5 Reasons Your Children Should Go Camping This Summer


Many adults believe kids in New Zealand and around the world are spending too much time with their phones and computers. Parents worry their children are missing out on outdoor activities and spiritual values. One way to break this cycle is to send your son or daughter to a Christian camp.

Here are the 5 top reasons your child should go camping this summer.

1. Learn to Appreciate Nature.

New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There is no better place to learn to appreciate, respect and love God’s creations than the Kapiti Coast and along the Waikanae river. The more time children spend outdoors, the healthier and more well-rounded they become.

2. Camping is Easy on the Budget.

Hotels, airfares and theme parks can put a huge dent in anyone’s wallet. How much fun a kid has and how much he or she learns isn’t based upon how much is spent.

3. Teach Your Child About the Goodness of God and Other People

Camping provides an ideal opportunity to develop a relationship with God. It’s impossible not be be in awe of the magnificence of the world and New Zealand’s unique and fascinating creatures. Campers experience a rare camaraderie with fellow campers, people that they would never meet otherwise. Friendships can be formed that will continue long after the camper returns home.

4. Kids Learn New Skills

One of the best things about camping is kids learning new skills. El Rancho offers go karting, kayaking, horse riding and much more. They will remember these experiences for the rest of their lives.

5. Kids Learn an Appreciation for the Small Things

Most days consist of the small things of life. Kids appreciate the companionship of others while sitting before a campfire after a busy day. Simple meals outdoors taste better than anything from a fine restaurant. Succeeding at something new brings a huge smile to any kid’s face.

At El Rancho Kids Camps, our staff weaves the love of God and Biblical principles throughout the camping experience. Your kid aged 8-12 will have a lot of fun while learning lasting life lessons in a safe accommodation in Waikanae. To learn more about our Christian camp in NZ, visit our website www.elrancho.co.nz or call + 64 4 902 6287.

Different Holiday Experiences Around New Zealand


From Whangaparaoa in the north to Otago in the extreme south, New Zealand has a lot to offer. You can enjoy the waters, hike through the splendid displays of Mother Nature, go below and see the caves or satisfy your appetite for thrills through extreme sports. Knowing what to enjoy can be quite challenging. To make it easier for you, here are the main leisure activities in New Zealand.

1. The water

New Zealand is an island nation, meaning it has plenty of water surrounding it. This is why it is one of the most popular destinations for water lovers. One of the most common water sports is surfing. Here, you need to do your research and figure out the best surfing spot around. Some are best for experienced surfers while others are perfect for beginners.

Diving and snorkelling are also very popular but you also need to research about the best spots especially in regards to skill level. For families, swimming, sailing and canoeing are great moments of fun and bonding. For a bit more adrenaline, try rafting. Other water activities include fishing, boat cruises, kayaking and windsurfing.

Depending on your budget, experience and appetite for adventure, feel free to take your pick from all these activities.

2. The land

The first activity that comes to mind when you think of the land is hiking. This is one of the best ways to take in the beauty and wonder of New Zealand. Whether you are alone, in a group or a family, there are many types of hiking tours you can take.

Another popular way to enjoy the great outdoors is camping. You can combine a bit of hiking and camping for an all round great experience. At night, you can gaze up at the inky expanse of the sky, glittering with beautiful stars.

If walking is not for you, take a bike and ride along popular trails. Some spots are especially amazing during sunset or sunrise. Other popular land activities include skiing, picnics and road trips.

3. The air

If you want views from above, get ready for some adrenaline-pumping moments. Start by zip lining down slopes where you can combine the sights of nature with screams of abandon as you zip through the wind. If you have the heart for adventure, try skydiving and make sure you find a company that provides additional video recording services. For a gentler adventure from above, a hot air balloon is a great idea.

4. Extreme sports

All the above sound too gentle for you? Perhaps rafting through wild rapids or bungee jumping will get your heart pumping fast enough. If it is thrills you seek, New Zealand will not disappoint.

Perfect retreat by the sea

El Rancho is a retreat and camping centre that brings more than 20 activities under one roof. You can enjoy horse riding, kayaking, go karting, archery, swimming and so much more. Located a stone’s throw away from the beach and just a short distance from Waikane River, El Rancho is perfect for Christian camps looking for a quiet place to meet and bond.

We cater for kids, students, families and offer Christian camps in New Zealand. Visit us at www.elrancho.co.nz to book your spot now.

The Best Summer Camp Activities for Children

pexels-photo (4)

Summer camp is all about experiencing new activities, meeting new people and developing confidence and independence. A great summer camp programme will provide opportunities for all attendees to grow and develop, improve skills and self-esteem within a safe and supportive environment. Outdoor activities are encouraged whilst there are ample opportunities for indoor activities too.

Some activities may be really hard for some children but with support and advice even the most scared child can attempt a climbing wall or a ropes course, for example. Watching other members of their group develop skills and be offered guidance will in turn help those more shy members. Fun is the number one priority at summer camp, new skills will develop alongside opportunities. At summer camp there are often opportunities to try out activities not offered in schools or your home community.

Summer camp offers children the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and try out new activities. Maybe they are afraid of heights but with support will attempt a high ropes course, a climbing wall or an abseil. Your child may be scared of water but rafting down a river with a group of new friends may be too exciting to resist and they forget their fear of the water splashing their face. Summer camp is not all about outdoor activities but there is strong emphasis on exploring the natural environment through fun.

Some of the best outdoor activities to experience at a summer camp include:

  • orienteering
  • climbing
  • abseiling
  • archery
  • kayaking
  • rafting
  • tubing
  • obstacle course
  • ropes course
  • caving
  • horse riding
  • shooting

Not all summer camp activities are about adventure sports, although these are often great fun! Summer camp is about developing independence and trying out new activities, who knows where your talents lie if you only ever kick a soccer ball around at school!

As well as outdoor activities there are usually opportunities to explore arts and craft techniques or explore issues through drama classes. Music is important for development and is often incorporated into summer camp activities. Maybe you remember sitting around a campfire, toasting marshmallows and singing silly songs with new friends?

What is great about summer camp is spending time away from home and for children to learn how to make decisions for themselves without the constant presence of an adult to make those decisions for them. For many children, summer kids camp is their first time away from home and their parents. Children are grouped into same-sex rooms for sleeping, for safety and security. Each cabin or home room has the support of an adult leader who helps all the children settle in and have a great experience.

El Rancho is a summer camp based in New Zealand. They offer a kids Christian camp but also cater for school camps New Zealand wide. Many groups travel to Waikanae Beach to experience the activities at El Rancho year after year. El Rancho has an extensive range of activities and a variety of accommodation in Waikanae and catering options for small to large groups to help you have the best kids camp experience in New Zealand! Submit an enquiry form via their website www.elrancho.co.nz.

Why is Summer Camp So Good for Kids?


Summer camps are an opportunity for children to unplug from an increasingly structured and technology-driven life. Camping and activities in nature allow for time away from competitive classroom environments. Camping allows children to explore, be adventurous and learn new skills whilst having fun and making new friends in a safe environment.

Camps are a fabulous opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. A well-run, organised camp with dedicated camp leaders will offer children opportunities to explore new interests and skills they may not get time to discover in school with so much focus on the curriculum, outcomes and testing. For many children, camp is their first taste of life without parents or teachers to guide their every decision.

A summer camp is the perfect place to develop independence and communication skills. The ideal age for camp attendees is 8 to 12 years old. Organised camps group children of similar ages and the same sex into cabins with bunk rooms under the supervision of adult camp/cabin leaders. Sharing a living space with others teaches children respect for personal space and teamwork skills to keep the shared space clean and tidy.

10 reasons why kids camps in New Zealand are great for them!

1. They spend their day being physically active
2. They experience success and become more confident
3. They gain resilience
4. They unplug from technology
5. They develop lifelong skills
6. They grow more independent
7. They have free time for unstructured play
8. They learn social skills
9. They reconnect with nature
10.They make true friends outside of an online environment

Camp activities vary from place to place, but will most certainly include a range of outdoor activities and can be tailored to individual groups. If you are in the Wellington area and are looking for a school or Christian camp the popular instructed camp activities offered at El Rancho include: horse care and riding, dance and drama activities, kayaking, archery, rifle shooting, tubing, rock wall climbing, go karts, zip lines and wilderness survival. Camp is all about learning through fun!

El Rancho is a Christian Camp in Waikanae offering school camps to pupils from all over New Zealand. Other facilities at El Rancho camp in Waikanae include: petanque, tennis courts, trampolines, a confidence course, mini-golf, a swimming pool, waterslides, low ropes course and orienteering. As a Christian Camp, El Rancho has an element of biblical themes and stories interwoven into daily activities with time for questions and reflection.

Camp leaders and staff are a dedicated group of people who encourage and support young children by being great role models. Summer camps provide many opportunities and experiences for children to develop coping strategies that they can use once camp is over.

Challenges can be physical, for example how to build a fire or conquer their fear of heights on the ropes course. Social challenges may be more complicated for some: learning how to get along with peers, learning how to ask for help or how to make decisions without a parent to ask for advice. Whatever skills need to be developed there will be opportunities at camp to explore these and more.

El Rancho in Waikanae occupies a 25 hectare site alongside a beach, river and beautiful native bush tracks. It is the ideal location for your next summer camp experience with so much to explore. El Rancho offers a wide range of options for accommodation in Waikanae (20 to 500 people) from campsites and cabins to lodges with up to 154 beds in traditional bunk rooms. An auditorium, meeting rooms and fully catered dining hall compliment the accommodation options at this New Zealand Christian camp.

For more information on activities and to book your camp, conference or event visit www.elrancho.co.nz.

Summer Holidays in New Zealand: Profiling Waikanae

pexels-photo (3)

Nestled between the beautiful, vast waters of the Tasman Sea on one side and the wild Tararua Ranges on the other, the town of Waikanae is the perfect setting for a great summer holiday for families, groups and individuals. Whether you just want to lie on the beach and relax or engage in more adventurous activities, the doors of El Rancho are wide open. To make your summer holiday nothing less than memorable, here are some of the best things on offer in the beachside town of Waikanae.

1. The best beach holiday

The beautiful Waikanae Beach attracts numerous tourists every year. Here, you can relax in a myriad of ways; take a leisurely stroll alongside the peaceful waters, spend a lazy afternoon on the crystal sands taking in nature’s beauty or engage in one of the several water sports available. It is especially ideal for families and groups.

2. Go bird watching

If you are a bird watching enthusiast, head straight for Waikanae Estuary Bird Tours. This popular hot spot sees scores of bird species living there or passing through each year. You will have a personal guide to walk you along areas and paths with excellent viewing positions.

Please note that bird watching tours at the estuary are charged on an hourly basis. Make sure to call or email ahead to confirm prices and other essential details.

3. Enjoy the best of nature on foot

Hemi Matenga Memorial Park Scenic Reserve is a thickly forested 330-hectare forest forming a natural backdrop to Waikanae. Popular activities within the reserve include hiking and trekking. You can opt for the easy half hour Kohekohe Walk or climb to the highest point 514m above sea level. The hike to the top takes around four hours.

4. See antique and unusual cars 

Though not technically in Waikanae, Southward Car Museum is just a seven minute drive away in Paraparaumu. Here you will find one of New Zealand’s largest collections of antique cars.

 5. Feed the birds and eels

Nga Manu Nature Reserve provides a unique opportunity to interact with the best of nature, both flora and fauna. Covering 13 hectares, the reserve has a swamp forest teeming with different kinds of plants. Overall, the reserve boasts of more than 700 plant species and an impressive diversity of birds.

Take your family to experience eel feeding at 2pm. There is also a bird feeding opportunity. Other amenities available include picnic sites and bush walks for families.

6. For art lovers 

Whether you love making art or feasting your eyes on it, Mahara Art Gallery is the place to head for some of the best art along Kapiti Coast. You will be treated to different types of art featuring New Zealand’s nature, culture and history.

El Rancho

If you are looking for accommodation in Waikanae, try El Rancho. The venue provides a great setting for family holidays, Christian camps, school camps and any other group event and they welcome groups from all over New Zealand.

Founded on Christian ideals, El Rancho provides fun, safe and up-skilling experiences for groups and individuals. The venue can host groups of up to 500 people and also provides safe camping spots for families and friends. Just visit the El Rancho website www.elrancho.co.nz to make a booking for your accommodation in Waikanae!

Christian Youth Camps and Holiday Parks


Christian youth camps and holiday parks in New Zealand provide a wonderful place where people with similar interests can gather to develop and grow their faith, establish and build relationships and engage in promoting the Christian faith. These holiday parks also offer excellent recreational and accommodation facilities as well as a wide variety of fun activities, making them an ideal venue for school camps, retreats, corporate conferences, holidays and family reunions.

Christian youth camps and holiday parks – a wonderful venue for meetings, fun, relaxation and rejuvenation

New Zealand Christian camps and Christian holiday parks offer some of the most peaceful environments where individuals, office workers, business people, kids, young people and families can go to relax and refresh. These camps are often held in tents and caravans, but there are also some campsites that offer conference and accommodation facilities for various groups. They are suitable for all types of groups and camps can be tailored for a weekend, school holiday or corporate conference package.

Christian camp centres and kids camps in New Zealand cater for all kinds of groups and provide affordable packages for: church group camps, church conventions, community group camps, social group camps, sports clubs and team training camps, team building camps, high school camps, primary school camps, youth group camps, seminars and conferences, and special events such as family reunions. They offer unique experiences for these groups and allow them to achieve their goals and objectives.

Perhaps the main benefit offered by Christian camp venues is the availability of a huge variety of fun activities, usually including a number of outdoor leisure activities. The natural surroundings of these campsites provide an excellent space for exciting outdoor adventure experiences with a full range of activities and facilities designed to meet the needs of different groups, or fit into any programme.

Campers get to enjoy all types of fun activities, including swimming, fishing, canoeing, rock climbing, horse riding, abseiling, water slides, tennis and more. The accommodation facilities found in these campsites are usually designed to be quiet and roomy with plenty of comfortable space to relax after a long day of exploring, meeting new people or enjoying outdoor activities.

El Rancho – the perfect destination for short breaks, holiday retreats, weekend getaways and group camps

Located on an idyllic location alongside the Waikanae River and beach, El Rancho is the ideal venue for your next school camp, church event, retreat, corporate conference, holiday or family reunion. This campsite and holiday park offers not only outstanding camping and exciting outdoor activities, but also has a wide range of wonderful accommodation in Waikanae and catering options.

El Rancho provides extremely affordable packages for all groups to suit any need. Whether it’s a weekend break, conference, family reunion, family holiday, couples holiday or a group holiday the El Rancho Christian camp and holiday park has something for everyone. Both kids and adults can take part in some exciting activities, meet new people, develop long-lasting friendships and learn new skills in a safe, fun and loving environment.

To make a booking or learn more about El Rancho Christian camp and holiday packages just visit its website elrancho.co.nz.

Fun Activities for Children Over The School Holidays


School break is a great time for kids to relax from their normal activities and try something new. While it’s important not to stuff their every minute with fun and exciting activities, it’s also a good idea to plan and schedule some things for your kids to do over the holiday break. Here you’ll find a few good ideas about what to plan this holiday for your kids to do during the break.

1. Camps 

Kids camps are great fun for your children and can be wonderful learning experiences. There are camps of all kinds available during the holidays to help your kids learn new skills, get outdoors, and have new experiences that they may never normally get. You can choose between various different organisational camps, certain skills camps, Christian camps, and many other types of holiday camps in the Wellington area of New Zealand.

Camps are beneficial not just because your kids will learn new skills and have fun, but also because they teach valuable social skills like teamwork, communication and how to get along with others. Who knows, the friends your children meet at camp could become lifelong friends!

2. Free play

Sometimes what kids need more than anything is the chance to be bored and to figure out how to get rid of that boredom for themselves. If you’re the one constantly relieving them of their boredom, they will have difficulty doing it for themselves when they are older and outside of your constant care. Help your kids to gain some independence and learn creativity by allowing them plenty of free play time during the school holidays if possible.

3. Part-time volunteering or work 

If your kids are old enough, they can be signed up to help with volunteer projects going on in the area or they can even apply for a part-time job of some sort to keep them busy, teach them about being responsible and give them a greater sense of pride. Make sure it’s only part-time so that they get the chance to do other more enjoyable things over the holidays as well!

4. Holiday learning

Although school camps might not be a very popular option for the kids themselves, they can be important for maintaining learning during the school holidays. All the knowledge that was gained throughout the school year can be lost over the free relaxation time during the holidays, so to keep your children more engaged in their studies and to keep them from getting behind you can sign them up for some sort of learning classes over the holiday break.

Without school to keep them busy over the holidays, kids need other plans made to occupy them during this time. Many parents like to send their kids to camps as a way to promote their development into a more complete person with a rounded set of social and academic skills.

El Rancho offers a variety of kids camps at the beautiful beach location of Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast. You can sign up for different types of camps such as school camps, Christian camps, and many other holiday camps that your children are sure to enjoy! Call today or visit their website at www.elrancho.co.nz to see what is on these holidays!

3 Things You Need To Know Before You Book A Camping Holiday For Your Children


Looking for a different holiday experience in New Zealand? Need a change from staying at a five-star resort or a city hotel? Have you thought about camping? Child-friendly campsites keep your little ones entertained while you can explore the local amenities. But that’s not all.

Your children can attend camps where they can immerse themselves in the great outdoors and discover nature – providing them with a parent-free experience that they’ll remember for a long time. But before you make a booking, here are some tips on how to choose the best child-friendly holiday camp in Wellington.

1. Plan ahead

Going camping might not be on the top of everyone’s holiday wish list – especially if your children are used to beach holidays. However, planning ahead can ensure that they have the time of their lives – and you will be able to make their trip as fun-filled as possible. Choose a campsite that has plenty to do for all ages – especially if you have young children who get bored easily. Many of the best kids camps in New Zealand have activities like sports, games and excursions to keep them entertained, and they will be able to make plenty of new friends during their trip.

2. Packing for the trip

Packing the right items for your children is essential, as they will want to have many of their home comforts with them during the holiday, especially if this is the first time they have been away from home. However, you will want to check with campsite staff first as some items – like handheld electronic devices and snacks – might be prohibited.

Although your children might not like the idea of spending time away from their favourite computer games, a week camping can do them the world of good, and they will be able to learn more about their faith if they attend Christian camps.

3. Book ahead

Camping trips can easily book up fast, so it’s a good idea to do your research and plan ahead. Usually, campsites will arrange different events based on the age of the children, so if you have kids of different ages, they might not be able to attend the same camp at the same time. Remember – some campsites can get busy during the summer, so book ahead to avoid disappointment!

Camping is fast becoming one of the most popular holidays for children and adults alike. Did you know that 57% of New Zealanders have an interest in camping? Or that a sizeable 37% of people consider themselves to be regular campers? If camping is something your children have never experienced, now might be the time for them to see what all the fuss is about!

Are you looking for a camping holiday park that your children will love? El Rancho is located just an hour away from Palmerston North and Wellington and is situated on the stunning Kapiti Coast. Camp staff have a broad range of activities planned to make this the ultimate destination for your little ones. To find out more about the different experiences on offer, including school camps, just visit www.elrancho.co.nz or call + 64 4 902 6287 today!

A Quick Guide to Christian Camps in New Zealand


Many kids camps in New Zealand are specifically designed for children aged 8-12 years. These camps are located throughout New Zealand including Wellington and the Kapiti Coast. The camps are manned by qualified personnel who have undergone a vigorous screening exercise thus ensuring the kids safety.

New Zealand kids camps often include a five day camping experience which aims to give children the opportunity to participate in fun activities and also gain spiritual nourishment. Activities include, but are not limited to, kayaking, rock climbing and flying fox, among others.

The camps are usually organised during the first or second week of the summer holidays and are often sponsored by welfare organisations like OSCAR and ChildSafe. Most of the kids are normally referred to the camps by welfare organisations or by psychologists. The camps are safe and have therapeutic effects on the kids apart from improving their self-esteem, trust and general well-being.

These camps hold daily bible teachings which are aimed at having a lasting effect on the children’s lives. Guest speakers normally guide the children through the different aspects of Christian life and the love of God.

One such camp is the Carey Park Christian camp which is located at the foot of the Waiketere ranges a few kilometres from central Auckland. But perhaps the most notable Christian camp in New Zealand is El Rancho. The El Rancho kids camp aims to provide outdoor activities and camping fun for families and kids. Here kids experience the love and changing power of God.

It offers an action packed holiday camp in Waikanae with a total emphasis on the safety and happiness of the kids. It is much more than a normal kids camp considering the biblical teachings that are life changing for the kids. They also offer other services like conferences, holiday and family reunions, retreats and much more. But most importantly, they are perfectly suited for school camp events. Among other features are the group tours, the holiday park, which is a safe Christian camp full of family activities, and the spring camp which is suitable for kids of ages 8-12 years.

Most customers usually search online for kids camps or Christian camps New Zealand to find the best holiday retreats for their kids or families which are fun, safe and life-changing. They are searching for the best places where their children will be helped to build up their character and spirituality in a safe, secure environment which is full of fun.

The information they seek usually includes the various outdoor activities on offer and how they can positively influence their kids. They also wish to know how the family is incorporated into these programs and which part to play in these activities. El Rancho ticks all these boxes, so if you want to find a kids camp in New Zealand that offers the best outdoor camping activities and supports Christian values then visit www.elrancho.co.nz for more details!

The Basics of Camping with Children

pexels-photo (2)

Whether it’s a campground, school camp, or Christian camp, there are a number of options when it comes to camping with your children – providing you with a cost-effective and fun way to spend time together as a family. However, you’ll need to do your research before you set out on your travels. Here are some of the basics that you need to know when camping with children in New Zealand.

1. Be prepared

A good camping trip always requires a little bit of research – especially when you’re taking your children with you. You should make sure you prepare for all weathers, and always check the local forecast before you go. A good tip is to have a “trial camp” in your back garden before you set off – especially if your children have never been camping before. You’ll be able to set up a tent in the back garden and try it out for size. If your children enjoy themselves, planning a camping trip for a weekend – or longer – could be a good idea for your next holiday.

2. Packing

Create a checklist before you go with everything that you will need for your trip. This will include the basics, like a good, sturdy tent that will provide you and your children with the shelter you need during your stay. You’ll also want to pack a wide range of clothing in the event that the weather suddenly changes. Even if the forecast predicts wall-to-wall sunshine, taking a coat for your children will come in handy. Other items on your checklist might include outdoor chairs and beanbags as well as puzzles, games and books to keep your children entertained.

Your children might not like the idea of being away from electronic devices such as TVs and computers for the duration of their stay, but they will soon learn to appreciate the great outdoors. You will also need to take adequate cooking equipment so you can prepare hot meals, such as a travel stove. If you don’t have access to a fridge, you might have to rely on canned foods, but there should be a shop nearby where you’ll be able to purchase fresh produce.

3. Choosing a campground

Campgrounds come in all shapes and sizes in New Zealand, but you’ll want to pick one that’s right for your children. Kids camps provide your children with the opportunity to spend a week or two with other kids their age, as do Christian camps. Wherever you decide to set up your tent, make sure there are plenty of facilities, including showers with warm water and security. The campsite should be family friendly, so try not to choose a site that caters to a younger, noisier crowd.

Looking for a family-friendly holiday camp in Wellington?

El Rancho – situated in Waikanae, Kapiti Coast, is Wellington’s trusted camping venue for school and family holiday camps. Whatever your budget, you will be able to relax, unwind, and spend time with your family. Need some more information? Head over to www.elrancho.co.nz to view their facilities and make a booking.