New Zealand is an exceptionally family friendly place to travel. You can enjoy family travel in New Zealand on a budget or you can do it in style or even something in between. Here are 10 of the hottest tips to get the most of your NZ holiday with the family.
New Zealand Family Travel Tips
Consider a camper van holiday for family travel in New Zealand.
If you have a bit of time up your sleeve and are keen to really get around and see the sights of NZ or even just one of the islands (go South Island) then do it in a campervan. The country is well set up for it. You should be able to book your van to be collected at the airport. You will find family friendly powered sites almost everywhere.
Hit the information centre as soon as you get there.
Haven’t had time to do much research before you get there? No problem, there is an information desk at the airport to get you started and they will be able to point you towards the nearest tourist information centre where you can stock up on flyers and advice.
Do free things.
Family holidays can be really expensive, especially if you are eating out and paying for activities every day. And you really don’t need to be doing that, especially in NZ. NZ is all about the scenery so experience it. Free outdoor activities are a dime a dozen. You are spoilt for choice. Ideas? Try a volcano hike in Auckland, the beach in Christchurch or a visit to Centennial Lagoon in Palmerston North.
Do some of the awesome less expensive activities.
There are so many to choose from. Try: bike riding in Queenstown, Esplanade Scenic Railway in Palmerston North, H20 Xtream in Wellington and Mini Golf in Queenstown.
Choose one amazing adrenaline rush style activity as a family.
Photo Credit: shotoverjet.comYou know the kids will love the adrenaline pumping activities like the Shotover Jet and the Luge but you simply can’t afford to do them all. Get together before you travel and look at the options as a family. Then together you can choose one. Don’t forget to check if there is a family ticket available when you book.
Ski at a family friendly ski field
You thought one ski field was like another right? Not true. Somewhere like The Remarkables is very family friendly compared to other mountains. It’s quite a sunny spot and has a crèche available for the littlies. There is a great beginners area and kids 10 years and under get free day passes. There are great prices available on family passes too.
Check out a family travel guide.
Kidz Go New Zealand is a fantastic travel guide for families. It includes recommendations on all styles of accommodation, restaurants, activities, shopping and vehicle rental. If you are flying into Queenstown or Christchurch airports then you can pick up a free copy of the Kidz Go Southern Lakes magazine while you are there. Don’t leave without it!
Look out for special offers.
This year (2013) the ski resort village of Methven, one hour drive from Christchurch, is offering a Metheven Kids 4 Free package. It includes free travel, accommodation and meals when accompanied by a paying adult. It also includes free skiing at Mt Hutt. Yeah I know…awesome!
Log onto Bookme.
Basically, Bookme is used by tour operators to fill empty seats on tours within the coming week. So you and the fam arrive in Christchurch in your trusty camper and are wondering what to do for the next few days? Log on to Bookme. The activities are usually discounted anywhere from 20-70%. Amazing value.
Book an apartment instead of a hotel.
Having a kitchen and laundry on hand when you are travelling with the family is one of the best ways to both save time and money, especially if your holiday involves time on New Zealand’s famous mountains. Being able to wash and dry your thermals on demand as well as cook at home after a big day skiing can make all the difference. There’s a huge range of apartment accommodation in Queenstown that also offer a babysitting service which is very handy for when mum and dad need some alone time.
I hope these tips help you plan the perfect family travel in New Zealand. You will love it!
Guest post by Kristy Alexander who is passionate explorer and freelance travel writer for HotelClub Queenstown. When she’s not busy writing about traveling with the kids she can be found researching the next vacation destinations on her bucket list.