New Zealand with Kids: Canterbury to Otago

IMG_7372From Auckland, we flew to Christchurch, rented a car, and drove around the South Island.  We started with a scenic drive through Canterbury to Otago, past snow-covered mountains, deep river gorges, pristine lakes, and vineyards.  When our kids began getting a little restless in the car, we gave them maps we had picked up at a Visitors Center.  They had fun participating in the travel planning by choosing a few activities and places they wanted to stop along the way.

IMG_7373Just south of Twizel past Lake Pukaki, we stopped at High Country Salmon.  The kids got to feed the farm-raised salmon for free, and we bought some delicious smoked salmon for a snack.  We continued our drive into Cromwell, where we stopped for lunch at a quaint cafe and farmers market store.

IMG_7455My daughters chose gold mining along the Kawarau Gorge as one of their activities.  While they explored the former gold miners colony at Goldfields Mining Centre, learned a bit about the history of gold mining in the area, and panned for gold, I walked through the gardens, perused the Wild Earth Wines cafe, and sat in comfortable cushioned chair by a stone fireplace reading a book with the owners’ friendly golden labs at my feet.  I’m not sure which my daughters liked best – panning for gold or petting the two friendly dogs who greeted them and gave them a warm snuggle.

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