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Non-Skiers' Family Holiday In Christchurch’s Backyard

Credit: Bare Kiwi

The Ultimate Winter Family Holiday Is More Than Skis And Snowboards

Let’s face it, not everyone thinks of getting on a snowboard or pair of skis as soon as the temperatures start to drop. Yes, the sports are synonymous with winter, but the season offers so much more, especially in Canterbury.

Round up the kids, the parents, the grandparents for goodness sake – your mid-year family getaway is about to get much cooler. Geothermal hot pools, ice skating, snow tubing – even an award-winning playground – get out there and explore more.

Inner city family adventure, Christchurch

When you think of a CBD, fancy buildings and suited-up office workers may come to mind. But Ōtautahi Christchurch’s inner city is so much more than that. Look closely and you’ll discover family-friendly adventures at every turn! Let the kids run wild at the iconic Margaret Mahy Playground, race them down the Avon River in a paddleboat or kayak, or hop on a tram just like the olden days.

Snowy fun without the skis in Tekapo Springs, Mackenzie

Tekapo Springs is an unparalleled mix of relaxation and recreation, with supreme views of Lake Tekapo’s vivid turquoise waters and snow-capped mountains. Breathe in the pure alpine air as you race the family down a 150-metre slope in a snow tube, or glide across an international-sized outdoor ice-skating rink. Follow it up with a soak in a steaming lakeside hot pool to soothe those tired muscles.

Alpine adventures in Hanmer Springs, Hurunui

Take the kids to Hanmer Springs and they’ll be happy all day, every day of your family getaway. Quad biking, walking and cycling tracks, mini golf, rockets, horse trekking and an aqua wonderland filled with geothermal hot pools and hydroslides – this Hurunui alpine village truly has it all, and it’s only a 90-minute drive north of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Soak away the snow day in Methven, Mid Canterbury

This alpine township buzzes with activity in winter as a base for Mt Hutt skiers and snowboarders. But the Mid Canterbury town is becoming a year-round destination for relaxation, with Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa at its centre, complete with the country’s best swim-up bar! Up for an adventure? Get the blood pumping driving a UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) on a purpose-built farm track just outside Methven – perfect for kids 7+.

Epic trails near huge mountains, Mackenzie

So you don’t want to head up the mountain, but do want to have an adventure? The Central South Island is stacked with amazing walks and hikes, with a whole heap of them in Mackenzie. Venture down the Hooker Valley Track, along boardwalks and over swing bridges to a glacier lake, or take a peninsula walk just north of Lake Tekapo with huge views of the water. The Mackenzie Region is the perfect place to explore winter.