Escape with the kids this Spring
Posted on Monday 9 September 2019
For some, it is hard to fathom that the words travel and children could ever go hand in hand; two seemingly uncontrollable variables that many parents prefer not to intertwine. But for others, travelling together is a priceless opportunity to be seized at every turn.
Nelson Tasman is a much-loved holiday destination for many New Zealander’s, with family traditions often spanning back through the generations. The nostalgia of days gone by awaken a sense of connection amongst returning visitors, recounting days spent out on the water and mornings spent chasing the sunrise.
Nestled amongst rolling hills and a sweeping coastline are a range of activities and accommodation options designed to cater to all ages, and despite the varied landscapes that stretch from the city through to the bay, everything in Nelson Tasman is surprisingly close. It’s only an hour’s drive from the airport to the golden sands of the Abel Tasman National Park, and only a short walk from the central city to one of the country’s most stunning vantage points. With over 400 flights touching down in the region each week, parents can rejoice in the fact that there are minimal opportunities for the dreaded “are we there yet?” question to leave anyone’s lips.
Kaiteriteri Lagoon | Photo: Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve
Where To Stay
Nelson Tasman has no shortage of options that tick all the boxes for travelling families. An itinerary that makes the most of the stunning landscapes, abundant activities and intriguing wildlife in the Abel Tasman National Park is catered to by a vast range of accommodation options. A spacious room with rustic charm spans over two levels at Awaroa Lodge, and is ideally located for an early morning adventure in the park. Meanwhile, Kaiteriteri and Marahau, also referred to as ‘gateways to paradise’, offer more convenience for families seeking vehicle access and the ability to come and go as you please. Whether you choose to base yourselves in the waterfront apartments or the more modest campgrounds, the idyllic seaside setting is guaranteed to be a hit.
Closer to the city, Tahuna Beach Holiday Park is surrounded by one of the most epic outdoor playgrounds imaginable. Right on the doorstep of your apartment motel you’ll find a place designed to entertain the kids for hours on end, with a go-kart track, trampoline park, laser tag course, a hydroslide, bumper boats, mini golf, and even a zoo!
Tahunanui Fun Park
What To Do
Rolling hills and valleys, a sweeping golden coastline, three national parks and a thriving marine environment combine to create an extraordinary setting in which to awaken a child’s curiosity and instil in them a love for adventure. Activities on the water are abundant, with options to suit all ages; a canyoning trip for the teenagers, a wildlife tour for the kiddies, or an indulgent sailing experience for the adults.
Beyond the pristine waters of Tasman Bay, you’ll find a wealth of opportunities to embrace new experiences and create shared memories with loved ones. Leisurely cycle routes such as Tasman's Great Taste Trail take riders on a journey to some of the region’s most famed scenic attractions, passing vineyards, beaches, galleries, tunnels and shipwrecks. Able to be broken up into smaller sections suitable for little riders, you can easily indulge in the region’s great tastes, whether that is interpreted as a cheeky cellar door visit, a quick dip at the Mapua Wharf or a family picnic in an idyllic setting.
A short distance from Nelson City is an adventure park like no other, where children both big and small can revel in the delight of horse-riding, mud-rides, quad-biking, a skywire and more. But if outdoor adventures don’t appeal to your taste, perhaps a visit to Pic’s Peanut Butter World could be on the cards. Attempt to make your own delicious spread, or simply watch as the world’s most-loved peanut butter is roasted, ground, pumped and sealed in the factory below.
Tasman's Great Taste Trail | Photo: Chocolate Dog Photography
Where To Eat
Nelson Tasman has no shortage of quick, easy meals to satisfy rumbling tummies, and delicious selections of artisanal wine and craft beer are always on hand to quench the thirst resulting from a busy day out.
Sprig and Fern and The Mussel Inn are renowned for their laid-back, family-friendly vibe (as well as for their artisanal beverages), with their iconic taverns replacing cell-phones, TV’s and WiFi with live music and board games. Similarly, the Jester House is a whimsical world of giant chess boards, eel-feeding, mazes and mosaics designed to keep the children entertained in an alfresco dining setting.
Waterfront dining is an excellent choice for parents who desire a relaxing evening by the sea, sipping on a glass of bubbly and watching as the children play happily nearby. Giant burgers and mini-golf in Kaiteriteri, seafood and sandcastles in Marahau, or wine-bars and wharf-jumping in Mapua; the choices are endless.
Dining at The Mussel Inn