With Winter well & truly upon us, it’s the time of year when a lot of New Zealanders scratch their heads and wonder what things they can do that will keep the whole family busy and active over these chilly months.
Here at Bachcare, we’re here to help! As experts in all things Kiwi, we’ve carefully devised a list of our Top 10 Things To Do, to get you off the couch and out exploring our stunning backyard. So sit back, prepare your scrolling finger, and let’s get a winter game plan sorted with Bachcare.
New Zealand has a whopping 24 ski fields to offer, ranging from beginner slopes to expert mountains. As such an active and outdoorsy country, it’s no surprise that New Zealanders embrace the sheer number of ski area’s, but also the scenery on offer when you’re cruising down the mountain. And who can blame us when there is such a diverse range of ski fields across the country? In the North Island, you can ski down Mt Ruapehu an active volcano, while the middle of the South Island has more alpine parrots hitting the slopes than people.
The ski field is also a great place to meet people from all over the world, such as those from the Northern Hemisphere chasing winter or the locals who can’t resist strapping on their skis every year. On the other hand, if hurtling down a mountain isn’t your thing, then you can enjoy the winter wonderland from the comfort of a cosy hot pool.
If you prefer to soak up the heat from a natural geothermic hot pool this winter, then look no further then the beautiful city of Rotorua. This time of year is perfect for bringing the family along to one of many hot pools in the region for a full days soaking, plus there are often kids pools to entertain the little ones!
There is a huge range of options due to the high volcanic activity in the region. So whether you are looking for a family-friendly hot pool or a romantic hot tub with your nearest and dearest, Rotorua has you covered on all fronts.
3 – HEAD TO THE RUGBY
If you’re already a rugby fan, you’ll know that Winter means the epic rugby season kicks off here in NZ. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know that kiwis can’t get enough of the sport and turn out in droves to head to a game with their good friends.
So whether you’re an Auckland resident looking to head to Eden Park for an All Blacks game, Westpac stadium in the windy city of Wellington, or FMG stadium in the mighty Waikato, there is a stadium in every major region to enjoy (just make sure to wrap up before you head out).
Luckily for New Zealanders, there are tonnes of local events and festivals to keep the whole family busy over the winter weekends. If you prefer the South, why not shoot down to Oamaru for the annual Steampunk Festival. If you’re an avid movie watcher, then check out the New Zealand International Film Festival as they host events all up and down the country to showcase NZ’s greatest homegrown films.
If writing is your thing, then get inspired by an incredible line up of authors at the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival. If you haven’t gathered already, there is an artisan event to suit everyone’s tastes, so make sure to check them out with the family.
Who doesn’t love food, especially in Winter when we’re layered up and ready to warm our stomachs? New Zealand has a lot to offer in the space of food events. The iconic Hawkes Bay, Wine & Food Classic Festival has everything; gourmet foods and wines to match.
If you’re more of a sweet tooth, you’re in luck! Chocoholics from all over the country flock to Dunedin’s Cadbury Chocolate Carnival every year to taste an array of sweet treats. And If you are a city dweller, you’ll be glad to know that Auckland’s Restaurant Month kicks off on the 1st of August that offers great specials for eateries all over the city.
Looking to improve your Winter wardrobe and stay on trend with NZ’s fast-paced fashion industry? Held at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, New Zealand Fashion Week is when the public is invited to the biggest week of the sartorial calendar! Offering an early glimpse at key trends and Spring/Summer collections from some of our country’s most beloved designers and brands.
This event is held over from the 28th of August to the 3rd September 2018 and offers an action-packed week of catwalks, off-site events around the city and designers discussing their inspiration. With around 30,000 people attending annually, it’s a great option to get you and the family out and about these Winter months.
Milford Sound is by far the best known of all of the NZ tourist destinations. Visitors to Milford Sound will not be disappointed – it is truly spectacular, with scenery that has remained unchanged throughout the ages. Being one of the most iconic scenes of New Zealand, the region clocks in close to 1 million visitors a year.
Some buzz in through helicopters and scenic flights, and about 14,000 people each year arrive by foot via the Milford Track. But most drive through in cars or travel in the comfort of daily coaches from Queenstown or Te Aanau. If you’re in the South Island this winter, make sure to check it out!
Yes, it may be winter but don’t discount a day at the beach. New Zealand’s coastline is spectacular and a windy walk along some of the stunning beaches followed by a cosy campfire is not to be missed. Another bonus is you also escape the summer crowds and can often have the beach all to yourself!
With 15,000 kilometres of coastline, New Zealand is heaven for beach-lovers. Its diverse shores dish up everything from lazy days and blazing sunsets, to active adventures. Regardless of the temperature of the water, there are also plenty of walks nearby and the sunsets remain spectacular (although a little earlier than summer).
Sperm whales hang around the Kaikoura coast all year round, gorging themselves in its squid-rich waters. Kaikōura is also by many migrating whales, like the humpback whales, pilot whales, blue whales and southern right whales.
During the months of June – August, humpback whales leave the cool Antarctic waters for the winter period and head further north to the warmer tropical waters of places like Tonga and Australia, stopping off in Kaikōura on their way for a rest before continuing on their huge journey (if your looking for local Melbourne tours in Australia, check out Around & About).
So June to August is the best time to see them, with the bonus of snow-capped mountain scenery.
New Zealand is home to the darkest skies in the world! Recently, 4,300 square kilometres of New Zealand’s South Island was recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve, the largest reserve of this type worldwide. Covering much of the Aoraki/Mount Cook Mackenzie region, the Dark Sky Reserve has been labelled as ‘one of the best stargazing sites on earth’.
Take the time to look up, study the galaxies and stars, and feel connected to the awesome history of the universe. Keen stargazers will see amazing constellations that can only be seen in the southern hemisphere, including the Southern Cross, to the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way.