It’s no easy task figuring out where to take the family on holiday - the balance between finding activities that kids will love and making sure that you and your partner still have a good time is often difficult to find. Fortunately, there are a few spots in New Zealand that boast unforgettable family-focused experiences set in surroundings that both adults and children alike will fall in love with. Don’t compromise when it comes to your next family holiday - hire a campervan, give one of these beautiful and engaging locations a try and you’ll be reminiscing about the trip for years to come. Campervan hire in New Zealand is a great way to enjoy the locations below and anywhere that a nz campervan can go.
It’s not one of the most well known holiday destinations in the country, but that’s perfect - you don’t want too many people finding out about this coastal gem. One big point in Leigh’s favour is that it’s very easy to get to, while still being very much removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Just fly in to Auckland airport, pick up your motorhome rental and drive north for an hour and a half. Motorhomes are one of the most popular ways to explore New Zealand, due to the freedom they give when selecting your camping spot and the affordable prices of campervan sites. So what’s so special about this small fishing community? Well, just offshore lies Goat Island, home to New Zealand’s first marine reserve. Snorkeling is a must here, as the local sea life is extremely abundant, colourful and (as it’s been protected for so long) largely unafraid of humans. This makes for a truly magical combination - make sure you visit Leigh in summer to make the most of it. There’s also an acclaimed glass bottom boat tour that allows you to see all that the marine reserve has to offer while remaining nice and dry. There are two camping grounds in the area - just book early to avoid disappointment!
While the earthquakes of 2011 have changed the face of Christchurch forever, it’s not a bad thing at all! The city now has a fresh, vibrant feel to it as people innovate, bounce back and adapt to their new circumstances, and there’s certainly plenty to do and see in the fast-developing city. For families with a bit of an adventurous bent, Adrenalin Forest is a fantastic place where both kids and grown ups can go out on a limb while still staying perfectly safe. It features high ropes confidence courses, ranging from just 1 metre off the ground to 20 metre high options. There are some height restrictions, but if your child is over 4’ 9”, or 1.45 metres tall they’re big enough for the tallest courses. If heights aren’t a big attraction, Orana Wildlife Park is another great pick for young and old. Spread over 80 hectares just 15 minute’s drive from Christchurch, this the only NZ open range zoo. Hand feed a giraffe, come face to face with a magnificent white rhino or meet the nation’s first gorilla family group! There are so many incredible wildlife experiences on offer here that it would take all day to list them - just take the kids along and see for yourself! These are just two of the many family activities that Christchurch has to offer - and the city also serves as the perfect launch point for a South Island roadtrip. An RV rental will give you the freedom to plot your own course and travel the way that best suits your family - New Zealand motorhome parks often offer powered campsites,so you don’t even have to give up any creature comforts.
Rotorua is without doubt the number one place in the whole country for a family holiday. A New Zealand motorhome hire is certainly an attractive choice as the city is only about a three hour drive south of Auckland and there are plenty of holiday parks to accommodate you in Rotorua. Keep in mind, you may want to take a pitstop in Matamata along the way. This quaint little town surrounded by farmland is host to Hobbiton - the bucolic paradise from The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films that Bilbo and Frodo call home. It’s not just an abandoned film set either - great care has been taken to keep it in its original “as seen on film” condition - if you or the kids are Hobbit fans, it’s well worth taking the guided tour. Heading on to Rotorua, families are absolutely spoiled for choice. Experience the eerie geothermal wonders of Hell’s Gate or Whakarewarewa, where mud bubbles, sulphurous clouds rise into the the air and geysers shoot toward the sky. Discover what it’s like to be a NZ farmer in the massively entertaining, family oriented Farm Show put on by the Agrodome - the kids can even jump up to feed the baby lambs or milk a cow! Take a gondola ride that lifts you high above the city up the slopes of Mount Ngongotaha, and shoot down the incline again on a luge ride that’s part toboggan, part go kart. There are difficulty levels for all ages and stages, so no one need be left out.
This barely scrapes the surface of what these spots have to offer families - the best way to find out more is to head to Motorhome Republic, pick up a campervan rental New Zealand and start exploring!