Enjoy a family picnic in a picture perfect setting, or bask in the company of your children as together you explore the famous New Zealand wildlife. Young or old, there’s no shortage of things to do in New Zealand!
New Zealand is best known for stunning untouched natural landscapes – so get out there and embrace them. You’ll find that our mountains, forests and coastlines are all surprisingly accessible.
Underground volcanic and tectonic 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’s zoos and wildlife parks offer both native and exotic animal encounters. A visit to one is your best chance of spotting the elusive kiwi! New Zealand boasts some of the most unique birdlife in the world – a quarter of our birds are found nowhere else on the planet. 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.
There are lots of family friendly activities that still 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.
Whether they’re fascinatingly informative or thrilling and scary, New Zealand’s theme and leisure parks offer conveniently concentrated fun. Farm parks, wildlife sanctuaries and underwater centres bring the natural wonders of New Zealand so close you can touch them. Feed, ride, watch and learn all about our farm animals and native wildlife. Roller coasters, castles, water worlds and hair-raising rides offer hours of adrenalin-filled entertainment for the young and the young-at-heart. Adventure seekers will enjoy our downhill luges, car and motorbike races, jet boat sprints, and realistic simulator rides. Many of these experiences are found in Rotorua and are in close proximity to each other.
New Zealand offers a wide selection of activities for families ranging from animal and wildlife experiences to nature-based activities and thrill-seeking adventures. Few must try experience one should try when in New Zealand:
Whale Watching or Wildlife experience – You can spot whales throughout New Zealand, including Auckland’s beautiful Hauraki Gulf and the wonderful Kaikoura. Kaikoura, on the east coast of the South Island, is one of the only places in the world where you can easily see sperm whales.
Hobbiton – Experience the real Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.