
So no matter who you are and what your family is into, we have a large selection of packages for every budget, duration, and destination - our experts really know the best of New Zealand. Save yourself hours of research (and a bit of cash too) by letting us do all the hard work. These self-drive tours are the perfect balance of some organisation and enough freedom to explore destinations on your own. Visit new places and sights you have never seen, or revisit regions you all went to years ago, either way it will be magical.
For more information or to book visit the Stuff Travel bookings website or call 0800 767 021.