New Zealand is a fantastic place for a family holiday, not least because of the plethora of activities on offer.

'A family holiday in New Zealand? Are you mad? What about the potential hell of 24 hour flights there and back? Do we look like masochists?' So spake some parent friends of ours when we suggested heading to New Zealand with children in tow. Granted, if your children make Horrible Henry and Pippi Longstocking look like perfectly mannered little angels then maybe this isn't the family holiday for you, but if, like the other 99.99% of children, they adore being outside and exploring new places, there are few better places to take them.

First, to the flights. With a bit of planning, plenty of things to keep them busy, and a possible couple of nights stopover en route in, say, Singapore, the flights to and from the Antipodes are more than manageable. And on arrival it will soon become clear why New Zealand is sometimes referred to as 'Scotland on steroids' - the sheer range of activities on offer for all ages is almost without parallel, from trekking to skiing, and swimming with dolphins to bungy-jumping which can be enjoyed by sprogs as young as ten. Toddlers and primary school children may not be allowed to partake in some, so please ask us for clarification during the holiday planning process, but seriously fun pastimes like jetboating on the River Dart are fine for children from five upwards. For older children, the fact that this is the location for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies might well appeal, from the moment they arrive into Orkland, sorry Auckland.

Last but not least, there's a brilliant way for families to see New Zealand - by camper van. This is a great way to keep accommodation costs down because you can park up and camp overnight virtually anywhere in New Zealand so you have the freedom of the entire country to explore. We don't recommend spending every night on four wheels, but nights spent out in the wilderness interchanged with stays in comfortable family-friendly lodges makes for an ideal combination.

Perfect for families

Family activity

Original Travel has teamed up with the much loved children’s party people Sharky & George to inject some (much needed) creativity and fun into the family holiday process.

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Original Highlight

Dolphins, New Zealand
Image of Katie Terrington

Leave the Nintendos and Playstations at home, New Zealand is all about getting out and about in the great outdoors. You can guarantee their little faces will be suitably rosy by the end of the first day.

Katie, Original Traveller

Where to stay

 Eagle's Nest

Eagle's Nest

Set atop a private peninsula overlooking the Bay of Islands, and surrounded by 75 acres of sub-tropical native bush and secluded beaches, Eagles Nest hotel is in a fantastic location.

Treetops Lodge and Estate

Treetops Lodge and Estate

In the heart of the Maori spiritual home of Rotorua, Treetops Lodge and Estate is a delightful haven of peace and relaxation. Surrounded by forest with valley and lake views, the Lodge is equally welcoming of honeymooning couples as of families.

Millbrook Resort

Millbrook Resort

This hotel preserves its rich history and natural surroundings, whilst remaining one of the worlds leading five star golf and spa resorts.

I just wanted to thank you for your impeccable organisation. It really was first class service at every point, I can't praise you and your organisation highly enough. Thank you so much and I hope to have the chance of travelling with you again.


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Katie is our 'Family New Zealand ' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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