New Zealand

Week Two

Arrowtown, New Zealand: Week Two

After our first week in Arrowtown enjoying the local hikes and scenery, week two was filled with activities. We began with a tour of a local school that was so welcoming, they invited the girls join the classroom for a few hours one morning.  We returned a couple days later to see the Haka practice which Angela joined the group in the rehearsal.

Our first organized tour of the week was a with Nomad Safaris in one of their new Tesla SUVs. We rode up beyond the north end of Lake Waikato into the area called Paradise, where the driver surprised us with some hobbit cloaks and replica’s of Sting (The sword from the Hobbit). Our little hobbits excitedly ran through the same forest where several of the movie scenes had been filmed attacking the  ground and the imaginary orcs.

On one rainy day we found the indoor skydiving. which of course the girls can’t wait to go again. Another day we rode the ferry across the lake to visit the Mount Nicolas sheep farm to learn about the Merino wool and watch the sheep dogs in action. On our last day in town we visited the amazing Matakuri Lodge where we toured the property and enjoyed an excellent three course lunch. Matakuri is about 10 minutes drive up the lake from Queenstown, close enough to all the downtown activities, while just far enough away to enjoy some peace and quiet. ISo relaxing to sit in the dining room looking out over the lake up to the surrounding snow capped mountains.

On our final afternoon in the Queenstown area, we rode up the gondala for a few trips down the skyline luge. The luge is an alpine slide, the first one i’ve seen that is set up in more of a race track style format so that you can race down the mountain and pass each other. Even two weeks int he Arrowtown/Queenstown area wasn’t enough time for us to accomplish all we wanted to, definitely a place we will return on a future trip, and hope to stay for even longer. For now though, it was time to move along to the north island.

iFly Skydiving

It is a bit funny that we tried the indoor skydiving after traveling half way around the world rather than simply driving an hour south of our home. However the girls are both still a bit small for some of the more extreme adventure options – the paragliding, bungee jumping, skydiving – when one of the tour guides recommended the indoor option we decided we’d give it a try if we had a rainy day, and we weren’t disappointed. It was fun to watch their skills improve quickly. After just a few tries, both girls were able to fly on their own for short periods of time, and had enough control to spin in each direction. Their instructor who was so good with them, we learned spends his days off jumping from the local moutnain tops in a wingsuit and flying down. 

Preparing for the Wind Tunnel

Emily in Arrowtown

We went on a tour where we dressed up like the Hobbit and got to hold Sting, Bilbo Baggins sword, and ate cookies and banana bread. I really liked that tour. We also went indoor sky diving. It felt like you were flying! After that, we went to a school to watch the kids to a Haka dance. We then got to go to a sheep farm, see the dogs work, and feed treats to the sheep. Any time the dogs came to you, you could pat them, but you couldn’t chase them or they would bite you. We got to go luging but i hated it because it made my arms tired and I got stuck every time.. So make sure you do it with an adult. We also went to a hotel {Matakuri Lodge} and ate a real yummy lunch.  We got to take a tour of it. Angela and I really liked one of the villas. I said Mommy and Daddy could sleep on the floor while Angela and I slept in the beds. Then I decided they could sleep in the beds while Angela and I slept on the sofa thingy.

Straight out of The Hobbit

Angela VI in Arrowtown

Our private Lord of the Rings tour was great – we got to use real swords, wear cloaks. Our guide went real fast in the car on the way back. 

I loved the indoor sky-diving! We would lay on our instructors knee and he would bring us into the wind tunnel where a a bunch of wind would blow us up into the air. Our instructor would keep us from bashing into the walls and falling to the floor. Once, he even balanced me on his head. We went twice and then Ma paid for us to go five more times for my birthday present.

The next day we went to a sheep far and watched the dogs herd sheep and learned all about the farm. We met two people who talked to us during lunch. On the ride back to town we Irish danced for them and then begged mommy and daddy to let us go Luging.

When they finally said yes, daddy dropped us off at the gondola and went to get a parking spot while we went to get tickets. It felt like forever till he got back – when we finally got on the gondolas, I thought I was going to die. When we got into the luge carts, we had to take a little test to make sure we could go alone. On my first time, it was a little scary. On my second time, it was really fun and on my third time, my arms were so tired, I almost didn’t’ make it. On our way back down, we saw many mountain goats. 

Experience New Zealand

There are many ways to experience New Zealand- explore a few of the adventures you can enjoy with some of our Premier Preferred Partners! Contact any of our team members for additional information on any of our partners and to discuss which may be the best option for you.

Private Touring

We’ve arranged for most of our family touring in New Zealand through Southern World.  We like exploring new destinations by all methods of travel – cruising, touring, or on our own. The thing we like best about private custom tours is that we can collaborate with and design our experience exactly the way we want, under the expert guidance of a trusted local operator. 

Southern World has contacts all over both islands of New Zealand. Under their knowlegable guidance we’ve coordinated several day tours as well as chosen cities to serve as our home base while we explore the amazing country. 


There are several options for cruising around the perimeter of New Zealand – Large ship, small ship, expedition. The cruises are a great way to see the sections of the country you may like to return to at a later date. With as long as it takes to get to New Zealand from the States, we recommend also organizing some pre-or post touring to experience the local towns and villages while participating in some of the fun adventure activities available.

Small Group Touring

Taking a tour with a small group provides the opportunity to experience the sites of New Zealand with other like-minded travelers on popular pre-designed itineraries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

Download QR Print QR