You want the real scoop on Aotearoa’s most perfect holidays? Then you’ve got to go to the experts.
We talked to kids up and down the country to get the lowdown on the best holidays they’ve ever had, and where they want to go next.
From icecreams to fishing trips to hanging out with the All Blacks, here are Kiwi kids’ dream holidays.
Mei-Ling, 6, Auckland
My dream holiday would be Lake Taupō because I want to see how big the lake is. My teacher has just been there on her holiday. I’d go with my mum and little sister because we are family, I love them and we always have fun together.
For my last holiday, we went to my cousin’s place in Palmerston North. I liked it there because she has cool pets – a dog and a cat – and she dresses them up.
Max, 15, Wānaka
For my dream holiday, I’d fly to Auckland with my family, buy loads of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, then go see my big brother Ben who lives there. Then we’d head up to Waiwera, then Tāwharanui Beach for a swim. We used to go there every Christmas as it was near where my nana and grandad lived. Now they live in Wānaka. I remember we’d always sit under a pōhutukawa tree and eat biscuits.
One day my friends and I want to go to Rotorua for a holiday so we can make lots of fart jokes. I’d also really like to go on holiday with our dogs, Stan and Jerry. They’ve only been to the beach once so we’d take them somewhere like the West Coast or the Catlins.
Recently we went to Milford Sound. It was really cool – especially the boat trip into the sound, the snow on the mountains, and all the waterfalls. At the Homer Tunnel, we met a kea that we called Jerry, after our dog, as they’re both fat.
Olioni Taumoepea, 15, Palmerston North
My favourite holiday is Christmas because it is a time for family to gather and eat good food. My favourite place to visit in New Zealand is Rotorua.
Theo, 12, and Felicity, 8, Christchurch
My dream holiday would be to go to Akaroa and stay in a two-storey house and swim with the dolphins and eat fish and chips on the beach. We’d go with my cousins, my Porpor (Cantonese for mother’s mother), my friend Lily, Mum, Dad and Theo. I forgot Grandad.
Theo: I’d go to Hanmer Springs to the hot pools and go to their cafe and eat the hot chips, and later go white-water rafting.
Felicity: For our last holiday we went down to Tekapo with our friends. We went to the hot pools and it was so hot we had ice blocks. We also went down the really, really big water slide and on the massive bouncy castle in our togs.
Natana Ihaka, 12, Gisborne
I usually go on holiday with my mum and dad. On my last holiday, we went to Te Waipounamu. It was my first time on the South Island. We went from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo and Aoraki Maunga (Mount Cook). In Christchurch, I thought the graffiti art on the old and new buildings was pretty cool. The food at Riverside Market was really nice. I like eating at places we don’t have in our home town and trying new food.
We went for a day hike on the Hooker Valley Track at Mount Cook National Park. The glacier ice lake at the end of the track was awesome. The mountains around the track were huge. I didn’t get to see the peak of Aoraki, because the clouds were covering it, but it was still amazing.
Silvi Withel, 5, Lyttelton
My dream holiday is going to Marlborough Sounds in the summer and having swims in the water, and getting to see the fish and stuff. I’d also probably like to go on the boat and go fishing, and maybe see some birds and maybe dolphins if there are any, and maybe see glow-worms as well.
Kye, 9, Golden Bay
If I could go on holiday with anyone in the world it would be Richie McCaw.
I’d like to go to Alexandra to eat Southland sushi and ride, and Queenstown to ride the gondola. I got a new bike in my last holidays and had so much fun riding at the Christchurch Adventure Park, it was exciting. I really prefer to ride downhill and not up.
Jude Neate, 10, Nelson
On holiday I like visiting adventure playgrounds and eating icecream and swimming at the beach with my bulldog. I’d like to go in and feed the gorillas at Orana Wildlife Park and not just see them through the glass.
Last holidays I went to visit my Grandpa in Whangamatā. It was the best seeing him. Mum made us get up early to see the sunrise at the beach, which was good too.
Emmy, 7, Wellington
On my last holiday, I went to Masterton with Mummy, Daddy and Digby (little brother, age 2). We went in the car and stayed at a hotel that had a playground. We went to another playground that was really big and had lots of slides. It rained a lot. One day we did tenpin bowling.
I love Tauranga because it’s always a sunny day and I get to see my grandma and Tones (grandfather) and their dog, Monty. And I love going to my granny and grandad’s house in Timaru – their house has so much space and it’s fancy. We see my cousins there and we look at farm animals.
Ivy, 12, Auckland
I would love to stay on Great Barrier Island for a few nights so that I can enjoy the scenery, go for a swim at Medlands Beach and go on the Windy Canyon walk. It would be an adventure, from the travel over by ferry, to the awesome things you can experience on the island, and most of all because I have never been before.
One of the most memorable places that I have been to is Russell in the Bay of Islands. I loved this holiday because we relaxed on the lovely beaches, explored the village and I even learned a new skill. We booked a fishing charter boat and learned to fish. The first fish I ever caught was a john dory, and later my mum, dad and I caught some really big snapper.
Oliver, 6, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland
I’d love going round in a camper van because I’ve never done that before. I’d go with Mummy and Seko (my half-brother) because Mum is super-cool and Seko loves to talk to us. Dad can go in his own camper van.
Ziggy, 7, Mt Roskill, Auckland
My dream holiday would be to go to a climbing wall and Lego and pizza house. You know, a house made of all three, because I really like climbing and Lego and pizza. I’d like to go back to Rotorua because I got to zip-line and Zorb.
Keaan, 9, and Mila, 7, Auckland
My dream holiday would be to Queenstown. I could ski and snowboard all day, every day, and teach Baz the dog to ski with me. I would add on an extra day to run up the mountain to the Skyline Luge and race down the red track trying to beat all of my holiday friends and then run to the top of the mountain. And because my Big Buddy Blair is always travelling to the South Island we could drive back to Auckland together and eat lots of yummy food and unlimited amounts of icecream along the way.
The most important people (and animal) I would love to be on holiday with would be my Big Buddy Blair, Baz the dog, and obviously my mum. My mum would make me invite my little sister but she’s okay sometimes.
I’d also like to take Beauden Barrett, Richie McCaw and Sonny Bill Williams so we could get some rugby training in.
I like to go away with my auntie, uncle and my brother because we have so much fun and my auntie and uncle let us stay up late. My auntie says we don’t have to tell my mum but I always do.
Every year I go camping in Ōpoutere with my mum and my brother. We meet my mum’s friends and their families. My mum puts the tent up (the other dads help) and unpacks the car while my brother and I play on our bikes with the other kids. Last year we walked through the bush and found lots of beautiful beaches with clear water, soft sand and caves. We play in the creek, go paddleboarding, swim, play board games and cricket. Before bed, we roast marshmallows on the fire. The kids all go to sleep and the adults stay up and sit around the fire telling stories, we can hear them laughing. I can’t wait to go back.