September 2015: Family adventures in New Zealand

Adrenaline-fueled activities, accessible wildlife adventures and immersive cultural experiences make New Zealand the ideal place for a family adventure.

Kohimarama, Auckland
The country is incredibly diverse, yet compact enough to avoid long travel distances that test children’s patience. If your clients are planning to drive on their trip, remember to let them know that children under seven require car seats. For tips on driving safely in New Zealand, go to
Read on for some great products you might like to consider for your client’s family holiday in New Zealand.

Active adventures

There are lots of family friendly activities that still have the thrill factor! For a more gentle thrill than bungy jumping, your clients can try the aerial adventure that is ziplining or the part go-kart, part toboggan fun of luging. Families will also enjoy some of the easier cycle trails that make up the New Zealand Cycle Trail Network. 



Skyline Luge (Rotorua and Queenstown) is a gravity fuelled fun ride. Invented in New Zealand in 1985, the Skyline Luge is a unique wheeled gravity ride that provides riders full control over their descent on purpose built tracks. The luge is a fun filled adventure suitable for riders of all age and experience. 

Zip lining

New Zealand is home to a number of spectacular zip lining experiences, where visitors can glide through spectacular native forest, across rivers and canyons. Ziplining adventures are available with these operators Rotorua Canopy Tours, Ziptrek Ecotours (Queenstown) and Ecozip Adventures (Waiheke Island).

Jet boating

Jet boating is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness and can be enjoyed the whole year round. There are reputable jet boat operators in Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Christchurch, Western Southland, Fiordland, Wanaka and Queenstown.For more information on jet boating in New Zealand, click here


New Zealand is a great destination for a family cycling adventure, with accessible riding trails near most cities and towns. Single-day tours are possible on most trails, perfect for children who tire more quickly than adults. The Hawke’s Bay Trails are flat and mainly off-road, and the adults can enjoy wine-tasting along the way.

Wildlife encounters 

Young visitors will love wildlife spotting in New Zealand. It is home to some of the most unique birdlife in the world. As well as the famous flightless kiwi, this is the home of the colourful pukeko and takahe, the melodious tui, and the mischievous kea to name a few. There are three species of penguin, all found in the South Island. 
Whales and dolphins can be seen off the coast throughout New Zealand, including Auckland's Hauraki Gulf and Kaikoura in the South Island. 
Families can get up close to New Zealand wildlife in its natural habitat, or in zoos or wildlife parks and sanctuaries. For more information on wildlife activities, click here.  

Whale Watch Kaikoura

Whale Watch Kaikoura is New Zealand's only vessel based whale watching company offering an exciting up-close encounter with the world's largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment at all times of the year. A typical Whale Watch tour may also encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season visitors may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales.

Cultural experiences

Your clients and their children can get a feel for New Zealand history and culture at one of the country’s many museums and get hands-on with Māori arts and crafts.  A great place to experience Māori culture is in Rotorua, where children can try handweaving and marvel at the region’s geothermal wonders. 

Te Puia, Rotorua

Get a closer look at Māori art forms at the National Weaving School at Te Puia. Kids can join its weaving and carving schools to watch the artists at work.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

Te Papa is New Zealand's innovative and interactive national museum. Explore the great treasures and stories of this country – its unique natural environment, Māori culture, art heritage, and fascinating history. Bring the whole family and get creative with interactive activities at Whare Toi Arts Studio. 

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