1. Accommodation Fun
Stay away from home and spend a night at the zoo with the zoo's snooze program. Kids will enjoy the Zoo Snooze Program which often includes an up-close animal encounter, craft activities, night tours and games. Alternatively, join the aquarium's overnight program ! It is a rare chance to explore the aquarium after hours, and you can get to participate in a variety of activities organised by the staff. With an expert guide, you may get to visit the aquarium's behind-the-scenes areas and the food-preparation area to learn how the animals are cared for and fed. Where : Wellington - Wellington Zoo, Napier - The National Aquarium of New Zealand
2. Farmstays or Farm Tours
If your kids love animals, why not plan for a farmstay ? Have them engaged in interesting farm activities such as milking the cows, collecting eggs, feeding out the hay, riding on a tractor and watching sheep dogs at work. Your hosts may also bring your family for a farm walk or organize some sidetrips, guided tours or fun activities such as scuba diving, trekking and forest walks. Don't forget to bring a little gift to thank your hosts for their warm and kind hospitality. Alternatively, join a farm tour and get to cuddle an animal, watch a sheep shearing show or a ram parade and enjoy a barbeque lunch at the farm. Where : Rotorua - Agrodome, Auckland - SheepWorld Farm & Nature Park, Wellington - Bluebank Blueberry and Emu Farm, Rotorua - Rainbow Farm, Taupo - Prawn Farm, Taupo - Lilliput Farm & Animal Park; Queenstown - Walter Peak High Country Farm Excursions; Wanaka - Fork Farm
3. Great Rail Journeys
The TranzScenic is New Zealand's rail company offering excellent rail journeys with spectacular scenery along its different routes. You can make a choice from the Overlander, the Capital Connection, the Tranzcoastal and the Tranzalpine. There are always some excursion packages on sale or Great Train Escapes with accommodation planned for you. It has a Scenic Rail Pass. The seven day pass includes one Interislander journey; while the one month pass includes two Interislander journeys. On selected Saturdays from May to September, you can enjoy Steam Engine Saturday Day Excursions at both the North and South Islands. For more information, visit the Tranzscenic Website.
4. Scenic Adventures
New Zealand is a country teemed with excellent national parks and wildlife. Take time off to admire the beautiful creation of God. Plan a trip to the national parks where kids can have a wonderful time roaming around and feeling the breathe of nature. Some wonderful parks include Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes, Mount Cook, Arthur's Pass, Mt Aspiring, Fiordland and the UNESCO site - Tongariro National Park. Some great walks include Abel Tasman Coast Track, Heaphy Track, Kepler Track, Milford Track, Rakiura Track, Routeburn Track, Lake Waikaremoana Track, and the Tongariro Northern Circuit. Please note that some tracks require good physical fitness and may require days to complete; hence they may not be suitable for kids. A good way of experiencing nature for your kids is perhaps to stay overnight at a campsite. For more information, visit the Department of Conservation website. Other scenic adventures include : Queenstown - Skippers, Macetown, Lord of the Rings filming locations
5. Zoos and Wildlife Parks
Kids love wildlife ! There are many ways to enjoy wildlife. A visit to the zoo is a good start. Check the events calendar of the zoo and do not miss the animal shows. Animal shows are always interesting and often include audience participation games, keeper chats and animal demonstrations. Where : Auckland - Auckland Zoo, Kiwi Valley; Wellington - Wellington Zoo, Tahunanui Beach, Nelson - Natureland Zoological Park, Rotorua - Rainbow Springs Nature Park; Kiwi Encounter; Christchurch - Orana Wildlife Park, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Plan a trip to the aquarium. Enjoy their training sessions where you can watch the aquarists feeding and training the sea animals. Don't forget to print out the pictures of the amazing underwater animals from the website and get your kids to identify them at the aquarium. Why not encourage your kids to be aquarium keepers for a day ? Where : Napier - Marineland, Napier - The National Aquarium of New Zealand; Wellington - Wellington Aquatic Centre; Auckland - Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World
7. Wildlife Cruise
Another way of getting to know wildlife is to embark on a wildlife cruise. Observe animals such as whales, dolphins, penguins, albatross, seals as well as other sea birds in their natural habitats. Do not miss the Royal Albatross Colony and Yellow Eyed Penguin reserve. Usually, the cruise is fully narrated by a skipper who has a wealth of knowledge of the wildlife. Majority of the catamarans are suitable for families and for young children. Do ensure that your children are supervised at all times for their own safety. Remember to clothe your kids with warm clothing, bring a hat and apply some sun screen lotion. Have a good time experiencing an aquatic adventure that your kids will remember for a lifetime ! Where : Akaroa, Lyttelton, Dunedin, Kaikoura and Christchurch, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, The Marlborough Sounds
The museum is always a child's delight. It offers a myriad of activities and hands-on opportunities for them to unleash their creativity and imagination. Different museums will have different themes and galleries ranging from physical and natural sciences, history, world cultures and the arts. Check the events calendar and find out the featured programs of the museum. Where : Auckland Museum, Otago Museum, Story Place at the Museum of New Zealand, Canterbury Museum
9. Factories Visit
A visit to the factory is always fun. You can learn how food products are made. Kids will enjoy the various demonstrations, hands-on opportunities and get a chance to taste the products. Don't forget to bring back some memorable gifts for your kids. Where : Dunedin - Cadbury Factory
10. Themepark Fun
Themeparks are always a draw for kids. Remember to observe the safety precautions and rules of the themepark. Not all rides are suitable for children as some have age or height restrictions. You can obtain information on the available kids rides from the website of the themepark. Remember to dress comfortably. Protect your family from the sun with sunscreen and headgear, even on cloudy days. Don't forget to drink plenty of water and have a fun day at the themepark. Where : Auckland - Rainbow's End
Spend a day at the botantical gardens to learn more about the plants, flowers and trees. Some gardens have seasonal highlights for spring, summer, autumn and winter; while others have a blooming calendar identifying the varieties of flowers in bloom for different seasons. You may wish to print out the pictures of the flowers from the website and get your kids to name them at the garden. Bring your kids to the interactive botanical play zone or the children's garden for a time of play. Alternatively, enjoy a guided tour at the garden. Where : Wellington Botanic Garden, Christchurch Botanical Gardens, Dunedin Botanic Garden.
12. Unique Experiences
Other fun attractions for kids include : Rotorua - Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland; Taupo - Taupo Adventure Park; Volcanic Activity Centre; Christchurch - International Antarctic Centre; Wanaka - The Puzzling World
There are definitely more places for you to explore and discover a new adventure for your family while in New Zealand. May your family have a happy and blessed stay in the lovely country.
This article was corntibuted by Jasime from Kids Love Vacations - http://www.kidslovevacations.com/ is a simple travel guide with travel tips, fun activities and attractions, sightseeing passes, family vacations, hostels network, travel bargains, travel resources and a travel store! We make vacations easier.