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The Southern Lakes region is the ideal destination to stretch out your summer, and it’s perfect for a long weekend for the whole family. Make the most of the warm weather and take advantage of the region’s stunning lakes. There is also an extraordinary range of adventure activities and fabulous family fun to be had here. This is a region that delivers the goods, no matter what sort of holiday you’re after.
The first place to check out is Queenstown’s lake, and its special lady – the TSS Earnslaw. Cruise Lake Wakatipu on this steam ship and explore the steamer’s decks and bridge and look down into the engine room. You can also combine your cruise with a guided visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you can feed the animals, watch the shearing demonstrations on a farm tour, enjoy a horse trek that leads to incredible views or take a heritage excursion.
Inject a bit of adrenalin into your holiday with a family rafting or jet-boat trip – after all, Queenstown is the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’. Hop on board a jet boat and zoom down the Shotover River, or choose one of the white-water options available. Every level is catered for, with something for young families (three years is the minimum age) and thrill-seekers alike.
Visit picture-perfect Arrowtown for the chance to strike it big. The kids will love visiting the Lakes District Museum and hiring a gold pan to try their luck down at the Arrow River. If striking gold remains elusive, have the togs on stand-by. You can always find a swimming hole to cool off in instead!For an option on dry land, you can’t beat Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World in Wanaka. See buildings that lean at impossible angles, then explore the modern-style maze. Once you’ve completed that challenge (or given up and headed to the exit) there’s the Illusion Rooms with amazing 3D holograms and the Hall of Following Faces, where 68 giant, famous eyes follow you around the room. This is great-value family fun where both adults and children are sure to be highly entertained.