5 great school holiday natural experiences.
When you’re young the school holidays can seem to stretch out forever – for better and for worse. It’s true too for parents, with the kids sometimes needing an inspiring journey to alleviate boredom. Make sure they’re a ‘box of birds’ with a quest out into one of New Zealand’s many, many incredible wildlife adventures.
5. Make a day of it.
A day hike out into the wild can be incredibly memorable for the entire family – and beautiful, easily accessible wilderness is something New Zealand has an abundance of. Yes, you may need to talk about Fortnite or ponies a lot with older kids. But there’ll be plenty of time to share the sights and sounds along the way as well.
Remember too to take plenty of snacks and be prepared to take lots of stops. After all, their little legs are often taking two quick steps for every one of yours. If you need further inspiration, check out Outdoor Kid NZ. This great page shows just some of the beautiful walks to take on in the North Island.
4. Walk with the animals, talk with the animals.
With a new Dr Doolittle soon to hit the theatres what better time to do-a-lot with the children at your local zoo (and test out their communication skills in the process).
From Willowbank and Orana Park in Christchurch to the Wellington Zoo and Zealandia, Auckland Zoo, Otorohanga Kiwi House and much, much more, there is truly an incredible range of experiences throughout the country.
3. Take extra care of the environment.
You don’t need a big group, a special day or a corporate t-shirt to help clean up the local rivers, beaches and bush walks. If the children are at primary school age or above a bit of social responsibility while cleaning up rubbish from our many beautiful landscapes can be very fulfilling.
Make sure they’ve got protective gear and are aware of any risks and get stuck in, even if it’s only for an hour or two. Also – while it’s true that ‘hard work is it’s own reward’ there’s also something just as rewarding. Ice cream.
2. Jeepers, peepers!
While close encounters at the zoo or wildlife sanctuary are great so too are times spent watching animals in their natural environments.
Be it watching whales in Kaikoura, little blue penguins in Oamaru, seals in the Caitlins, dolphins in the Bay of Plenty, kiwi on Stewart Island, gannets at Cape Kidnappers or albatross in Dunedin (and many more in between), there is a huge range of nature watching experiences available. And many are free or very cheap too!
1. Discover the beauty within your own backyard.
You don’t have to go far to share a love of the wild with your children – it can be in your backyard, or even on your balcony.
Try making some delicious treats for the local birds or, if you are feeling particularly crafty, a bird bath even. Creating a bug hotel is easy too and the kids could love seeing all the weird and wonderful creepy crawlies so important to a garden’s ecosystem. For more great ideas, check out our tips here.
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