GO NZ: The best eco-friendly family adventures in New Zealand

Covid-19 has given us a chance to reset and reconsider family holiday priorities, writes Alexia Santamaria

As we navigate some of the strangest times we’ll ever see, many of us are looking at travel in different ways. As we continue to explore parts of New Zealand we’ve always wanted to see, we’re thinking about treading lighter, experiencing things that don’t exploit our environment, finding ways to give back and getting closer to nature. This is the beautiful side to the beast that is Covid-19 and many of us are keen to share it with our children, in the hope they will think more along these lines when they plan their own travels in the future. Here are some great eco-friendly domestic experiences you might like to consider when planning your next family getaway.

DOC volunteer days

The Department of Conservation holds one-off volunteer days all around the country. Why not plan your next family holiday around one of these? You could spend a day maintaining tracks, picking up rubbish, planting trees, doing weed control, bird surveying or a range of other activities – and the other days seeing the local attractions. It’s all listed on the site but make sure you get in contact with the local branch to check whether the project is suitable for children (some require a higher level of fitness).
doc.govt.nz/get-involved/volunteer

Carino Wildlife Cruises

Carino are the only company in the Bay of Islands, to be awarded a Responsible Whale Watching Certificate, by international organisation World Cetacean Alliance (the world’s largest marine conservation partnership). Not only do they make sure they do no harm to our beautiful marine life, they actively work with DOC, Auckland and Massey University, Orca Research and Project Island Song on conservation and research efforts. They regularly hold beach clean-ups, actively recycle, use biodegradable or non-toxic cleaning products, use wind power as often as possible and have started a tree-planting program local to them.
wildlifecruises.co.nz

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