The advantages and disadvantages of sleeping with kids in camping and hotels in New Zealand.

All family-friendly campsites New Zealand listed by destination!

New Zealand is a wonderful country to go to with kids. Most families will spend several weeks traveling around with an RV or a car. We have already written a blog comparing the two modes of transportation. We want to do that this time with the accommodations you can stay in in New Zealand. Will you and your family go for a spot of camping or sleep in a hotel. We list the pros and cons of both? Then we list all New Zealand campsites by destination!

The advantages and disadvantages of camping in New Zealand

The benefits of camping in New Zealand

  • Most campsites have a playground and trampoline, where young kids can have hours of fun
  • At most campsites you can rent bikes
  • Your kids can walk around the campground independently at most campsites that are small in size
  • Camping life takes place mostly outdoors
  • At most campsites there are facilities to do laundry, which with kids is quite handy from time to time anyway
  • Most campsites have communal kitchens and barbecue facilities
  • At a campground, your kids will have contact with other kids much faster than they will in a hotel room
  • You often have a large veranda at your cottage, allowing you to sit outside even when the kids are in bed
  • Most cottages are detached, so you won’t be bothered much by neighbors
  • You can easily park your car at your cottage free of charge

The disadvantages of camping in New Zealand

  • Camping is often a bit of a drive from downtown

Travel routes New Zealand
campsites New Zealand

The advantages and disadvantages of a hotel with kids in new zealand

The benefits of a hotel in New Zealand

  • Breakfast is often included in the price
  • Hotels are right in the center
  • Your room is cleaned every day
  • You can often order room service at a hotel (not that we ever do, but still)

The disadvantages of a hotel in New Zealand

  • Hotels often do not have an extra room for the kids
  • When you’re in your room, you’re mostly inside with your kids
  • At a hotel you often can’t cook or do laundry
  • Parking a car often costs money near the hotel

new zealand motorhome or car
new zealand motorhome or car


Weighing all the pros and cons, our choice fell on camping in New Zealand. Thus, we only slept in a hotel in Auckland because of its location and the rest of the time slept in a cottage in a campground.

Every popular destination in New Zealand has a campsite. Many of these campsites are top 10 campsites. These campsites are a bit more expensive, but they have huge facilities. For example, almost every campsite has a playground including a trampoline. In addition, you can cook and BBQ almost at every campsite. Many of the campsites also have swimming pools.

Below is our list, looking at what kind of accommodations are available at the campground for a family with kids to sleep. We assumed that you are traveling around the island by car. If you are with an RV then of course you will sleep in it.

Travel routes New Zealand

Overview Family-friendly campsites New Zealand by destination north island

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

We slept in
VR Auckland City
right in the center for a price of 87 euros per night for a two-bedroom apartment including breakfast.

The only campground in Auckland is
Takapuna Beach Holiday Park
and is a 15-minute drive from the city center. For families with kids, they don’t have rooms so you have to book two rooms here. The cost is 145 euros per night.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

The campsite
Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park
is right on the beach of the same name and has beautiful detached cottages for up to 6 people. We had the deluxe family villa here and paid 120 euros per night.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

A nice campground in Napier is
Hastings Top 10 Holiday Park
, where they also have a large swimming pool in the campground. The cottages you can rent here for your family start at 87 euros.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

We ourselves slept in a family bungalow at the
All Seasons Holiday Park
and paid 110 euros per night. This campground includes an (indoor) swimming pool, hot tub and large playground. Ideal for families with kids. The campground is quiet and while your kid plays in the playground, you can have a drink on your terrace. The pool was also very nice to relax in after a day of activities.

A cheaper option in Rotorua is the
Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday park
, where you can get a standard cabin for as little as 75 euros.

Another campground in Rotorua is the
Rotorua Top 10 Holiday Park
, which also has a swimming pool and where prices for a cottage start from 71 euros. Then you do have a cottage with a shared bathroom.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

In Taupo we slept at the
Taupo Debretts campground
, which has a spa at the campground. You do pay an extra fee for this, but for a few hours of bathing with your kids, this is really ideal. We had a two-bedroom apartment here. Bungalows at this campground start from as little as 52 euros. You have bungalows here for families of up to 7 people.

In addition, you have several good campgrounds in Taupo. So you have the
Taupo Top 10 Holiday Park
, where you can sleep with your family starting at 107 euros. They have a mini swimming pool on site as well as cottages for families of up to 7 people.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

In Waitomo, we were at the
Waitomo Top 10 Holiday park
in a two-bedroom cottage. At the small campground is a small pool with hot tub and a small playground. You are almost within walking distance of the caves. Accommodations for families there start from 75 euros.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

In the southernmost town on the North Island in Wellington sits the
Wellington top 10 Holiday Park
. Here you can rent cottages from 69 euros and they also have a wide selection of different cottages on the campsite. We ourselves always thought it was important that our daughter and we both had separate rooms. At this campground, you also have cottages for this. Up to a maximum of 6 people, they have cottages.

new zealand motorhome or car
campsites New Zealand

Overview Family-friendly campsites New Zealand by destination south island

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:
Abel Tasman

To visit Abel Tasman National Park, you can stay overnight at
Motueka Holiday park campground
with a large swimming pool, playground and hot tub. Accommodations start from 89 euros per night and for a two-bedroom cottage you pay a price of 129 euros. Keep in mind that it is still quite a drive to the national park.

The campsite at Pohara is closer to Abel Tasman National Park, but is a lot more austere. The campground does lie directly on the beach, so it can be a good option in the summer. Cottages here start from 56 euros for a family.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

In the town of Christchurch there is a
top 10 Holiday Park campground
with indoor pool with hot tub. This can be a huge godsend with kids, especially in bad weather. In addition, there are quite a few activities for kids to do at the campground. Cottages start from 57 euros and there are even four-bedroom cottages that can accommodate 11 people.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:
Fox Glacier

The Fox Glacier Top 10 Holiday Park has a beautiful view from the campground over the mountains. This small-scale campground has a few different cottages on site and the cheapest cottages start from 97 euros.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

The top 10 campground in Kaikoura again has a pool with spa pool and also stunning mountain views. A five-minute walk starts the Whale tours. Also, downtown Kaikoura is nearby (7-minute walk). Cottage prices here start from 75 euros and the largest cottages can accommodate families of 6.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

At the
top 10 campground
in Nelson have some picnic tables near the playground, where you can have a nice drink while the kids play. There are only a few cottages available at the campsite here, and prices start from 73 euros. Families of up to four people can rent a cottage at this campground.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

Greymouth Seaside campground
has many facilities for kids and is right on the beach. You have lots of different cottages here and prices start from 52 euros. Paparoa National Park is a 45-minute drive from here.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

The campground in Picton has a large outdoor swimming pool. There is a wide choice of different cottages here and cottages start from 72 euros per night. Then you do have a shared bathroom. Prices for cottages with private bathrooms start at 107 euros per night.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

top 10 camping in Queenstown
is also praised for the facilities available for kids such as bike rentals and the presence of a playground. A cottage here starts at the price of 83 euros, but then you have to share the bathroom with others. If you don’t want this then prices start from 134 euros.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:
Te Anau

campground in Te Anau
is a two-minute walk from downtown. The campground has extensive gardens and a modern playground for the kids. The price for an economy triple room here starts from 68 euros, but if you really want a two-bedroom cottage you pay 149 euros per night.

Family-friendly campsites New Zealand:

Wanaka campground
is beautifully situated among the mountains and has views of Lake Wanaka. It is also possible to take a free bus to downtown Wanaka. The price of a family studio is from 121 euros.

The prices of accommodations at the various campsites are obviously higher than just having a camping spot at the campground. Still, the difference between renting an RV and a car is so great that you quickly make up the difference in price.

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