October 2018: Family friendly New Zealand

New Zealand is a child friendly destination, perfectly set up for stress free family holidays. Whether your clients want a relaxing family getaway or an unforgettable trip filled with adventure and exploration, there is something to suit everyone.

Piha Beach, Auckland.
It’s no secret that travelling with young children requires lots of planning, so here are a few suggestions to help you create your client’s perfect itinerary.

For more information on family friendly travel in New Zealand click here.


New Zealand boasts a wide range of accommodation choices. Family friendly options include hotels (many offering interconnecting rooms), motels, apartments (consisting of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms) and holiday parks (many with cabins). 

If your clients want to experience local hospitality on their holiday then a farmstay is a great option. Rural Tours Ltd can arrange farm stay experiences in a range of locations throughout New Zealand. 


New Zealand is an easy destination to travel around. There are plenty of modes of transport to choose from, such as domestic air travel, train journeys, coach travel, ferries and self-drive.

It is New Zealand law that children under 7 years of age use an approved child restraint when travelling in a vehicle. If your clients are planning on driving during their trip they can either bring their own capsule, car seat or booster seat; or hire an approved child restraint from their rental vehicle provider (reserve the child restraint at the time of booking).

The TranzAlpine is a scenic train journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. Kids and parents alike will marvel at the breath-taking scenery whizzing past the panoramic windows, and when the kids need to stretch their legs a visit to the open air viewing carriage is sure to thrill.

If your clients are travelling between the North and South Islands, and they’ve got time to spare, then a ferry sailing across the Cook Strait will not disappoint. Interislander and Bluebridge vessels feature children’s facilities, including play areas, movies and outside viewing decks.

Food and dining

Dining out with children in New Zealand is easy. Restaurants and cafés offer a wide range of international cuisines which are sure to please even the fussiest eaters. Many eateries provide good value children’s menus and highchairs for the little ones.

If your clients are visiting Hawke’s Bay make sure they stop at Rush Munro’s in Hastings. This tasty ice cream shop has been serving delicious frozen treats since 1926!

Things to do

There are plenty of attractions and activities to keep the kids entertained for hours and when they need to blow off a little steam there’s always a park, playground or nature area close by to explore.

Here are some suggestions to fill your client’s itinerary:

Auckland’s Sky Tower

With its glass bottom elevator, uninterrupted views over Auckland and ice cream treats served 182 metres above the city, the Sky Tower is sure to be a firm favourite with the kids.

Rainbow Springs Nature Park – Rotorua

Kids will love learning about native New Zealand wildlife, seeing a kiwi up close and taking a ride on the Big Splash.

Huka Prawn Park – Taupō

Fishing for live prawns is sure to be a highlight for the whole family at New Zealand’s only Prawn Park.

National Aquarium of New Zealand – Napier

Spend a couple of hours marvelling at New Zealand’s largest display of aquatic life. 

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa - Wellington

Guided tours are a great way to navigate the museum and the discovery centres and family trails will keep the kids entertained for hours.

Whale Watch Kaikoura

The kids will be talking about their whale watching experience long after they return to dry land. Minimum age is 3 years (dependant on sea and weather conditions).

Dolphin Encounter – Kaikoura

See pods of playful dusky dolphins up close. Minimum spectator age is 3 years. Minimum age for dolphin swimming is 8 years.

Christchurch Tram

Kids will love exploring Christchurch city on a restored heritage Tram.

While your clients are in Christchurch a visit to the Margaret Mahy Family Playground in the central city is a must. With separate activity zones for different ages, the park is one of the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Jet boat experience – Queenstown

The kids (and parents) will be squealing with delight on a thrilling high speed jet boat ride.
www.shotoverjet.com/ (minimum 3 years old and over 1 metre tall)
http://kjet.co.nz/ (minimum 2 years old)
www.thunderjetqueenstown.co.nz/  (minimum 4 years old)
www.dartriver.co.nz/ (minimum 3 years old and over 1 metre tall)

Puzzling World - Wanaka

This world class attraction will delight both adults and kids.

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