Walks & Parks

  • Mount Taranaki Walks

    A must-visit of the region is the Egmont National Park and there are plenty of short walks around the foothills or sides of Mt Taranaki (also known as Mt Egmont). During summer you can also tackle the all-day hike to the summit (very strenuous, 8-10 hours return, 2518m).
    The two 'starting off' points for day hikes are North Egmont Visitor Centre, nearest village Egmont Village, or Dawson Falls Visitor Centre on the southern side, nearest town, Stratford.
    From here you can choose a walk or hike to suit your family's ability and fitness, from just a few minutes to 10 hours (Mt Taranaki summit climb). Some of the 3-4 hour walks are long enough to get you up high on the mountain with amazing views of the summit and right across flat farmland to the sea. They are short enough to be do-able for reasonably fit families. There are also overnight huts on the mountain and the most famous multi-day tramp is the Around the Mountain Circuit (4-5 dayas)

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    • Location: Mt Taranaki National Park, nr New Plymouth
  • Makara Walkway

    This loop walk climbs to vantage points with spectacular views - farmland, a beach and gun emplacements will keep kids interested.This 6km loop walk climbs to vantage points with spectacular views, and returning along the beach. The high cliffs and spectacular views for centuries have provided the people of the area with good vantage points for the defence of their land. A Ngati Ira pa site lies on the promontory at the western end of Fisherman's Bay, and gun emplacements at the top of the cliffs mark the position of Fort Opau, which was garrisoned by 100 soldiers during World War II.

     

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    • Location: 1099 Makara Rd, Makara Beach, Wellington 6972
  • Matiu / Somes Island Loop Track

     Island walking! The kids will love the ferry ride from Queens Wharf and this easy 40 min walking track has plenty to keep kids interested. This loop track around Matiu/Somes Island offers 360 degree views of Wellington harbour - with native wildlife, remnants from the world wars, historic quarantine buildings, and a lighthouse. The island is open to the public from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm daily. This track takes you around Matiu/Somes Island, offering spectacular views across Wellington Harbour to Wellington and Hutt cities. Pause along the way to check out the island’s historic and ecological attractions, including introduced wildlife which are thriving in native vegetation planted by Lower Hutt Forest and Bird since 1981.

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    • Location: Wellington Harbour
  • Kauaeranga Valley hiking trails

    The Kauaeranga Valley is located 15 minutes out of Thames and is a beautiful and historic location for the entire family. With walks/tramps that last from 10 minutes to a full day, a well informed visitors centre, camping, cottages, swimming holes, a café through summer and canyoning, there's activities to suit everyone.

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    • Location: Kauaeranga Valley, 15 minutes from Thames
  • Best Beaches :: Taranaki

    Round up the family and head to one of the region's superb beaches! Great choices include Back Beach, Centennial Drive, East End Beach, Nobs Line, Fitzroy Beach, Beach St, Ngamotu Beach, Ocean View Parade, Oakura Beach, Jans Terrace, Oakura. East End, Fitzroy and Oakura are the only beaches in New Zealand to be awarded the Blue Flag eco-label for their environmental, education and safety status.

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  • Banks Peninsula Walks

    This awesome and easy to explore site lists all the walking and tramping tracks on beautiful Banks Peninsula near Christchurch, New Zealand.
    Includes Lyttelton, Akaroa, Governors Bay and Diamond Harbour.

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  • Pukekura Park, New Plymouth

    Wander through this inner-city botanical wonderland to discover lakes, a zoo, historic tea house, playground and countless short walks, as well as a Fernery and Display Houses and a Japanese-inspired hillside.

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    • Location: Fillis Street, New Plymouth
  • Barrett Domain and Lake Mangamahoe, New Plymouth

    A good venue for a family day out - pack a picnic and hang out on the shores of Lake Mangamahoe. There are lots of walking and easy mountain bike tracks. It takes about 2 hours to walk the round the lake circuit, and there are some undulating sections so reasonable fitness is required. There are other walks that take 10-20 minutes, and a section of dedicated mountain bike trails.

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    • Location: nr Egmont Village, New Plymouth
  • Bason Botanic Gardens - Whanganui

    Bason Botanic Garden is rated a “Garden of Significance” by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. It includes one of the most extensive public garden orchid collections in New Zealand. Families enjoy their time here making use of the wide open spaces and free gas BBQ facilities.

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    • Location: 552 Rapanui Rd,
      Westmere 4574
      Whanganui
  • Whareroa Farm tracks

    Enjoy regenerating shrubland, coastal views and kohekohe forest on these walks that are suitable for children. Walks range from 355 metres to 13.4km - there is something for everyone. Plus some great mountain bike tracks to play on, and even a horse riding track. Lots of room to play!

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    • Location: Whareroa Farm, Queen Elizabeth Park off-ramp about 3.5 km north of Paekakariki on SH1.
  • Colonial Knob Walk

    Climb to the summit of this 468 m peak for views on clear day from the Inland Kaikoura Range in the south to Mt Taranaki in the north-west - it's a good option for older children. 3-5 hr return. You'll think you've sprouted wings when you reach the top of the 468 metre high hill rising to the west of  Porirua City. From this lofty perch on a clear day you can view many other high points -  from the Inland Kaikoura Range in the south to Mt Taranaki in the north-west.

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    • Location: Rangituhi
  • Avalon Park

    Avalon Park is a six hectare park has a great range of features, including the Avalon Park Playground which is open every day and is free. Aimed at preschoolers to 12-year-olds and designed to appeal to families. It has a mix of contemporary and traditional play equipment within a specially-designed landscape. Plus there are lots of other activities to keep the whole family entertained, including beginners’ cycle circuit with various intersections and surfaces, model train (charge applies), mini putt golf, skate park, model marine boating pond, public tennis court, sculptures and more. Make use of the free electric barbecues and picnic tables. Spend the day and play!



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    • Location: 61 Taita Dr, Avalon, Lower Hutt 5011
  • The Coastal Walkway, New Plymouth

    This is an excellent, completely flat walkway that is also perfect for family bike rides. You can start the walk from the middle of New Plymouth, just in front of the iSite, and head alongside the Tasman Sea towards Bells Block. You will pass the famous, 45 metre Wind Wand sculpture along with a number of interesting stone carvings, before passing the popular surf beaches of Fitzroy and East End. There are plenty of good picnic spots and a playground enroute, before you arrive at the must-see Te Rewa Rewa Bridge. From the town centre, if you head in the other direction - west, the walkway winds past the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Kawaroa Park and playground then heads to the marina at the port and Ngamotu Beach - a safe swimming beach for the family.

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    • Location: New Plymouth, Taranaki
  • Whinray Scenic Reserve

    There a couple different options to custom fit this trail to your time frame. Either a 30 minute walk from the car park on Motu Falls Road or a 2.5 hour walk from Marumoko Road to the Motu Falls Car Park.

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    • Location: Motu 4092
  • Taupo - Wairakei Thermal Valley

    Open from 8.30am to dusk during summer and 9am to 5pm during winter months, you may see birds, rabbits and other small animals on this walk. Boardwalks make the 30 minute walk easy and you'll view bubbling mud pools, steam holes and native bush. Small charge for the walk. Umbrellas available for extra hot or rainy days. There is also a café for refreshments after your walk.

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    • Location: 7 Km north of Lake Taupo, SH1
  • Governors Bay Track - Picton

    Governors Bay is accessed via this short walking track ( 10 mins each way), just a 15 minute drive from Picton on Queen Charlotte Drive. Governors Bay is a beautiful golden beach surrounded by lush native bush, and great for swimming. Pack a picnic and your togs for a relaxing day trip to paradise.

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    • Location: 15 minute drive from Picton on Queen Charlotte Drive.
  • Diamond Harbour - Stoddarts Point Walkway

    If arriving by ferry turn left from the wharf and follow the pathway nearest the sea, rather then walking up the road. The track itself is very clear, but not well signposted. Follow the flat path alongside the cliff edge, through natural bush. You come out in the center of Diamond Harbour village, near Stoddart’s cottage. From here you can wander back through the township towards the wharf. Features: This walk has a stunning outlook across the harbour and there’s lots of woodland to play in. However, during the first few minutes of the walk the path takes you very close to steep drop offs. Keep children with you for the first section and take extra care if biking. (Half hour via drive/ferry or 1 hour drive from city centre)

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    • Location: Christchurch - Lyttelton Harbour region
  • Rob Roy Glacier

    Talk about bang for your buck! This is a 10km return track in the West Matukituki valley. It's about an hour drive from Wanaka along a gravel road with some stream crossings. The trail can be steep in some areas and there is a unstable slip on the lower section of the trail which has a steep drop off and requires care when crossing. You are rewarded with stunning views of the Rob Roy Glacier - a great spot to have your lunch and watch the playful Kea, just please don't feed them.

     

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    • Location: Raspberry Creek Car Park
      Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Rd
      Mount Aspiring 9382
  • Napier - Centennial Gardens

    The Quarry Gardens were developed in the 1970s and the Napier Prison inmates were given the work of extracting the stone. Some prisoners individually carved many stones with personal designs and patterns. Entrance to the Old Napier Prison is 200m further up Coote Road, opposite the park. The gardens are a good picnic spot or take just a few minutes to walk around. The star attraction here is a large waterfall, very tidy and pretty, reminiscent of a Japanese garden.

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    • Location: Coote Road, Napier (200m from Napier Prison - now closed to inmates, open for tours)
  • Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge Tawa Loop - Palmerston North

    This 2 hour, 4km loop track is a great option to explore the native bush and the view points along the Te Apiti Gorge.

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    • Location: Napier Rd, Aokautere 4471
  • Waiheke Island

    Forest, cascading streams and safe beaches – Waiheke Island has it all. Book a picnic site on the beach at Whakanewha Regional Park on the south side of the island which has a crescent-shaped beach with warm, shallow water ideal for children at high tide. Or try Onetangi, Waiheke’s biggest ocean beach with a long, sandy beach, safe swimming, and places to eat.

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    • Location: Ferry to Waiheke Island. Whakanewha is about 20 mins drive from the wharf. Shuttle buses available.
  • Mt. Thomas Conservation Area

    The Mt. Thomas Conservation area offers a wide variety of trails making this an ideal destination to spend a few hours or an entire day exploring. Options included the Kereru Track which is an hour return to longer missions to the Mt. Thomas Summit - 3 hours one way.

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    • Location: 392 Glentui Bush Rd, Glentui 7495
  • Cape Foulwind Walkway - Westport

    The seal colony is situated at Tauranga Bay 16 kilometres south of Westport. This is a breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals. The seals can be easily viewed at the end of an upgraded 10 minute track. Occasionally seals will climb the cliff and sit either on or near the walkway - please ensure you give them space as seals are wild creatures and should not be approached.

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  • Hawkes Bay - Te Angiangi Marine Reserve -

    The Te Angiangi Marine Reserve was established in 1997 and covers an area of about 446 hectares between Blackhead and Aramoana beaches. The reserve, which protects this part of the coast, offers opportunities for swimming, walking, shore diving and boating. Between Blackhead and Paoanui Point at low tide birds like kingfishers, oyster catchers and godwits can be seen. Explore the rock pools to find fish, crabs and kina (but return any rocks to their original position) or snorkel in the sheltered waters of Stingray or Shelly Bays and discover reef animals like paua, opal shells and rock lobsters.

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    • Location: Central Hawkes Bay,30 km east of Waipukurau and Waipawa
Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • North Canterbury
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Rotorua
  • Queenstown
  • Taranaki
  • South Canterbury
  • Taupo
  • Southland
  • Waikato
  • Wanaka
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland destination2

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.