From Christchurch to Wellington, New Zealand is kid-friendly with many outdoor areas to explore. The playgrounds, waterfronts and parks are fun in any city.
New Zealand is Super Kid-Friendly
We found New Zealand to be one of the most kid-friendly countries we have visited. This was important, because our time in New Zealand was non-stop with so much to see and so little time. We stayed someplace new every night and often drove 3 hours or more to each destination. As often as we could, we took breaks at public parks to play.
The kids really did an amazing job, the whole time. Sure, they had their moments, but they handled the trip challenges with aplomb and enthusiasm. They definitely earned their time exploring the many parks New Zealand had to offer!
It wasn’t hard to find good parks in New Zealand, as nearly every town we drove into had at least a few off the main road. There were so many fun-looking ones we wish we could have spent more time visiting them.
One of our favorites was in Christchurch where we spent a couple of hours running around playing a lot of tag. It was exactly what the kids needed.
Christchurch New Zealand
Christchurch was more industrial than I imagined it would be. Everywhere we had been to this point was so remarkable, true outdoor paradises, and then we drove into Christchurch… It’s definitely not the photo-friendly city that Queenstown is.
Despite the lack of scenery, we found a good Indian restaurant and bought food from a nice grocery store; as it turned out, we really enjoyed the break from the bakeries along the highways, and recommend that you stock up at grocery stores so you don’t get tired of savory pies. After starting some laundry we headed to a park we saw while driving around.
Wellington New Zealand
The next part of our journey took us to Pictin at the north end of the South Island. We boarded the ferry early in the morning and set off for Wellington.
It was a rough cruise for everyone. We bought a lot of ginger beer to try and ease our queasy stomachs, but all of us were at least a little seasick by the end of the voyage.
We had a few ideas of things to do in Wellington, but we wanted to leave it open and flexible. We decided against going to do a Lord of the Rings tours and instead decided to enjoy the Waterfront and Cuba Street. Check out
The waterfront is a beautiful place to walk along the bay and enjoy restaurants, shops and the amazing Frank Kitts Park. The fresh air was great as we strolled around and the kids played.
The main slide is shaped like a lighthouse; it is a fun climb up and a fast, narrow slide down!
Known for being a Bohemian neighborhood, it is one of the more popular streets in Wellington. It’s a pedestrian mall with many shops, bookstores and restaurants. There is a large bucket fountain in the middle of the street that is fun to watch.
We couldn’t resist taking our picture at the rainbow crossing. It took several red lights for us to get the picture, but it was a great time! It was so fun running out with the kids, plopping down in the middle of the street and then rushing out of the street again. Their genuine concern about getting hit by a car because we were sitting in the street (all the drivers were very polite) was adorable.
Christchurch to Wellington wasn’t the most exciting part of our trip, but it was the break that we needed to do some laundry and relax. It was a good reminder that it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you are together as a family!