It’s April and New Zealand’s Easter school holidays are right around the corner. It’s the ideal time to get out of town and take the family somewhere new for some fun activities and quality bonding time.
Without careful planning, family holidays can sometimes become too expensive for the average kiwi family. In this month’s blog we want to offer up some inspiration for a low-cost, yet comfortable and fun-filled Easter holiday — excellent fun for the kids and a well-earned break for mum and dad.
How to find affordable accommodation
Put plainly, family holidays are as costly as you make them. If you’re feeling saucy and have been saving hard all school term, you may want to splash out on some more palatial digs like the motel and self-contained units we offer at many of our 39 Kiwi Holiday Parks and Accommodation (KHPA) locations around New Zealand.
At the other end of the financial equation is pitching the family tent at a non-powered KHPA camp site. These sites are prime for the budget-conscious family at between roughly $17 and $22 per night for an adult and around $10 per night for children. Usually a flat patch of grass, these sites benefit from access to communal park facilities which include showers, toilets, kitchen and laundry. Everything you need to keep the whanau well-fed, clean and clothed.
5 good-value activities to do during Easter holidays
The whole point of taking our kids on holiday is to expose them to new and interesting experiences. The sky’s the limit when it comes to cost for these activities, but that’s not to say you need to sell the farm — there are plenty of free and reasonable cost/high value activities that your little ones will love.
1. Take a hike!
A healthy and scenic option is short and overnight hikes that will get the whole family away from screens and into the great outdoors for some fresh air and exercise. DOC have been good enough to list some stand outs that you can browse by location, here. Don’t forget your scroggin!
2. Rotorua canopy tours
An exceptionally fun and gratifying option, a canopy tour is a guided adventure into nature that sees participants navigate swing bridges and zip lines high in the tree canopy amongst ancient native forest. The experience lasts three hours and is suitable for ages six and above.
3. Rotorua Thermal Hot Pools
If you’re in Rotorua and you strike inclement weather, something that won’t be cooled by rain or cold temperatures are the multiple thermal hot pools in and around the North Island city. A notable free and beautiful natural hot spring is Kerosene Creek, which is located a 35-minute drive from Rotorua.
4. Caving near Westport
Near Charleston (a short drive from Westport), the Te Ananui cave system is the site of Underworld Adventures rafting experience. The company also takes guided glow-worm tours through dry levels of the same cave system. Check them out.
5. The nearest playground or pool you can find!
For a magic few years there, playgrounds and pools are wonderfully exciting places for your kids to be. This doesn’t stop when you’re on holiday, so take full advantage of the available playgrounds on your travel route and at or near your accommodation.
Every single KHPA location around NZ has a children’s playground on site, with many sporting an ‘air pillow’ for hours of bouncy entertainment. We pride ourselves on catering for the young ones… our Hokitika park even has a skateboard ramp!
When to take your Easter holiday
Easter is an excellent time to be on holiday… lots of accommodation providers have likely come off their high season rates, holiday camps aren’t so busy with international tourists who were here for summer, and you won’t be subject to the sweltering heat of summer.
You could hang around home and get all those odd jobs done during the first week of the Easter school holiday. Try getting the kids involved (maybe they’ll finally clean their room!) with the potential reward of a trip away in week two.
Or flip it around and hit the road as soon as the kids get out of school. Spend the entire two weeks exploring our great nation, or head home for the second week and let everyone ride high on the newfound energy the trip away has created.
Handy hints to keep family holiday costs down
1. Pack lunches for day trips and activities. Some PB and J sandwiches are much cheaper and healthier than a Happy Meal per child.
2. Use your discount fuel card or look out for discount days at your local Gull petrol station.
3. Make the most of onsite facilities like the kitchens at KHPA parks to cook your dinners. This will cost less than takeaways or restaurants and your kids will revel in the social element of a common room.
4. Get yourself a Kiwi Card to save 15% on KHPA accommodation and receive excellent discounts at nearby tourist activities and on Ferry crossings. And don’t forget your Fly Buys card to earn one point for every $20 spent at a KHPA venue.
Your best family holiday yet?
We hope our blog has helped get you excited about taking the kids on their best Easter holiday yet. The family holiday can seem daunting from a distance, but after considered planning and budgeting, the reward of seeing your children having the time of their lives will be absolutely worth it.