Mothers Day Destinations in New Zealand

There are many ways to treat mum to an inspiring Mother’s Day – it’s just a matter of choosing which direction to head. From majestic waterfalls to geothermal pools, boutique wineries and delicious markets, New Zealand has mum covered for all manner of well-deserved getaway. We’ve listed three of our top destination picks that tick every box.


Otumuheke Spa Park
Otumuheke Spa Park

In the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, you’ll find an accessible wonderland for the nature lover. The Taupō region is a stunning volcanic area inside the lush caldera of the Taupō Volcano with spectacular waterfalls, geothermal pools and volcanic landscapes. At the centre is vast Lake Taupō, formed in an explosion almost two thousand years ago, and now a sparkling oasis teeming with rainbow trout and the Otumuheke Spa Park.

Treat mum to a scenic cruise around the secluded bays of Lake Taupō and see the impressive 14-metre high ancient Māori rock carvings at Mine Bay. Adventure more her style? Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting or a white-knuckled jet boat ride and afterwards, enjoy a relaxing soak in the magical, mineral waters of one of Taupō’s geothermal hot pools

Nearby Huka Falls is another breath-taking must-see. From the viewing footbridge above, marvel at this incredible force of nature as the Waikato River thunders through a narrow volcanic gorge before rushing over the falls into the pool 11m below. You can also see the falls below from a jet boat or a river cruise, or pack a picnic and explore the nearby walking trails on foot. 

How to get there and where to stay

Taupō is 3hrs and 20min south of Auckland and 5 hours north of Wellington. A bus service runs from Auckland to Taupō. There’s also a small airport in Taupō, with daily flights from Auckland and Wellington. Places to stay include self-contained villas in landscaped grounds at Quality Suites Huka Falls, a 20-minute drive from Taupō airport.


Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson
Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson

Known for its sublime golden beaches and crystal clear lakes, the Nelson Tasman region at the top of the South Island has one of the sunniest climates of all New Zealand, earning the nickname ‘Sunny Nelson’. Gateway to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park, the Nelson region is also home to the rugged alpine Nelson Lakes National Park, and the ancient Kahurangi National Park, all within a 90-minute drive of the city.

Nelson is also renowned for its thriving creative culture, with bustling galleries, museums and art and craft markets. Treat mum to a visit of the open-air museum at Founders Park where she can explore quaint streets lined with heritage buildings set in beautiful, established gardens. You’ll also find art and crafts at Nelson Market, every Saturday in Montgomery Square, as well as delicious food from all over the world.

The rich, fertile soils and sundrenched climate of the region produces outstanding local produce as well as handcrafted beers and wine. In fact, Nelson is considered the craft brewing capital of New Zealand. Explore Nelson’s boutique wineries and meet the winemakers at their cellar doors, or enjoy alfresco dining amid colourful planter boxes and the occasional live street performance at Nelson’s dining precinct on leafy Upper Trafalgar Street

How to get there and where to stay

Nelson is a five hour drive northwest of Christchurch and 1.5 hours west of Picton. You can catch a ferry from Wellington to Picton and drive to Nelson. Buses also run from Christchurch and Picton to Nelson. Places to stay include The Honest Lawyer, a charming English country pub and hotel with picturesque views.


Known as ‘The City of Water and Light’ due to the long, lingering summer days, the Aurora Australis lighting up the night sky, and its setting on the Waihopai River estuary, Invercargill is a charming and friendly city at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island.

With its grand Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco heritage buildings, Invercargill has a charming old-world feel. Stroll the tree-lined boulevards of Queens Park, an expansive 80 hectares of beautifully kept gardens, wildlife habitats and playgrounds. There’s also an impressive bird aviary, farmyard area and animal enclosures.

Enjoy some pure New Zealand indulgence at the award-winning Seriously Good Chocolate Company, with their handmade boutique chocolates and decadent chocolate bombs. There are even wine and beer-infused delicacies for the grown-ups. Learn the secrets of how they craft their gourmet goodies in a bespoke chocolate-making class, or take a tour to see the chocolate makers in action.

How to get there and where to stay

Invercargill is 2hrs and 15 min south of Queenstown and 7 hours south of Christchurch. You can fly into Queenstown International Airport from Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington as well as most Australian capital cities. Buses also run between Queenstown, Christchurch and Invercargill. Places to stay include the well-appointed Comfort Inn Tayesta, centrally located close to the CBD.

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