Start planning your family vacation in New Zealand
When planning your New Zealand family vacation, be sure to factor in all the different experiences available in this country, from the beaches to the mountains and dynamic cities. Whether you want lazy beach days on the beautiful coast, or adrenaline-fueled helicopter trips to the South Island's glaciers, you'll find something for everyone in New Zealand.
What makes New Zealand a great place for families?
Family members of all ages will fall in love with New Zealand. There’s rugged outdoors with hikes for all abilities, natural mud baths and geothermal hot springs for relaxing, and a rich Maori culture. Plus, the coastline is packed with beautiful beaches where you can teach the kids to swim, build sandcastles or simply enjoy the sunshine.
Best things to do in New Zealand with kids
Breathtaking beauty combined with exciting activities makes New Zealand a brilliant family vacation destination. Whether you're whale watching, ziplining, or stargazing, New Zealand will surely impress. These are the best activities to try on a family trip in New Zealand.
Get adventurous with extreme sports
New Zealand is an ideal place for adventure sports, such as surfing or white water rafting. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, go on a bungee jump or zipline where it won't be just the scenery that takes your breath away.
Experience wildlife like no other
Family trips in New Zealand must include time to observe the unique wildlife here. Your kids will marvel at wonders like the tuatara, the only surviving reptile from the dinosaur age, or the kiwi, New Zealand's national bird.
Experience The Lord of the Rings in nature
Sir Peter Jackson's epic fantasy film trilogy used New Zealand's beautiful nature as its backdrops. You'll recognize locations like Matamata, which served as the Shire in Lord of the Rings, and Mount Sunday which depicted Edoras.
Discover local Maori culture
New Zealand offers plenty of opportunities for experiencing Maori history and culture. Witness traditions like the epic haka up close and personal. Hear the legends of New Zealand's first peoples and learn why preserving their culture is more important than ever.
Enjoy a rugby match
Rugby in New Zealand is more than just a game. It's a national obsession, and the country’s team is undoubtedly one of the world's best. The passion for the sport spans age and social groups, so take the family to a match and join the locals in cheering on their teams.
Tips for planning a family vacation to New Zealand
New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, so fall and winter is from March through August, and spring and summer from September through February. If you're renting a car for a road trip, you'll have to remember to drive on the left side of the road, and be aware that road conditions can change quickly, and include loose gravel surfaces. Before you travel, visit the Customs New Zealand website for information on prohibited items, which includes kids’ crayons and wooden items.