Family Friendly

    The Best South Island Family Friendly Holiday Parks

    December 29, 2022Tom Lanauze

    9 min read

    Whether it's tasting an award winning vino, watching a massive whale leap out of the ocean or walking to a glacier in the middle of a rainforest, the south Island offers variety and then some! Home to both the Southern Scenic Route and the Great Coast Road, there are numerous amazing road trips to be had through this amazing area of natural beauty where the mountains meet the sea.

    If you're visiting the North Island, check out our Best Family Friendly North Island Holiday Parks or you can check out our Top 20 Family Friendly Holiday Parks in New Zealand.

    Top of The South

    From whales to wines, an alpine spa town and the stunning vistas of its national parks, the top of South offers it all.

    Punakaiki Beach Camp.jpg Punakaiki Beach Camp

    Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve and Holiday Park - Nelson/Tasman Sitting right on the gateway to the world renowned Abel Tasman National Park and famous for its golden sand, turquoise water and four seasons of recreation and events with accommodation and dining to suit everyone. Situated right on Kaiteriteri Beach (voted as one of the top five in the world by the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper) and with its own playground, this is one of the locals favourite family destinations.

    Tahuna Beach Holiday Park - Nelson/Tasman Tahuna Beach Holiday Park and Motel is a favourite for locals. Its location is perfect, with it being close to Nelson, yet adjacent to the long white sands of Tahunanui Beach. It covers 54 acres of parklands, giving you direct access to the beach, playing fields and local beachside attractions. On site there are several recreation areas, including a beach volleyball court, basketball court, petanque, several playgrounds, an 18-hole mini golf course, and an outdoor amphitheatre for live music and other events!

    Quinney’s Bush – Nelson/Tasman Quinney’s Bush is a popular, back-to-basics adventure camp set in spacious grounds of 10 hectares with native trees and safe river swimming. Hosts Mark and Marama Quinney would like to welcome you to Quinney’s Bush, a camp which promotes memorable, traditional family holidays. The camp is packed full of adventures including a playground, flying fox, BMX track, waterslide, skatepark and obstacle course to name a few!

    Spring Creek Holiday Park - Blenheim Nestled next to the crystal clear waters of Spring Creek and surrounded by trees in a quiet park-like atmosphere, this is an ideal place to bring the kids to get closer to nature, while still having the luxuries of a swimming pool and playground on hand!

    Gentle Annie’s - West Coast More than a place to stop for a night, Gentle Annie’s is a destination in itself. It offers a relaxed & friendly atmosphere in a stunning location on the Great Coast Road. It has plenty to do nearby to help keep the young and old entertained, from glow worm walks to spotting seals and dolphins. There is even a native bush maze to lose yourself in! With everything from a playground to a wood-fired hot tub, to roasting marshmallows on a driftwood bonfire on the beach, Gentle Annie’s is a great place for a family holiday.

    Punakaiki Beach Camp - West Coast Punakaiki Beach Camp is located in a picturesque beachside setting adjoining Paparoa National Park with the mighty cliffs of the Great Coast Road on one side and the ocean on the other. It is an excellent base to explore limestone gorges, bushwalks, beaches and the famous Pancake Rocks & Blowholes while over the road is the start point to one of New Zealand’s great walks - the Paparoa Track. A great place to relax, or to have a really active family holiday full of adventure.

    Kaikoura TOP 10 Holiday Park - Canterbury This is an award winning holiday park in the maritime wonderland of Kaikoura where you can relax and unwind in their extensively landscaped park with mountain vistas. While there are tons of things to do nearby, onsite you will find a swimming pool, spa, playground and games room to keep everyone entertained.

    Hanmer Springs TOP 10 Holiday Park - Canterbury This is the perfect place to relax, being just a short walk from the famous thermal pools of the alpine resort village of Hanmer Springs. The Park is adjacent to an historic forest reserve featuring walking and mountain biking tracks with the local woodland walk being a favourite. It also has a large playground and a spa on site, with a swimming river a short distance away.

    Central South Island

    No region of New Zealand has more to offer. With some of the darkest skies in the world to its turquoise alpine lakes and glaciers. It has a phenomenal amount of things to do and places to see.

    Tasman Holiday Parks - Christchurch.jpg Tasman Holiday Parks - Christchurch

    Tasman Holiday Parks Christchurch - Canterbury Christchurch is known as a family friendly city and this holiday park helps maintain that image. Just arrive and enjoy the safe, peaceful and friendly vibe of this much-loved Christchurch holiday park that's packed with things to do for the kids including an indoor pool, paddling pool, jumping pillow, a full sized arcade room with pool, table tennis, air hockey and more!

    Ashley Gorge Holiday Park - Canterbury Ashley Gorge’s Holiday Park represents the quintessential holiday destination for many growing up in Christchurch. It’s been a stalwart for summertime sojourns, long weekends with the grandparents, and BBQs with extended families – hordes of happy children have been raised on getaways in this crevasse of the Canterbury plains right on the edge of the crystal clear waters of the Ashley River that you to swim at - complete with rope swing! There is also a large playground for those wanting to stay on land, while there are bush walks you can enjoy in the area.

    Little River Campground - Canterbury Nestled in against the lush bush, you’ll spend your time spotting native birds on bush walks as you explore through native forest or your kids will be having fun on the trampoline and playground complete with giant swing. This is a great place to explore Banks Peninsula and is the gateway to the gorgeous seaside french colonial village of Akaroa.

    Farmyard Holiday Park - Canterbury One of the most unique parks on this list, here you can stay at an Idyllic farm property that offers a games room, swimming pool, tennis court and playground. But that’s not all as guests can interact with the animals onsite which range from wallabies and donkeys to water buffalo, guinea pigs, Llamas, cockatoo’s and many more!

    Temuka Holiday Park - Canterbury You’ll find Temuka Holiday Park inside a 75 hectare recreation reserve, surrounded by sports grounds: tennis courts, rugby, swimming pool, skate park, golf, mini golf, petanque, squash courts, bowls and many walkways and cycling options to keep everyone in the family entertained!

    Lakes Edge Holiday Park - Canterbury/Lake Tekapo Lakes Edge Holiday Park is set on the picturesque shores of Lake Tekapo, with magnificent views across the turquoise lake to the surrounding mountains and the stunning night sky, with it being in the heart of the Dark Sky Reserve.

    It has a lovely bbq area perfect for a scenic family picnic while also having a playground onsite and the hot pools just a short walk away, although most of the time, the kids will be seeing who can “skip stones” the furthest across the lake!

    Jackson’s Retreat Alpine Holiday Park - West Coast This multi-award winning park is a must visit on the wild west coast and is set on fifteen acres of beautifully terraced grounds with stunning views of the mighty Taramakau River, snow capped mountains of the Southern Alps, waterfalls and of course the stunning native rainforest that the park is set within. The holiday park offers glow worm tours to its guests while there are many bush walks throughout the park and of course a handy playground.

    Bottom of the South

    Taking in some of the most scenic places in New Zealand, this region covers the Southern Scenic route, Milford Sound, Queenstown and more.

    Whistling Frog.jpg Whistling Frog

    Queenstown Holiday Park and Motels Creeksyde - Central Otago An easy five-minute stroll from the vibrant town centre, Queenstown Holiday Park is a peaceful and convenient base for your Queenstown holiday while offering the comforts of a sauna and spa - perfect after a hard day on the slopes or just because you can! The grounds are stunning and are a haven for local bird life, making this a stunning area of natural beauty.

    Lake Waihola Holiday Park - Otago This family orientated holiday park nestled against the stunning Lake Waihola is perfectly placed for those exploring the East coast. The lake is a great place to take the kids fishing or swimming, and they even set up inflatable toys on the lake for the kids in summer, along with their indoor games and playground.

    Whistling Frog - Otago Perfect for a more active trip with the kids, whether you are planning a trip to the Catlins Temperate Coastal Rainforest for sightseeing or are just feeling like some "peace and quiet" off the beaten path, the Whistling Frog provides a central location for all your sightseeing needs. Being the perfect mid-point to all the marquee, Catlins attractions means less time on the road and more time for activities! While there is heaps to see and do nearby, there is a great communal lounge for wet weather activities along with a large playground onsite.

    Riverton Holiday Park - Southland Riverton is known as the Riviera of the South, a beautiful seaside village only a 30 minute drive from Invercargill and on the southern scenic route. It offers a huge recreational room with a large open log fire for rainy day activities while it also has a large playground. There is a massive estuary nearby for safe swimming with some lovely native bush walks a short distance away..

    Tasman Holiday Park Te Anau - Southland Te Anau is the gateway to Fiordland and Milford Sound and this is an ideal place to base yourself at while you explore the area with your family. The park is centrally located and just a few steps away from the gorgeous lake. While there, you can also lay back and relax in the fresh water hot tubs after a day on the many walking tracks around you or have fun onsite in the playground and games room.

    Have a family favourite that isn't on this list? Get in touch so we can add it!

    If you're looking for an extra fun activity to try with your kids while on holiday, check out our Guide to Fishing with Kids!

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