- Bay of Plenty
- North Canterbury
- Hawkes Bay
- South Canterbury
- Nelson & Golden Bay
- Marlborough Sounds
- Central Otago
- West Coast
- Bay of Islands
- Palmerston North
- New Plymouth
- Te Anau
- Mt Cook
- Abel Tasman
- Nelson Lakes
- Stewart Island
- Central Plateau
Our favourite destinations…
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 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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.read more
- Location: Fillis Street, New Plymouth
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).read more
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)
- Location: Mt Taranaki National Park, nr New Plymouth
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.read more
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.read more
- Location: New Plymouth, Taranaki
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.read more
- 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.read more
552 Rapanui Rd,
- Location: 552 Rapanui Rd,
Hawkes Bay - Pourerere Beach
Ideal for fishing, swimming and surfing, Pouerere Beach has a camping ground and freedom camping areas. The safe swimming beach has golden sand and dolphins and seals are sometimes seen in the bay. There are toilets and changing rooms on the right side of Pouerere Road.read more
Diamond Lake - Rocky Mountain Walking Track - Wanaka
The track is a figure 8 shape. For a shorter walk take the return track to the Lake Wanaka viewpoint. The entire track takes around 3 hours return but the views from the summit are stunning. Note: the track’s steep and uneven in parts – not suited to poor weather conditions.read more
- Location: Wanaka - 25 mins drive west of Wanaka, along the Mount Aspiring Road.
Taupo -Tokaanu Thermal Area
Just five minutes from Turangi is the village of Tokaanu. A short walk around the loop track on well formed paths and boardwalks allows you to see steaming hot mineral pools and bubbling mud pools. Take a picnic with you as there are areas for picnics and fishing. You can swim in the nearby Tokaanu Thermal pools at Mangaroa Street and there are often rainbow trout swimming in the cold Tokaanu stream which flows beside the thermal area. As with all thermal area, children should be supervised at all times.read more
- Location: Tokaanu Thermal Area, SH41, Lake Taupo
Hahei Beach - Whitianga
This attractive, white sandy beach with pohutukawas is one and a half kilometres long. The crystal clear water is home to crayfish and fish. At the eastern end of the beach is the site of an old Maori Pa. From the lookout there is access to Cathedral Cove and the marine reserve. There are cafes, a beach store, ice cream parlour and gift shop nearby.read more
- Location: Hahei, South of Whitianga