The 10 Best Family Experiences in New Zealand

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If you’ve ever travelled with kids, you know how difficult it can be. While you might enjoy looking around museums and exploring a city’s cultural heritage, your kids would rather chase pigeons. And if you have teenagers, there’s a high likelihood that they would rather stay at home on their computers than participate in the trip of a lifetime.

But New Zealand is one of the best countries for a family vacation. For the younger ones, there is no shortage of entertainment; your kids will probably remember “that awesome luge ride” and forget everything else they saw in New Zealand. And for the teens, New Zealand is a virtual amusement park of thrill rides and adventure tours. They can’t say they’re bored when their adrenaline is racing!

Here are the top 10 family experiences in New Zealand:

#1. TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Farm Tour (All ages)

Earnslaw Queenstown Sheep

If your kids like animals, they are sure to love the TSS Earnslaw Cruise, which stops at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a taste of farm life. For a more immersive experience, stay for a gourmet BBQ lunch!

 

#2. Skyline Luge (All ages)

Skyline Gondola Rotorua Luge

Kids of all ages will love hurtling down the hill at breakneck speeds on the Skyline Luge in Rotorua! You won’t be able to stop after just one ride.

 

#3. Shotover Jet (Ages 3 and up)

Shotover Jet Queenstown Adventure

Hold on tight as the Shotover Jet hurtles through the spectacular Shotover Canyon in Queenstown! This is an off-track roller coaster, an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that your kids will never forget.

 

#4. Bungy Jump (Ages 6 and up)

Taupo Bungy River

New Zealand was the birthplace of the bungy, so what better place to throw yourself off a bridge? Teens will love the daredevil experience, and you can watch safely from the sidelines! Take the plunge in Taupo, Queenstown, or Hanmer Springs.

 

#5. Rotorua River Jet – “The Squeeze” (Ages 5 and up)

RiverJet The Squeeze

Combine a thrilling jet boat ride with an exciting canyon exploration on “The Squeeze,” a tour through the warm geothermal waters around Rotorua.

 

#6. Abel Tasman Sea Kayaking (Ages 10 and up)

Wilsons Abel Tasman

If your kids have more energy than you know what to do with, take them on an Abel Tasman kayaking trip and let them explore the gorgeous coastline and splash each other to their heart’s content.

 

#7. Swimming with Dolphins (Ages 8 and up)

Swimming with the Dolphins Bay of Islands

If you have a swimmer in the family, this trip is a must-do. You will get to experience the playful majesty of the friendliest species of dolphin (the Bottlenose) as you swim in the warm waters of the Bay of Islands.

 

#8. 4WD Tours (All ages)

Nomads Safaris 4WD

Whether you’re looking for a tour of Lord of the Rings filming locations or a thrilling off-road adventure, Nomad Safaris tours in Queenstown are packed with stunning scenery and fantastic fun.

 

#9. Helicopter Flight with a Glacier Landing (All ages)

Alpine Adventure Fox Heliservices

Adults will love the incredible scenery that can only be witnessed from the air; kids will love playing on top of a glacier and having a snowball fight in the middle of the wilderness! The best places to experience a glacier up close are Mt Cook and Franz Josef.

 

#10. Waitomo Adventure Cave Tour (Ages 10 and up)

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If your kids are the adventurous type, treat them to a wild caving adventure the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Abseil, zipline, float, swim, and climb your way through the spectacular Waitomo Caves on the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll see glowworms, stalactites, stalagmites, and even fossils in these remarkable caverns.