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High altitude in South Island for toddlers

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
46 posts
High altitude in South Island for toddlers

Hi everyone

I am considering visiting New Zealand for a holiday trip in May 2025.

However, me and the missus have concerns about the effects of high altitude on my son (he will be about 20 months old come May 2025).

May I know whether a typical family road trips in the South Island has high altitudes that a toddler cannot manage physically? Not looking to summit mountains, probably visiting non adventure sports attractions.

Thanks in advance.

Edited: 16 May 2024, 03:07
5 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for New Zealand
Level Contributor
18,818 posts
71 reviews
33 helpful votes
1. Re: High altitude in South Island for toddlers

You'll never be "at altitude". Queenstown is 330m (about 1000ft)!

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Christchurch, South Island, Akaroa
Level Contributor
51,483 posts
577 reviews
231 helpful votes
2. Re: High altitude in South Island for toddlers

Simple solution - don't go mountain climbing! I don't understand why you would even think of taking a child mountain climbing. However even the very summit of Aoraki Mt Cook is barely high enough to induce altitude sickness.

The highest public roads in NZ do not exceed 1000m - Arthurs Pass (920m asl); Lewis Pass (907m) & Lindis Pass (971m) are the highest highways in the SI.

In the NI the highest road point is Top of the Bruce at 1500m, but even this is well below the altitude at which there are any noticeable effects (usually around 2500m asl).

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
17,675 posts
214 reviews
107 helpful votes
3. Re: High altitude in South Island for toddlers

There may be issues with attitude but none with altitudes.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island, Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand, Tonga
Level Contributor
24,795 posts
749 reviews
511 helpful votes
4. Re: High altitude in South Island for toddlers

its not a problem in nz on our roads or walking trails,

The effects of Altitude sickness are usually a problem over 2500 metres. you would have to be at the top of our tallest mountain 3724 metres to be any concern.

Given the crown range is the highest road in nz and its only at 1124 metres you have absolutely no concerns.

ive travelled nz when we moved from usa to nz and our son was 4 months old - there was never any concern with altitute sickness.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka, Tokyo
Level Contributor
80,983 posts
183 reviews
192 helpful votes
5. Re: High altitude in South Island for toddlers

Over in the Switzerland forum, one of the DE's has stated repeatedly that toddlers should not go above 2,000 meters per their country's doctors. You shouldn't have any issues as a casual tourist while visiting NZ.

Edited: 16 May 2024, 17:18
Reply to: High altitude in South Island for toddlers
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