12 min read

Blog 44: Nature's Playground: A Family Expedition Across New Zealand's South Island

Embark on the ultimate family adventure with Nature's Playground! Join our journey across New Zealand's South Island, where awe-inspiring landscapes, exhilarating experiences, and everlasting memories await. Dive into a voyage of discovery, exploration, and personal growth.
Blog 44: Nature's Playground: A Family Expedition Across New Zealand's  South Island
Photo by Ed and Mukti Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Embark on the ultimate family adventure with Nature's Playground! Join our journey across New Zealand's South Island, where awe-inspiring landscapes, exhilarating experiences, and everlasting memories await. Dive into a voyage of discovery, exploration, and personal growth as we immerse ourselves in the heart of nature's playground. Let's create unforgettable moments and uncover the magic of the great outdoors together!


Photo by Ed Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Welcome to Nature's Playground: A Family Expedition Across New Zealand's South Island! Embark on a journey of 10 days of enchantment as we wonder about the vivid landscapes of Christchurch and Queenstown. Explore the serene Botanic Gardens and whimsical Avon River punt rides in Christchurch, where every moment blooms with possibility. Then, venture to the awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier, tranquil Lake Wakatipu, and charming Glenorchy, get lost in Puzzle World and immerse yourself in nature's transformative embrace. With a focus on fostering familial bonds and personal growth, join me on this adventure of a lifetime amidst the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand.

Things to do in New Zealand


 The Garden City Blooms with Possibilities

Photos by Ruben and Veronica Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Welcome to Christchurch, the Garden City, where every corner is adorned with nature's finest. Begin your journey by strolling through the exquisite Christchurch Botanic Gardens, where the air is filled with the melody of nature. Amidst fragrant blooms and vibrant colours, immerse yourself in the beauty of this botanical paradise. Remember to elevate your experience with a ride on the iconic Christchurch Gondola, offering panoramic views of the city and beyond. Complete your adventure with a whimsical punt ride along the Avon River, weaving beneath weeping willows and charming bridges, crafting memories to last a lifetime.

Photo by Ed Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Elmer's Ōtautahi Elephant Trail

Photo by Ed Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

We recently embarked on an exciting journey exploring the Elmer's Ōtautahi Elephant Trail in Christchurch. With 30 beautifully crafted elephants scattered around town, each one a masterpiece of art and imagination, our family set out to find as many as we could.

Armed with curiosity and fuelled by discovery, the kids led the way, their eyes alight with excitement. We marvelled at the diverse designs, from vibrant patterns to intricate details, each elephant telling its unique story.

 Though we only uncovered some, the joy of the hunt and the delight of spotting our favourites made our adventure unforgettable. More than just fun, the trail provided a valuable learning experience, sparking curiosity and creativity in our children.

As we reflect on our journey, we're reminded of the magic of exploration and the joy of discovery. Here's to embracing curiosity, igniting imagination, and creating cherished memories together.

Exploring Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Photo by Ed and Mukti Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Join us on a captivating journey to Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand's awe-inspiring marvel, even in the warmth of summer! As a wellness coach, I cherish nature's transformative power. Our expedition was a testament to resilience and beauty as we explored ancient landscapes. Despite exhaustion from hours of driving, witnessing the glacier's majesty reminded us of our capacity for growth. Let's embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and cherish moments of awe and wonder. Let's seek adventures that nourish our souls and strengthen our bonds, guiding us closer to our true selves and each other.

Photo by Ruben and Mukti Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Crafting Wellness: Tips for a Harmonious Family Journey

  1. Mindful Moments: Amidst the adventure, carve out mindful moments for your family. Whether it's a shared sunrise or a quiet lakeside picnic, these pauses will deepen your connection.
  2. Tech Detox: Embrace a partial tech detox during your journey. Limit screen time and encourage meaningful conversations or shared activities.
  3. Local Cuisine: Dive into the local culinary scene.
  4. Nature Immersion: Dedicate time to be in nature simply. Whether it's a lakeside meditation or a forest walk, let the healing power of the outdoors rejuvenate each family member.


Sailing Through Serenity: Our Journey on the TSS Earnslaw

Photo by Ed and Mukti Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Join us on a serene voyage aboard the iconic TSS Earnslaw in New Zealand! As a wellness coach, I treasure moments of tranquillity and connection. Sailing across Lake Wakatipu, we embraced the beauty of a bygone era and the serenity of nature. Cherish the memories we made, from silly photos to profound reflections, knowing that each adventure enriches our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Photo by Ed and Mukti Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Nurturing Family Bonds: Exploring Milford Sound, New Zealand

Photo and Grid by Mukti Santos

Embark on an enriching journey to Milford Sound, New Zealand's stunning natural wonder! Our trip was a symphony of breathtaking sights, from majestic fjords to cascading waterfalls. Amidst towering cliffs and tranquil waters, we found solace and joy in each other's company.

This adventure reminded us of nature's power to strengthen family bonds and create lasting memories. Let's cherish these moments, embracing the beauty of nature and the joy of shared experiences with our loved ones.

Exploring Puzzle World: A Family Adventure in New Zealand

Photo by Ed Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Join us on a thrilling journey through Puzzle World in New Zealand! This place offers colourful illusions and mind-bending puzzles, sparking curiosity and family bonding. From navigating mazes to marvelling at optical illusions, every moment fosters togetherness and joy.

Our Puzzle World visit was transformative, strengthening family bonds and igniting curiosity. Amid life's chaos, such experiences remind us to cherish loved ones and embrace adventure. As we bid farewell, we carry renewed wonder and gratitude. Here's to embracing life's puzzles with open hearts and curious minds.

Let's cherish these shared moments and adventures, knowing they profoundly enrich our lives.

Photo and Grid by Mukti Santos

Soaring to New Heights: Our Queenstown Skyline Gondola Adventure

Photo by Ed and Mukti Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Join us on a virtual journey of exhilaration and awe as we ascend to the heights of Queenstown on the Skyline Gondola! Our gondola experience was not just about reaching new heights physically but also about embracing the sense of freedom and possibility that comes with it. Let's embark on this ride together as we reflect on the joy and wonder of our family's ascent to the Queenstown skyline.


Photos by Ed and Mukti Santos, Grid by Mukti Santos

Our journey in Glenorchy, New Zealand, was pure magic. Beginning with a refreshing bush walk, we immersed ourselves in nature's lush beauty, feeling connected to each other and the earth. A surprise find awaited us: New Zealand-style ice cream, a creamy delight blended with real fruit. As we savoured it, we played games nearby, cherishing every moment as a family. Glenorchy reminded us of the power of simplicity and shared experiences, from our adventures in nature to the joy of shared treats. With hearts full of memories, we look forward to more adventures with loved ones.

Ready to embark on your adventure? Start planning your trip this week and explore the wonders of [destination] for yourself! Please share where you like to go by tagging me on Instagram @wellnessofmukti.

The Best Food Finds in New Zealand

round white ceramic plate filled with waffle
Photo by Rachel Park / Unsplash

Casa Publica Christchurch

Indulge in the culinary journey of Casa Publica in Christchurch – it's more than a restaurant; it's an immersive experience. Feel the vibrant Kiwi vibes as you savour bold flavours and fresh ingredients. Each dish is a culinary masterpiece, from pork carnitas tacos to zesty ceviche. Pair your meal with fine wine or cocktails for a memorable dining experience. And don't miss out on the delightful surprise of the banana chimichanga dessert. Casa Publica eagerly awaits your arrival and will take you on an unforgettable culinary adventure.


Bombay Palace Q-town Queenstown

Step into a world of flavour at Bombay Palace Q-town, Queenstown's culinary gem. Amidst inviting decor and cozy vibes, savour every bite of traditional delights and innovative creations.

Each dish reflects the chef's expertise and passion, from yummy Butter Chicken to succulent Rogan Josh. It's a dining journey worth remembering.

Indulge your senses and make lasting memories at Bombay Palace Q-town. Your taste buds will thank you!


Winnies Gourmet Pizza bar

Enjoy family fun at Winnies Gourmet Pizza Bar, Queenstown's vibrant dining hotspot. This place has the aroma of freshly baked pizza, and a cozy yet spacious interior makes it the perfect spot for families to unwind.

Whether having a casual family dinner or a night out with friends, Winnies offers delicious food, an inviting ambience, and friendly service that will keep you coming back for more.


Burrito Craft Wanaka

red chili pepper with green leaves
Photo by Pickled Stardust / Unsplash

Indulge in a taste adventure at Burrito Craft Wanaka! Customise your culinary delight, from burritos to tacos, tailored to your preferences. With their spice rating system, pick your heat level from mild to a fiery 10. Each bite, crafted with precision, explodes with freshness and flavours. As a spicy food enthusiast, I opted for a level 4 sizzle, but next time, I'm cranking it up to a blazing 6!


Baja Mexico Queenstown

Nestled in Queenstown's heart, Baja Mexico is a vibrant culinary haven where flavours and chill vibes merge for an unforgettable dining escapade. Transporting you to Mexico's sunny coasts, each meal becomes a sensory fiesta. Vibrant decor, lively tunes, and a cozy atmosphere greet you upon arrival, setting the stage for a lively evening. With a menu bursting with bold flavours and innovative twists on classics, every bite is a journey to Mexico City's streets. Sip on refreshing cocktails while mingling with fellow diners, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.


Feeling inspired by the delicious food I've shared? I'd love to hear about your favourite dining spots abroad! Please share them with me on Instagram by tagging @wellnessofmukti. Let's swap culinary adventures!

Benefits of Traveling with Your Family

two person step on gray soil
Photo by Daiga Ellaby / Unsplash
  1. Bonding: Traveling together allows families to spend quality time bonding, creating lasting memories, and deepening their relationships.
  2. Learning: Experiencing new cultures, cuisines, and environments exposes children to diverse perspectives, fostering cultural awareness and curiosity.
  3. Growth: Travel challenges families to step outside their comfort zones, promoting personal growth, resilience, and adaptability.
  4. Shared experiences: Exploring new destinations creates shared experiences and inside jokes, strengthening the family bond.
  5. Fun and relaxation: Family vacations provide relaxation, adventure, and fun activities, allowing families to unwind and enjoy each other's company away from daily stresses.

 Top Quotes 

teal Instax Mini 8 instant camera near decor
Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash
“Since life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it, the better.” Simon Raven
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu
“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.” Oscar Wilde
“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.” Unknown
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” David Mitchell
“Don’t quit your day dream.” Unknown
“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” Anita Desai

Questions and Reflections

airplane on sky during golden hour
Photo by Tom Barrett / Unsplash
  1. Reflect on Your Connections: How does travelling with your family strengthen your bonds and deepen your connections?

2.     Embrace Cultural Immersion: What new perspectives and insights have you gained from immersing yourself in different cultures during your travels?

3.     Explore Personal Growth: In what ways has travelling challenged you to step out of your comfort zone and grow as an individual?

4.     Cherish Shared Experiences: What are some of your favourite memories from your travels with your family, and how have these experiences shaped your relationships?

5.     Practice Adaptability: How do you navigate unexpected challenges and changes while travelling, and what lessons have you learned about adaptability and resilience?

6.     Cultivate Mindfulness: How do you stay present and mindful during your travels, savouring each moment and appreciating your beauty?

7.     Foster Gratitude: What aspects of your travels are you most grateful for, and how do you express gratitude for your experiences?

8.     Promote Wellness: How does travelling contribute to your overall well-being, including physical, mental, and emotional health?

9.     Balance Exploration and Rest: How do you balance exploring new destinations and taking time to rest and recharge during your travels?

10. Plan for Future Adventures: What destinations are on your family's travel bucket list, and how do you envision continuing to explore the world together?


As our expedition across Nature's Playground: A Family Expedition Across New Zealand's South Island, we're reminded of the timeless allure of Christchurch's Garden City and the breathtaking splendour of Queenstown. From serene botanical escapes to exhilarating adventures, our journey has been filled with unforgettable moments. But our exploration doesn't end here – it's an invitation for you to embark on your own family adventure, discovering the wonders of New Zealand's landscapes and fostering cherished memories along the way. Join us in embracing the transformative power of nature and the joy of family connections. Start your own journey today!

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Cheers to a vibrant, energised, and thriving you! 

 Thank you.

Let us activate your growth and celebrate together as you unlock your true potential!

Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions; I love interacting with the community.

Join me on February 18th for an exciting adventure in Blog 45, where I'll be teaming up with Jackie for our first collaboration! With "collaboration" as one of my words for the year, I'm thrilled to explore the world of personal growth and energy optimisation through Human Design with Jackie. Get ready to unlock boundless energy and gain profound insights as we dive deep into Human Design. This collaboration promises to be enlightening and unlike any other! Don't miss out!

Transformative insights and actionable tips await to elevate your well-being! Keep the excitement alive for your upcoming wellness adventure! 

Live your life on purpose,

With much Love

Mukti Santos  

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Dalami Lama

Journal Prompt

Start Your Adventure: Ready to embark on your family expedition? Explore the wonders of New Zealand's South Island and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Begin planning your journey today!
Join Our Community: Connect with like-minded adventurers and wellness enthusiasts in our community. Share your travel stories, exchange tips, and inspire each other to embrace the beauty of nature's playground. Join us on this journey of growth and exploration!
Stay Inspired: Keep the spirit of adventure alive in your daily life. Follow my blog for more inspiring stories, practical tips, and wellness insights to nourish your mind, body, and soul. Let's continue to explore, grow, and thrive together!