Family trip to New Zealand with some hunting mixed in recommendations


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Mar 21, 2017
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Begining the process of researching ideas for a trip for March 2025. There will be 6 of us, my family: wife, son (14), daughter (10), and my inlaws both in their 70's in great physical shape.
Would like ideas for an outfitter to do some hunting as well as ideas for family outtings/excursions. My son, daughter, father-in-law, and I will likely all do some hunting mixed in with family outings. We will be there 10-12 days.

Anyone who's taken your family over with an outfitter, I would love to hear about your experiences. What you liked, disliked, and what you would do different.
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Would like to spend 4 days on the north island sight seeing/family outtings and 6-8 days on the south island hunting with some family outtings.
In 2016 We did something similar though just my wife and me. Esplanade Travel did the arrangements as they had traveled a lot to New Zealand. We hunted with Wilderness Quest who is now owned by Monarch. Zion Pilgrim was our contact. I think a lot of the hunting outfits would be happy to help you with an itinerary. We were in country 19 days.

One thing our travel agent suggested and I'm glad we did was fly all the way to the South Island as part of our fly over from the states. It was already a long day just get it over with. Then we traveled and hunted our way back north to Auckland. Here's our rough Itinerary:

2 days Dunedin
3 days Queenstown
1 night Bruce Bay
7 nights hunting (NW South Island)
6 days north island: Hobitton seeing other sights and visiting a friend from Zimbabwe

Also, if you haven't driven on the left side of the road it can be a bit daunting. We limited my driving to day time whenever possible.

If you want to see Milford Sound - do the bus ride there and the flight back otherwise the bus ride round trip is close to 12 hours. We flew back and well worth the $'s.

Here's a link to my report.
North island - Auckland, Waitomo caves, Rotorua. Time permitting Taupo.

South Island - Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound by air.

Greater Queenstown has something for everyone from gold panning to bungee jumping.
Spent over four months in New Zealand in 2017. Best time of my life... hiked the length of the South Island on the Te Araroa Trail (well, minus the paved roads).

Not a huge fan of Queenstown. Very, very beautiful but super touristy. Te Anau (far end of the lake) was much prettier and low key. Wanaka is relatively close by and the views from the mountains at the top of the surrounding mountains were some of the best of the trail.

Go to Wellington instead of Auckland. More interesting, authentically New Zealand city, and then you can take the ferry across to the South Island (or vice versa).

The route south from Highway One from Christchurch to Dunedin (and farther south) is stunning. Mountains on the inland side, the Pacific Ocean on the other.
Havn't hunted there with family in tow, but took wife and son with me on a work trip, with some touring tacked on - not sure if your 10yo is a LOTR fan - ours was at the time and he got the Lat / Long co-ords for a lot of the sites from the films and we checked them out. Was a bit boring for dad ;) but TYB loved it - he was prob 10 or so then.

Not that I'm a McDonalds customer - but, being a bit of a plane nerd, it was cool to eat a cheeseburger in a DC-3

Taupo area is beautiful.

I enjoyed visiting Napier and seeing all the Art-Deco period buildings from the reconstructions after the 1931 quake.

Spent a night in jail in Christchurch after a hunting trip

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