New Zealand is an amazing country and sees plenty of tourists year on year. It is also very child friendly so it is an ideal place to visit if you have kids. With this in mind, what do you need to know about traveling to New Zealand with Kids?
Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) and Visa for Kids and New Zealand
From July 2019 New Zealand is rolling out its ETA visa application process. This will enable citizens from eligible countries to apply for visas online. Currently, to secure legal entry into the country for your child you may have to complete the ETA visa application online. There are exceptions to this rule:
Australians do not need any kind of visa to enter New Zealand and get residency status on arrival.
UK minors can enter New Zealand on their passport for a period up to six months. An ETA is needed for longer stays with a maximum of 2 years.
US and EU citizens can enter New Zealand for a period up to 90 days using their passports. Longer stays up to a maximum of two years require an ETA.
An ETA New Zealand for children is required for 60 countries. This is an online application process and once approved the ETA is sent via email. If you are a citizen from a country that does not have an ETA arrangement in place, you will need to apply via your local New Zealand embassy or consulate.
Where to Take the Kids
So now you have the documentation out of the way where to go. The following places are ideal for kids.
- Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty – With gushing geysers, stinky gas and volcanic mud Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty will be loved by your children. Throw in Māori haka performances and fish and chips from the bay and you’ve got paradise.
- Wellington – The city of Wellington is vibrant and enriching and its compact size means you can get around on foot with the kids quite easily. Great museums, great places to eat and if you’re adventurous a ride in a cable car makes Wellington a must see place. The Kapiti Coast is not far away either.
- Queenstown & Wanaka – If you’re on a winter break then head here. This region is used by pro athletes to hone their skiing and snowboarding skills. Cardrona is particularly kid friendly and your little ones can learn the art of using the slopes. If you’re here out of the winter season Puzzling World in Wanaka is a hit with kids.
- Christchurch & Canterbury – If your kids like animals and nature this is the place to go. Several brilliant parks, the International Antarctic Centre, and the botanic gardens are awe inspiring. The Banks Peninsula offers a chance to see penguins, dolphins and birds.
If your plan is to see the country by road then it is best to plan, plan, plan, and plan. Consider where you are going to stay, where the gas stations are, and where you are going to eat. Study maps, research online and leave nothing to chance.
New Zealand is wonderful and is especially wonderful for kids.