It’s nearly school holiday time again! Keep the kids busy this time round by opening up a world of thrills and surprises the whole family can enjoy. New Zealand is packed with family-friendly activities, from zoos and wildlife experiences to zipline adventures, dinosaur exhibits, movie studio tours and more. Our guide to school holiday activities in New Zealand has you covered from north to south!
Auckland is an ideal family destination filled with wildlife experiences, adventure parks and shows. The kids will love The Domes at Auckland Zoo, where they can step back into the zoo’s 100-year history through interactive exhibits. Don’t forget to say hello to the zoo’s two new Sumatran tigers! You can also meet marine life up close at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s world-famous aquarium.
For a day packed with adventure, catch a ferry to nearby the beach of Waiheke Island. Situated at one of the island’s highest points on Trig Hill, EcoZip Adventures offers 360-degree views of Waiheke, the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City. Auckland Adventure Park is another great place to take the kids, with rides, zip lines and a downhill luge nestled in Auckland’s rolling green hills.
Dive into nautical heritage at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Find out what’s on and time your visit with one of the many educational sailboat cruises, collection exhibitions and interactive seafaring adventures. There’s also plenty to explore at the Auckland Museum. See two of the rarest T-Rex skeletons ever displayed, as well as a valuable collection of over 1000 Māori treasures (taonga).
Where to stay
Discover fun things for kids to do in Auckland by staying close to the action at Quality Hotel Lincoln Green – the beautiful west coast beaches are also only 30 minutes away.
Known for its outdoor attractions, art and history, the vibrant city of Wellington is a great place to take the kids. Take in the beautiful city and its surrounds by riding up the hill on the historic Wellington Cable Car. At the top, you’ll also find the Cable Car Museum and Space Place at the Carter Observatory – explore the universe through interactive galleries and the full-dome digital planetarium. You can also enjoy a picnic at the nearby Botanic Garden.
Home to over 500 friendly animals, Wellington Zoo offers a range of exciting and educational activities for kids, including animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, and conservation workshops (don’t miss half-price Friday nights!). Zealandia Eco-Sanctuary also allows visitors to see native wildlife up close – including endangered species such as the kiwi bird. Kids will love the guided tours and interactive exhibits.
Fans of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit won’t want to miss the acclaimed Wētā Workshop and the Wētā Cave shop. Take a tour and learn about the props, special effects and movie-making magic behind some of cinema’s biggest movies. For more incredible exhibits, the incredible Te Papa Museum includes over 50,000 artworks, 1.5 million photographs, natural history specimens and the “Mana Whenua” exhibit about Māori culture and heritage.
Where to stay
Enjoy a packed calendar of Wellington school holidays activities by staying at Quality Hotel The Angus, by the picturesque Hutt River.
Christchurch is the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, and a gateway to nature and adventure. Visit the International Antarctic Centre and enjoy immersive experiences including a 4D theatre that simulates the conditions of Antarctica, and resident penguin encounters. You can meet more native New Zealand wildlife at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, home to a kiwi house and large forest parrots.
The Christchurch Adventure Park in nearby Port Hills promises an action-packed day of outdoor adventure, with walks, mountain biking trails and New Zealand’s longest and highest zipline. Kids will love the Canterbury Museum, an exciting hub of interactive exhibits, a Maori cultural exhibit and a natural history and a dinosaur section.
For some relaxing timeout visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and enjoy the walking paths and picnic areas. There’s also a children’s playground for the younger ones. Don’t forget there are also plenty of beaches to explore, including Sumner Beach, Scarborough Beach and Tumbledown Bay.
Where to stay
You’ll enjoy all the school holidays activities Christchurch has to offer at one of the city’s many comfortable and stylish accommodation options.