Experience the best of New Zealand with your family with a wide selection of activities for kids from animal and wildlife experiences to nature-based activities and thrill-seeking adventures.
Go rafting in Taupō or skiing in Queenstown, there are fun experiences to enjoy in both North and South Island. From mini golf to zorb experience, hot air ballooning to hot pools, there’s plenty for the whole family to experience together.
New Zealand is best known for stunning untouched natural landscapes – so get out there and embrace them. There are countless options for some interesting short and overnight walks, even with the little ones. Whether you’re looking for waterfalls, bush, lakes, cliffs, ocean, forest, or a combination of scenery, you will find a track you enjoy with family. There are heaps of cycle trails too spread across the whole country which is a fun way to spend time together.
After sunset, the skies come alive with twinkling lights and the nightscapes make stargazing in New Zealand a truly magnificent experience. In the South Island, the Dark Sky Reserve has been labelled as one of the best stargazing sites on earth.
Underground volcanic activity have been shaping our land for thousands of years. As a result, our natural hot pools – particularly around Rotorua – are popular with locals and visitors alike; a soak in the waters of Kerosene Creek or Waiotapu Stream is uniquely relaxing. Hell’s Gate has the only geothermal mud baths in New Zealand, while Polynesia Spa is world-famous for its lakefront mineral springs. In the Coromandel, head to Hot Water Beach at low tide to dig your own natural warm spa in the sand. Thermal pool complexes are also found at the likes of Waiwera in the north and Hanmer Springs in the south.
New Zealand boasts some of the most unique birdlife in the world – a quarter of our birds are found nowhere else on the planet. 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. We have three species of penguin, all found in the South Island. You may encounter them in their natural habitats, or in zoos or wildlife parks and sanctuaries.
This is also a fantastic country for whale and dolphin spotting - the rare Hector’s dolphin is a South Island exclusive. There are sightseeing cruises available wherever these astonishing creatures are found; you can even swim alongside them in the right conditions. See more in our Nature and Wildlife section.
Other family friendly activities include farm tours, horse riding and visiting the Waitomo glowworm caves.
Get a feel for our history and culture at one of the country’s many museums. Auckland’s MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology) is a hit with children and Wanaka’s Transport & Toy Museum appeals to all ages. Every town and city has its own selection of museums, but whatever you do, make time to visit Te Papa – the Museum of New Zealand – in Wellington. Open every day of the year, its collections span art, history, nature, and Maori and Pacific exhibitions, and are renowned for being informative, innovative, and fun.
There are lots of family friendly activities that have the thrill factor! Jetboating is suitable for youngsters; even bungy jumping is open to those 10 and over. The minimum age for zorbing – hurtling around in a giant transparent ball – is 6. For something a little more gentle, try the aerial adventure that is ziplining or the part go-kart, part toboggan fun of luging.