INSIDE: Visit Roam the Gnome’s New Zealand Travel Blog for ideas for family travel in New Zealand. Updated 2019.
You’ve arrived at the ultimate destination for SUPER DOOPER FUN ideas & activities for family travel in New Zealand with Kids, Roam the Gnome™ Family Travel Website. Thanks for stopping by.
We love travelling New Zealand with kids – the people are friendly, the scenery is spectacular, the driving is cruisey, the food makes our tastebuds tingle – and have visited 5 times in the last few years to see family.
It’s our second home.
We’re here to help, and will try and answer the most popular questions, including these ones we’ve recently received:
- Whats your best advice for traveling in New Zealand?
- Where are good places to visit in New Zealand for a first time traveler
- What are the best places in New Zealand
- What are the most popular Tourist Attractions of New Zealand?
- What are the unmissable places in New Zealand?
- Which should I visit in New Zealand North Island or South Island?
We’d love you to look around Roam the Gnome travel website, and read about some of our favourite places to visit in NZ.
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. If you book a product or service after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you.
- 1 New Zealand Travel Blog
- 2 Featured Cities – New Zealand with Kids
- 3 AUCKLAND TRAVEL BLOG
- 4 Destination: Auckland with Kids
- 5 NAPIER TRAVEL BLOG
- 6 Destination – Napier with Kids
- 7 ROTORUA TRAVEL BLOG
- 8 Destination: Rotorua New Zealand
- 9 TAUPO & WAITOMO TRAVEL BLOG
- 10 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW ZEALAND
- 11 Is it difficult to travel in New Zealand without a car?
- 12 What is the best hire car company in New Zealand?
- 13 What is the best travel insurance for New Zealand?
- 14 What visa do I need for New Zealand?
- 15 Can I go to New Zealand if I have an Australian visa?
- 16 What is the best time of year to visit New Zealand?
- 17 What is the coolest things to do in New Zealand?
- 18 How long would I need to really see New Zealand?
- 19 LOOKING FOR MORE FUN CITIES TO VISIT WITH KIDS?
New Zealand Travel Blog
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in NZ dollars.
Roam the Gnome Family Travel Blog will help save you time, stress & money when planning to BOOK YOUR NEXT TRIP to New Zealand!
We guarantee it.
Featured Cities – New Zealand with Kids
Hobbiton is on the bucket list for most visitors to New Zealand, even though 30% of visitors have NEVER seen the movies!
There’s even a Hobbiton gift shop, so you can buy all the best Hobbiton souvenirs.
CHECK LATEST PRICES ON GET YOUR GUIDE:
- Hobbiton Movie Set Guided Tour and Festive Buffet Lunch
- Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with transport from Auckland
But there’s also so much more to NZ with kids than Lord of the Rings, and the best bit is you can easily self-drive around both North and South Island and see lots of the NZ attractions in two weeks.
Here’s a few cities on the North Island that you shouldn’t miss.
AUCKLAND TRAVEL BLOG
Planning family travel in New Zealand on the North Island, and need to fill your New Zealand itinerary with fun things to do in New Zealand? Start here.
Our first tip is to catch the SkyBus from the airport to the CBD because up to four kids can travel FREE with one adult on the Family 1 and 2 Skybus fares!
I love when kids travel free on transport – it’s a HUGE saving for families who love exploring the world.
(PS: We need to visit the New Zealand South Island to write posts about Christchurch, Milford Sound, and Queenstown. It’s on our list!)
Destination: Auckland with Kids
Most people fly into Auckland to start their NZ North Island adventure but don’t take the time to explore much of the city, despite it being one of the most family-friendly, safe destinations on the planet.
We love Auckland, even on a rainy day. It’s cosmopolitan AND quaint, often at the same time.
Auckland is a small city, so you can pretty much walk anywhere from most central accommodation. Head on up the Sky Tower for views of the whole city, or check out the city with a ride the Hop on Hop Off bus.
Take note: The city rises on a sharp incline from the harbour up the hill, so be prepared to puff the whole walk home.
This is one time we’d recommend catching a bus up the hill, or an UBER. We guarantee the investment will pay off as there will be no grumpy children or husbands to contend with.
NAPIER TRAVEL BLOG
Find all kinds of stories about Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand, including:
- places to visit in Napier
- where to eat in Napier with kids
- fun stuff to do in Napier with kids, and
- our top tips for visiting Napier city.
Destination – Napier with Kids
Napier is one of the most beautiful spots on the North Island of New Zealand. Part of the greater Hawkes’ Bay area, there is tonnes of stuff for families to do in Napier too.
- wildlife to meet
- Art Deco architecture to gape at
- fabulous playgrounds
- an oceanside walking and cycle path
- the Napier Prison self guided tour
- hands-on museums for kids
The best thing to do in Napier though, is the one-of-a-kind Cape Kidnappers Gannet bird colony sightseeing tour. It’s the world’s largest mainland gannet colony and it’s perched on the top of the magnificent Napier cliffs. You’ll learn about Maori legends too.
Check out our “Napier attractions” stories below.
ROTORUA TRAVEL BLOG
The ultimate holiday destination on the North Island of New Zealand is definitely Rotorua.
Plus, it’s only an hour or so to Hobbiton in Matamata by car, so double points.
While it’s the best fun for kids and families (and anyone for that matter), it’s NOT cheap.
Destination: Rotorua New Zealand
Stuff your wallet and then double it.
Rotorua attractions are expensive in the grand scheme of things, and you’ll want to do lots of them, including the astounding Tamaki Maori Village cultural evening and hangi dinner where you can learn about Maori heritage, dance, story, song, and cultural practices still in place today.
(This is SO much fun – a great immersive experience of storytelling, dance and song. Take a look at our Tamaki Maori Village review.)
You can also:
- ride a ZORB down the hill
- ride the Skyline Gondola and LUGE!!! (Get tickets here)
- ride the Zipline Canopy through the native forest (Get tickets here)
- ride a whitewater raft down the Kaituna river and Tutea falls
- ride the Agrojet
- ride the Rotorua duck tour boat (We did. Hilarious!)
- visit the National Kiwi hatchery at Rainbow Springs
- see the Geothermal activity around town, and watch the geyser blow at Te Puia
And the Hells Gate Mud Baths and Sulphur Spa experience.
DON’T MISS THIS!
But back to Hobbiton.
Visiting the former movie set of The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, just outside the town of Matamata, is a consistent contender in the top 5 things to do in New Zealand.
Seeing that dramatic unforgettable scenery in person, and wandering through the fields of Hobbit holes in real life, just can’t be beat.
Take a sneak peek at all the fun things to do in Rotorua.
TAUPO & WAITOMO TRAVEL BLOG
We’ve compiled a super fun list of the best New Zealand attractions in Taupo & Waitomo for kids on our Taupo travel blog, including the best playground in Taupo and nature adventures too.
Do these things:
- Visit the Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving via a cruise on the lake
- Ride the Huka Falls on a jet boat
- Do a Taupo instagram tour to take selfies at all the popular scenic spots
Hot tip: Don’t miss the giant airplane at McDonalds!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW ZEALAND
Is it difficult to travel in New Zealand without a car?
Yes, but not impossible.
There are plenty of bus companies, and tour companies to help you make your way around, but driving New Zealand is SO much easier.
The roads are good, the traffic is low, and the scenery is spectacular.
Drive if you can.
What is the best hire car company in New Zealand?
I started looking for a car hire firm that would take a VISA debit card as security, as I don’t own a credit card (by choice.)
We stumbled upon AERODRIVE car hire, and it was the most affordable, least hassle car hire experience we’ve ever had.
Definitely worth a look, before you go with the big guys.
What is the best travel insurance for New Zealand?
Never travel without travel insurance. Our motto is ‘if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel’.
We’ve written a Travel Insurance cost comparison to help our readers work out the best travel insurance for New Zealand for a family. Take a look.
What visa do I need for New Zealand?
Click here for all the NZ visa information.
Can I go to New Zealand if I have an Australian visa?
If you need an Australian visa for your country, you’ll need a separate visa for New Zealand too. (Some countries have visa waivers with both Australia and New Zealand that last three months.) Click here for more details.
What is the best time of year to visit New Zealand?
For skiing, visit in the New Zealand winter (July to mid September. August is the best.)
For all other holidays, go when it’s warmest.
New Zealand is bloody freezing at the best of times, and while cafes, restaurants, and some attractions provide heating in the cooler months, getting out and about in New Zealand with kids means layers and layers and LAYERS of clothing, AND big jackets to carry around too.
That makes life more difficult when you have kids in tow.
We love to visit between November and January. The temperatures then are perfect for travelling around both the North and South islands of New Zealand.
What is the coolest things to do in New Zealand?
Followed closely by a trip on the downhill LUGE in Rotorua or Queenstown. My boys would argue it’s THE BEST THING TO DO in New Zealand.
How long would I need to really see New Zealand?
You can do a pretty good roam around the North Island in 3 weeks.
Same for the South Island.
A solid month split between both islands, if you can’t manage more, would allow you time to see all the BIG sights, and a few smaller ones too.
LOOKING FOR MORE FUN CITIES TO VISIT WITH KIDS?
We’d love to help. Click the links in blue below for our Ultimate Destination Guides.
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