Nz tawharanui family sunset 1 joshua mccormack family primary header
Nz bay of islands kids playing beach family under5 easygoing
Nz dolphins kaikoura family teenagers header
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Nz tawharanui family sunset 1 joshua mccormack family primary header
Nz bay of islands kids playing beach family under5 easygoing
Nz dolphins kaikoura family teenagers header
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Share quality time and make lifelong memories

Discover New Zealand's secrets on a care-free family holiday

Close your eyes and picture your family on a dream holiday to New Zealand. Are you swimming with the world’s smallest dolphin? Building sandcastles on Awaroa beach? Cycling from mountains to oceans? Wandering through ancient rainforests? Listening to the Maori people's stories passed down from generation to generation? Watching in awe as your kids have a close encounter with a Kiwi? The possibilities are limitless.

New Zealand, an outdoor playground

Planning a family trip to the other side of the world is time-consuming, and your time is precious. Let us do the work for you so that you can spend more quality time with your kids and yourself! A well-organised holiday, designed by locals, means that you'll avoid making common travel mistakes and get the most out of your time Down Under. Are you ready to conquer one of the safest and most beautiful countries in the world? Let’s put your dreams on paper.

A journey as unique as you and your family

Whether you have young children who love the outdoors, teenagers who crave adventure and new experiences, or grandma and grandpa coming along for the ride. Time together in New Zealand will create new stories that you'll be talking about for years to come. A trip of a lifetime that represents who you are as a family.

Experience the local warmth of New Zealand

Stay at small-scale accommodations with the perfect blend of space that everyone needs while still being able to bond as a family. Soak up the Kiwi hospitality and meet the friendly local hosts who are happy to help with anything. Short drives and mapped-out routes will ensure that you are travelling at a relaxed pace. While your kids enjoy new and fascinating experiences along the way.

Spot a Kiwi | New Zealand wildlife
Spot a kiwi
© TravelEssence
Feed sheep during a farm stay

It's the small details that make your holiday extraordinary

Do you need a pram? A car seat? Easy to access cooking facilities? Consider it taken care of. We'll take the time to get to know you to match your fully bespoke holiday with your family's pace, interests, and anything desired. Combining the small details with first-hand local knowledge, you'll receive a mapped out itinerary from us - but the process isn't done until you are 100% satisfied.

Tell us what you want and we'll take care of every detail

This means you can focus on relaxing, rejuvenating and reconnecting with your family and the world around you. Get in touch to get started now.

What do you get from us?

Explore the hidden gems with a local guide | New Zealand nature
Explore the hidden gems with a local guide on your family trip
Discover the Rotorua rainforest

"At TravelEssence, we don’t just plan your dream family holiday to New Zealand. We are with you every step of the way, from the moment you leave your front door to the moment you arrive home a changed person. We take care of every detail so you can focus on having the journey of a lifetime.”

Andrew Morten, Founder and New Zealander

Where can we stay?

Experience the Kiwi lifestyle with your family in rare and beautiful places. Enjoy undisturbed nature and discover wildlife at your doorstep. Whether you prefer a farm stay in the Southern Alps or the beach as your backyard, experience hand-selected accommodations that allow you to absorb the local lifestyle.

Enjoy unique family-friendly accommodations and absorb the local lifestyle

Staying at small-scale accommodations with local hosts and renowned Kiwi hospitality is the greatest way to see New Zealand. Whether you need a kitchen for preparing home-cooked meals, a baby bed or an extra bathroom for your teenagers. Your travel specialist will ensure that your needs are catered for so that you can spend more time enjoying your holiday.

Boutique accommodation on the Coromandel Peninsula | New Zealand holiday
Enjoy quality family time on the Coromandel Peninsula
Feel at home staying in a classic Bach | New Zealand holiday
Feel at home staying in a classic 'Bach' - a Kiwi holiday house

What can we see and do?

Booking carefully selected, authentically local activities and experiences will engage your children’s curiosity and spark their love for travel. After all, immersing them in a culture different from their own is the best learning experience there is. With the diversity of New Zealand, you can see and do just about anything your family desires. Let us know what excites you and discover the best Kiwi activities for some fun-filled days.

Enjoy authentic cultural experiences and wildlife encounters

Spot the rare yellow-eyed penguin on the Caitlin Coast of South Island. Cycle along an old railway line, through tunnels and over bridges between Dunedin and Central Otago. Learn about the Maori people. Go whale-watching in Kaikoura. Kayak through Fiordland National Park. Your options are endless, with child-friendly private or small-group local activities, ranging from easy-going to adventurous.

Wakana is a great family destination
Cycle the Tongariro River Trail | New Zealand active holiday
Cycle the Tongariro River Trail

When is the best travel time?

New Zealand is a great place and a beautifully diverse country perfect for travel year-round. Are you looking to relax on the beach? Explore the cities? Discover the wilderness? The options are endless. We understand that with school-age children you’re more likely to travel during the UK summer months. This is during the New Zealand winter which is a great time because you'll feel like you get the whole country to yourself.

Make the most out of your time in New Zealand

Your travel specialist will get a sense of your family’s interests and make personal recommendations on the best places to go and the best travel time. We recommend booking about 9-12 months in advance. This ensures that you will secure the best accommodations for the best prices at the time you would like to visit. However, if you'd like to embark on your journey sooner we can still make it happen.

Beautiful beach Coromandel | New Zealand holiday with kids
Sit back and relax while your kids play on the beach
© TravelEssence
Scenic flight over the mighty Southern Alps | New Zealand holiday
Enjoy a scenic flight over the mighty Southern Alps on a family adventure

How long do we need in New Zealand?

You could spend months travelling the ever-changing landscape of New Zealand and not see the same place twice. For your holiday, the question becomes, "How long do we have together?" We highly recommend travelling slower as a family - stay in each place for two to five nights, drive less, and explore more. No need to rush from highlight to highlight with tired, unhappy kids at the end of the day.

Travel at a relaxed pace

To truly experience the essence of New Zealand, a minimum of five weeks would be ideal. However, if you have slightly less time, your travel specialist can help you choose the best regions that suit your wishes.

Bbq dinner | New Zealand holiday
Enjoy a lamb barbecue dinner
Go horse riding on the beach in Nelson | New Zealand active holiday
Go horse riding on the beach in Nelson
© TravelEssence

How do I travel around?

With every turn of the road, New Zealand’s landscape changes. A dramatic array of scenery that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. From coastal roads to panoramic rainforest passes, and awe-inspiring mountainous landscapes - New Zealand is best explored by car. For families, we recommend a self-drive holiday in a large SUV with plenty of space for the kids in the back. This allows you to explore off the beaten track places that group trips and campervans often cannot reach.

Take advantage of our special deals and travel comfortably, complete with:

  • A spacious SUV
  • A navigation system
  • Air-conditioning
  • Full insurance and low fuel costs
  • Hire cars that are less than six months old
  • Plenty of luggage space
  • Safe and secure roads
  • Pre-arranged baby car seat or booster chair
  • A route with only a couple of hours between each location
  • Discover off the beaten track places that motorhomes often cannot reach

Drive less, see more

A relaxed travel pace is the greatest way to see New Zealand. And your travel specialist will design your holiday with two or more nights at each location. Explore each local area and get the most out of where you are. This way you get to drive less but see more. Because that's what a great holiday is all about at TravelEssence.

If you are thinking of renting a campervan, talk to us now and discover why driving in a rental car is the best way to see New Zealand.

Lewis Pass wiggles through mountains | New Zealand nature
Lewis Pass wiggles through mountains and dense beech forest
Picnic lunch by the river in the Arthur's Pass | New Zealand holiday
Pack a picnic lunch and sit by the river in the Arthur's Pass

Great flights and stopover arrangements to New Zealand

Final destination: New Zealand! A comfortable flight makes all the difference, no matter which class you fly. Travelling to New Zealand with children may seem as though it's a bit of a mission. But it isn’t. We’ve experienced it first-hand ourselves and can offer you some great tips.

Benefits of travelling with babies and toddlers

As a specialist in travel to New Zealand, we can offer you the best route options, airlines, seats onboard, connections and time to travel for young families.

  • Depending on your child's age, they may fly for free
  • You can bring your buggy to the gate
  • Skip the lines when boarding
  • If you require a bassinet, enjoy the extra space in the front row
  • Experience world-class service and extra support from the team of air hostesses

Take advantage of our first-hand experience and airline connections:

  • Endless movies, games and music
  • The best flight schedule
  • The most spacious seats in each class
  • Guaranteed seats next to each other
  • A good assortment of food and drinks for the journey
  • The best price
  • Carbon neutral flight each time

Take a break and enjoy a stopover

If you’re worried about the length of the journey, a stopover is a great way to break up the flight to relax and revive. Enhance your holiday by adding an extra cultural experience to your journey. From visiting the rice fields, white-sand beaches and temples in Bali to exploring the markets in Hong Kong and tasting the local cuisine. Stay at special accommodations that have all the extra ingredients for you and your family to indulge in.

Enjoyable and comfortable flights | New Zealand holiday with kids
Flying with young kids? We can make sure it's an enjoyable experience
Variety of food and wine on your flight | New Zealand holiday
Indulge in a variety of food and wine on your flight to New Zealand

Sample itineraries

Your trip to New Zealand will represent you as a family. Take a look at some favourite past trips to get inspired for your own journey. With holidays ranging from three to seven weeks based on various themes, you can change comfort levels, and add activities, rental cars, and flights to sense the possibilities that await.

Start your dream journey here

Bring your ideas to us, take advantage of our local knowledge, and together we will create your unique, personalised holiday that is yours and yours alone. Get in touch with us here.

Swimming with dolphins | New Zealand wildlife

7 activities to inspire your trip to New Zealand

Dear TravelEssence, We have just arrived home after a really wonderful trip to New Zealand! There were so many… read more

Frequently asked questions

Specialist knowledge means the details that need specific attention are always taken care of - you don't have to worry about anything. But of course, you may have a lot of questions right now as you get an idea of the possibilities that await you. Find the answers to your questions here.

Fiordland 17

Tourism can be great for the environment. With us, you make a positive difference.

Let's accentuate the positive, reduce the negative, and offset what's left.

Sustainability in action

Useful facts

Enjoy a surf lesson in Raglan | New Zealand active holiday
Enjoy a surf lesson in Raglan
Enjoy beautiful beaches with your family

Why book with us?

When you book your family trip with us, your travel specialist has only one goal: to create your dream holiday through New Zealand and to do it properly. Make the most of your time Down Under by choosing a travel specialist that has local experience and knows New Zealand like the back of their hand. We are travel nerds and from our first-hand experience believe that small details lead to big differences. Get in touch to make your holiday dream become a reality.

Ready for the holiday of a lifetime?

Discover a world beyond ordinary

At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.