New Zealand offers some of the most exciting vacation opportunities for families with kids. Hiking, swimming, sailing, and whale-watching are only a few of the activities children of all ages can enjoy. A day at the beach may well end up being one of their best memories, and you won't have to pay a cent for the pleasure. All cities and towns also have free parks, walkways, and children's playgrounds; and if you're here in summer, swimming pool complexes in most towns make for a fun, inexpensive day out for all the family.

Make sure you ask at all visitor centers for advice on the best kids' attractions. Also ask about specific summer holiday festivals and kids' activities. Many of these are short-term, one-off events that could be the very thing to ease the family stresses that come with traveling with children.

Older, more adventurous kids will no doubt love caving, rafting, kayaking, and bungy jumping, although some activities do have minimum age limits, especially in Queenstown. Most sightseeing attractions admit children at half-price, and family prices are usually available.

Although many of the better B&Bs and upmarket lodges do not accommodate children, motels and farmstays are ideal for families. Both are usually cheaper, motel rooms are regularly equipped with cooking facilities, and children will enjoy roaming the fields and helping out on a working farm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.