New Year, New Zealand

Long tempting travelers with its wild landscape and cinematic allure, New Zealand has even more to excite and entice travelers in the new year.

Getting There

With new transportation opportunities opening, avid travelers and active families can get to New Zealand a bit easier than before. With the new non-stop Air New Zealand flights between Auckland (AKL) and Chicago (ORD), families in the Midwest and even on the East Coast can enjoy more efficient flight options. This flight is one of the few direct options available from the United States and one of the only ones offered outside of West Coast and Hawai’i.

Once on the island country, travelers can explore New Zealand by way of land and sea. After recently reopening in December, families can hop on a coastal train and take in the stunning views of the coastline while playing with the kids in the comfort of a train car, moving within the country. Or, sail the open sea with a cruising vessel showcasing New Zealand’s incredible landscape from a unique viewpoint.

Once you land on a destination to call your homebase while in New Zealand, take bike rides, kayaking excursions and walking tours to better understand the lay of the land. Kiwis are an active population, so you’ll feel like a local by getting out and about with your brood.

Te Ara Tahuhu Walking Street, Britomart, Auckland, New Zealand © Rafael Ben Ari |

Te Ara Tahuhu Walking Street, Britomart, Auckland, New Zealand © Rafael Ben Ari |

Where to Stay

For luxury, boutique lodging, New Zealand has a lineup of new accommodations to consider. Add a few to your list, beginning with Te Koi the Lodge at Bronte in Nelson. The new digs offer families and couples a home away from home with easy access to beautiful surroundings, bike trails, boat rides, treks through stunning vineyards and, of course, fine dining and wine sampling for adults.

Sure to inspire your tech-centric tag-alongs, Mipad Hotels opened in the summer of 2018 as New Zealand’s first smart hotel. Located in Queenstown, Mipad rooms offer a wide variety of stays, including standard, bunk beds and twin beds for kids — all with completely customizable amenities tailored to your family and controlled by mobile app. Use your app key, complimentary WiFi, Chromecast and even control the room lighting all from your phone.

For something stylish and a bit unconventional, Sofitel SO Auckland opened in the fall of 2018 and is centered in the trendy, artsy center of downtown Britomart, Auckland. Enjoy the rooftop bar, HI-SO with views of the Waitemata Harbour, and take advantage of the hotel’s easy access to downtown attractions, waterfront shops and Wynyard Quarter.