Top Things for families to do in New Zealand
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Tasman Glacier Aoraki, Mount Cook - Image: David Wall
Tasman Glacier Tour, Mt Cook
A picture, they say, tells a thousand words and if the one above doesn’t inspire you to take a cruise on the Tasman Glacier, then nothing will. This is where the water mirrors the ice as the landscape reflects upon the Glacier. Icebergs of all sizes often crack into the water, enabling the crew to touch and even taste the watery crystal shapes.
Saint Clair Dunedin - Image: David Wall
St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool, Dunedin
Set aside a day to explore Dunedin and its array of family-friendly attractions. Located on the head of Otago Harbour, Dunedin has a rich Scottish and Maori history. After a brief wander of the Edwardian architecturally styled streets and a classic fish and chip shop feast, head to St Clair beach. This is where the ever-inviting Hot Salt Water Pool sits regally along the sea. At a meagre $14 NZD per family for entry, it’s an affordable adventure too.
Lake Dunstan Central Otago - Image: David Wall
Cycle at Lake Dunstan, Central Otago
The gorgeous Otago region is renowned for its plentiful vineyards and placid lakes. And, though we highly recommend adults find time to sample some of the country’s finest wine while here, we thought we’d add a kid-friendly suggestion for this region too. Ergo - some casual bike riding fun around the dramatic beauty of Lake Dunstan! Stay at Wanaka TOP 10 Holiday Park and make hitting the trails that much easier. The park is located just 200 metres from the banks of Lake Dunstan.
Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua - Image: Tourism New Zealand
Redwoods Forest, Rotorua
Honestly, what could be nicer than a family stroll through the canopy of a towering Redwood Forest? The dense foliage underneath the suspended bridge walks
Hobbiton Matamata, Waikato - Image: Sara Orme
Visit Hobbiton, Waikato
Straight out of middle earth! Fantasy fans of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ book and movie series are transported to a hobbit village on a day tour to this iconic film set site. Pose for photos in front of a hobbit’s home and keep them as a treasured NZ memento. Looking for a place for you and your little Hobbits to rest after your day of magic? Cambridge TOP 10 Holiday Park is only 30 minutes' drive from the Hobbiton Movie Set.
Treble Cone Lake, Wanaka - Image: Martyn Williams
Get into the good stuff at Treble Cone or Cardrona Valley
Seeing the world-famous ski slopes of NZ up close and personal is a very special family experience. Both Treble Cone and Cardrona Valley are major tourist attractions on the South Island (not too far out from Queenstown). Local and international powder hounds are drawn here to ski, snowboard and admire the
Queenstown - Image: Adam Bryce
Dine out in Queenstown
- Taco Medic - for the best nachos and tacos in town.
- Fergburger - tasty burgers and ice-cream
- The Ballarat Trading Company - A steakhouse with excellent kids menu selections.
When the feast has finished, rest off the food baby at Queenstown TOP 10 Holiday Park.
Image: Paul Abbitt
Learn to Surf at Sumner Beach, Christchurch
Sumner is a super pretty cove beach in Christchurch and if conditions are right it’s an ideal wave for a family that wants to learn to surf. Saltwater is a
And then get dry, comfy and relaxed at Christchurch TOP 10 Holiday Park before you continue discovering the surprises Christchurch has to offer.
Westpac Stadium, Wellington - Image: Tourism New Zealand
Catch a Rugby Match
New Zealand is a proud sporting nation where rugby is almost a religion. Whether it’s Rugby Union or Rugby League, New Zealand teams are always near or at the pinnacle of the international ladder. Secure tickets to a see a match live and the whole family is bound to have a great time. Tip: lock in your tickets for high-profile games such as internationals in advance as these are very popular.
A Hurricane's home game is not one to be missed. Get your heart racing as the action unfolds, before recovering and resting your head at Wellington TOP 10 Holiday Park.
Waitomo Caves - Image: Tourism Holdings
Explore the underground passageways of Waitomo Caves led by knowledgeable guides. The detailed limestone catacombs are a natural marvel to see up close. A historical family NZ adventure indeed.
Located just 600 metres from the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, Waitomo TOP 10 Holiday Park makes the perfect base for exploring the caves and beyond. The friendly staff would be happy to help you arrange tours in the local area.
Hot water soaking through the sand at Hot Water Beach. Image - Hot Water Beach TOP 10.
Soak yourself at Hot Water Beach, Coromandel
A natural phenomenon to fascinate the whole family, Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel is one of the most renowned beaches in New Zealand. Kids and adults alike will be enthralled as hot water bubbles up from beneath their sandy toes. Take a shovel and dig yourself a hot pool and sit mingling with travellers from all around the world. And best of all it’s free! Just remember to plan your visit 2 hours either side of low tide for the best experience. After your down soaking your soul, settle for the night at Hot Water Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park.
Kayaking around Split Apple Rock in Abel Tasman National Park. Image - Ian Trafford
Kayak the Abel Tasman National Park
Some would argue that the golden sands of Abel Tasman are best explored and admired from the water. BYO kayak or hire one from the many tour operators in the area. Or if you’d prefer, take a guided tour for the best local knowledge and advice. Paddle your way through the picturesque inlets and coves of Abel Tasman for an unforgettable family adventure. Abel Tasman National Park is straddled by two mighty fine TOP 10 parks – Pohara TOP 10 Holiday Park to the west, and Motueka TOP 10 Holiday Park to the south.
Milford Sound's spectacular alpine peaks. Image - Jessie Russell
Cruise the infamous Milford Sound, Fiordland
One of the most breath-taking areas of New Zealand, the Milford Sound should be on every New Zealand travel bucket list. There’s no better way to explore Milford Sound than from the decks of a cruise boat. The feeling of gliding through the sound while dwarfed by the sheer cliffs and looming peaks is indescribable. Some cruise providers will even steer the boat right up to the waterfalls, so visitors can feel the spray. It’ll bring sheer delight and squeals from the whole family. Accommodation in Milford Sound itself is limited, so most visitors spend the night before/after visiting in the township of Te Anau. Situated opposite the lake, Te Anau TOP 10 Holiday Park is a great family-friendly place to stay to bookend your Milford Sound experience.
Meet the locals in Hokitika. Image - The National Kiwi Centre website
Meet the locals at The National Kiwi Centre in Hokitika, West Coast
Get up close and personal with New Zealand’s native icons at The National Kiwi Centre in Hokitika. New Zealand’s favourites are on display. The family can meet the rare kiwi, NZ’s largest reptile the tuatara, and fresh water eels and crayfish. Keeper talks run throughout the day and you’ll even can feed and pat the eels. A unique experience for visitors of any age. Children under 5 visit for free, making it a worthwhile and affordable trip for the whole family. Ross Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park sits just 30 minutes’ drive to the South, while Greymouth Seaside TOP 10 Holiday Park will have you covered when driving north along the West Coast.
Dolphins riding the wake of a Bay of Islands cruise boat. Image - Jessie Russell
Spot dolphins on a Bay of Islands cruise
The Bay of Islands is a unique collection of islands located on the north east coast of New Zealand. With over 144 islands to discover, there’s several tour operators available to help you see many of them from the water. You’ll learn the rich history of the Bay of Islands, and the whole family can delight in the local birdlife as well as dolphins, whales and other marine life. Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park and Paihia TOP 10 Holiday Park will have you sitting pretty to explore the majestic Bay of Islands with the family.