7 child-friendly destinations in New Zealand

New Zealand - The Land of Kiwis, is a great destination for a family vacation as it includes many fun filled activities for children to experience. The whole family will enjoy New Zealand’s breathtaking scenery and for those traveling by campervan, beachside camping grounds make an ideal base to relax and explore. In this blog we explore just some of the child-friendly attractions available.

Here are 7 top destinations that you can share with your children in New Zealand:

1.   The amazing tour of Te Anau Glow Worm Caves

This is an underground adventure that takes you and your kids into the glowworm caves of Te Anau in the South Island. A well trained guide will lead you for the total 2.5 hour round-trip to reach and then explore the Te Anau caves, starting with a cruise across Lake Te Anau. Once you enter the caves you'll be greeted by a mesmerizing sight, a shimmering illumination of thousands of glowworm and the children will be totally charmed by this underground magical world.

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Getting up close to the fascinating stalagmites. 

2.   Sightseeing of Christchurch City- 3 Exciting Attractions

This is a one day tour of Christchurch city, which is highly recommended for those traveling with children. Firstly, you'll visit the International Antarctic Centre for an insight into what it's like to live on the ice of Antarctica. Secondly, visit Willowbank Wildlife Reserve to see exotic and native animals. All children love animals and they'll be thrilled to see so many of them them in the environment of Willowbank. They can even feed some of the animals. Thirdly, a visit to the Air Force Museum to learn about New Zealand’s military history and to see two dozen fully restored military aircraft.

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Meeting some of the locals.

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Feeding time is a good time to visit.

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One of my grandchildren's favorite attractions at Willowbank - feeding the tame eels.

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The air force museum houses amazing aircraft; interesting for kids of all ages, adults too.


3.    Tour of Rotorua Thermal Springs and Lakes

This will especially appeal to children who love to see unique natural wonders like the geothermal park, with its hot springs and bubbling mud pools. You can visit in a small group to visit the lakes where you walk to the beautiful waterfall at Lake Tarawera. Children will also love Lake Tikitapu – the Blue Lake, and Lake Rotokakahi – the Green Lake, and the spectacular Lady Knox Geyser. 

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Incredible fern forest of ferns make for a picturesque journey to the waterfall.

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The geothermal park is a must see for kids.

4.   Sea Life Aquarium of Kelly Tarlton

This amazing aquarium is located on the shores of the Auckland waterfront. Your children will love discovering the underwater magic world of the Southern Oceans, with more than thirty different zones to keep them fully occupied. They will see the largest jellyfish in New Zealand and at the shark cage, a face-to-face encounter with a fierce shark. 

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The tanks and rock pools are designed for children to get as close to the sealife as possible.

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For the adventurous the shark cage is an opportunity to get up very close to the sharks. 

5.   Tour of Walter Peak High Country Farm and Cruise from Queenstown

It's super fun for kids to cruise across Lake Wakatipu to the visit the lovely Walter Peak High Country Farm on the SS ‘Earnslaw’, a vintage steamship. On arrival at the sheep station they'll see sheep-dogs at work rounding up the sheep and a fascinating demonstration of sheep shearing. They can then learn the art of spinning wool after the shearers have finished their hard work. Enjoy some  hot morning and afternoon tea/coffee at the Colonial Homestead before re-crossing Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown. 

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Visitors are able to get up close to the sheep on the farm and to hand feed them.

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The magnificent SS 'Earnslaw steamship; an exciting way to journey to the farm across the lake.

 6.   A full day tour to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound including BBQ Lunch and Milford Sound Cruise

Today's activities includes a cruise on the fiord at New Zealand’s most scenic destination, Milford Sound. You can also share marvelous bush walks and sightseeing stops before embarking on the 1.5 hour boat excursion, including a fascinating commentary by an informative guide. En-route to Milford Sound you will see the amazing landscapes of Fiordland National Park, home to untouched pristine rivers, soaring peaks, alpine rainforests and mighty glaciers. Your camera will be very busy today.

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A forest walk at Milford Sound, with tracks for all abilities kids.

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The guided cruise of the fiord is amazing.

7.   Kidz Club at Queenstown

If you want some 'adults only" time you can leave your children at the daycare of Kidz Club in Queenstown, a secure, safe and welcoming place that caters for children from 4 to 13 years. They'll have tremendous fun in a program that includes fun rides, laser-tagging, Nintendo Wii, indoor games and other attractions like face-painting. An outstanding feature of Kidz Club are the enthusiastic and well trained staff who will make sure your kids are not only busy but also having great fun.

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The indoor virtual games, rides and socializing with other kids will keep the kids happy all day.

These are just seven highlights of what's available to families when they visit New Zealand. Just as we do for adults, we create itineraries that will appeal to the ages and interests of your particular children. It will be a memorable New Zealand vacation that will appeal to children of any age, interests and hobbies.  

Thank you to Sarah Bennett, senior editor at Holidoi for contributing to this blog. Holidoi is a leading holiday & travel portal in Dubai, UAE.

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Jul 16, 2018