Courtesy Ahipara Luxury Travel
What do you do with kids who hate being distracted from their digital toys?
Whether North Island or South Island, New Zealand has the high-adrenaline adventures to pry kids’ eyes away from their electronics and get them to see that family time can be fun. Nothing will get their attention like a big Maori pōwhiri welcome at Blake House, including warriors wielding ceremonial weapons. At this luxury wilderness retreat in the heart of a 16,000-acre North Island estate, parents can sleep in the main lodge while teens spend the night in the tented Safari Camp, although everyone’s days are spent together outdoors (64-7-384-2080; from $740 per person, all-inclusive). On the South Island, Queenstown is the hub for extreme sports, including bungee jumping, jetboating, and white-water rafting. The Heritage Apartments have three bedrooms, so everyone can have some alone time (64-3-450-1500; $350 per night). For real-cool-parent cred, take them on a chopper flight with Ahipara Luxury Travel over the glacier-scoured mountains and valleys of Fjordland National Park, whose landscapes starred in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (64-3-447-3558; flights from $1,000).
New Zealand’s summer (November through March) is ideal, but New Year’s fills up quickly.
You Might Also ConsiderNorthern Thailand’s Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa has an on-site elephant camp where guests learn to “drive” these intelligent behemoths with a series of gentle commands, then clamber atop their necks for a trek through the bamboo forest and to help their mahouts bathe them along the riverbank. Off-site options include longtail boat rides on the Mekong River and hill tribe handicrafts and food (local specialties like stir-fried crickets are sure to thrill even the most jaded) at Chiang Rai’s sprawling Night Market (66-53-784-084; doubles from $1,200).