Winter holidays: 7 great ideas for a short getaway in New Zealand

Had enough of winter already? Head to one of New Zealand’s 31 regions for a quick getaway, writes Anna King Shahab

1. Nelson Tasman

Set off on a family adventure around Golden Bay. Beginning with the legendary drive over Tākaka Hill, stop off at Ngarua Caves to let everyone stretch their legs and admire the stalactites and stalagmites. Then it’s an easy forest walk to the absurdly clear water of Te Waikoropupū Springs. Call in for an early dinner at The Mussel Inn and you might catch some live music if you’re lucky.

Wharariki Holiday Park is a good base from which to explore Wharariki Beach — sand dune sliding aplenty, and Puponga Beach, by horseback if you fancy.

Hop aboard a tour of Farewell Spit to give the kids an impressive eyeful of oystercatchers, gannets and seal pups. Take a guided kayak tour from Tata Beach around the islands just offshore — look for playful seals, shags and penguins as you paddle out to the head of the Abel Tasman National Park. Opt to relax on Tata Beach for the afternoon, or if the kids are game, nearby Wainui Falls are a one-hour return walk, with swing bridges to keep the excitement levels high.

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