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.read more
- Location: Wellington Harbour
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!
- Location: 61 Taita Dr, Avalon, Lower Hutt 5011
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.read more
- Location: Kauaeranga Valley, 15 minutes from Thames
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
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.read more
Includes Lyttelton, Akaroa, Governors Bay and Diamond Harbour.
- Web: www.bankspeninsulawalks.co.nz/
- Location: Banks Peninsula, Canterbury
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,
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
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
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!read more
- Location: Whareroa Farm, Queen Elizabeth Park off-ramp about 3.5 km north of Paekakariki on SH1.
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
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.
- Location: 1099 Makara Rd, Makara Beach, Wellington 6972
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
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.read more
- Location: Rangituhi
Fox Glacier Valley Walk - Fox Glacier
South of Fox Glacier township. Turn left before the bridge if you’re heading south or right after the bridge if you’re heading north towards the township. There’s ample carparking and if you don’t want to walk, a short stroll from your car will bring you to viewpoints of the Fox Glacier terminal. Otherwise there is an open and well-marked path that takes you very close to the face of the Glacier. Keep young children close as the path is uneven and rocky in parts, and there are a couple of stream crossings.read more
Arawata Track - Queenstown
Stunning views of lake, and cliffs. Beautiful flora and fauna and small streams. Perfect on a nice day. Gentle ups and downs. Path descends down to road at end, so follow this and loop back along road, or return along track.read more
- Location: Queenstown - access from end of lane at 45 Arawata Terrace, Sunshine Bay
Walk around Historic Ophir
Originally the township was known as Blacks, after Charles Black on whose run gold was first discovered. The name was changed to the more apt, Ophir in 1875 after the biblical land where the Queen of Sheba obtained gold for King Solomon. At its height, Ophir’s population surged to more than 1000 people. The Ophir Post Office opened for business in 1886 and has changed little since its original construction. It still opens for 3 hours every week day. Most of the buildings are now privately owned, but views from the street are still very rewarding. Take a walk down Swindon Street. A local brochure outlines the stone kerbing, the Post and Telegraph Office, courthouse and jail, bakery, cottages, church and shops - that makes it really interesting.read more
The suspension bridge, built in 1880, was once the main means of crossing the Manuherikia River and is one of only a few remaining in Central Otago.
- Location: Ophir is just 24kms from Alexandra and a 2km detour south, off State Highway 85 at the town of Omakau.
Glentui Waterfall and Nature Trail Loop
From the Glentui picnic area there are a few options. Two great family friendly ones are to visit the Glentui waterfall or follow the Glentui Loop Nature Track. The waterfall track takes 30 minutes and offers an impressive view of the river and the waterfall. The Nature Loop is 1 hour return and it descends down to the Glentui River before intersecting with a couple other trails and then heading back to the picnic area.read more
- Location: Glentui Bush Rd, Glentui 7495
Taupo -Tongariro Domain
Tongariro Domain has a playground which is suitable for children and there are picnic tables. The Domain’s toilets also offer a parents’ room with a changing table and microwave, sink and toys for the children. The Lion’s Club operates children's rides on the Domain on a small monorail, weather permitting, for $1 per person. Check with the Visitor Centre for train times during the winter months.read more
- Location: Tongariro Road, Lakefront, Taupo
The Wellington Botanic Garden features 25 hectares of unique landscape, protected native forest, conifers, specialised plant collections, colourful floral displays, and views over Wellington city. The Botanic Gardens has a play area with a rocktopus, double-pipe tube slides, swings, slides and flying fox. There are also picnic tables, toilets and an enclosed area for small children. There are glow worms in the main garden, from the duck pond up to Glen Road; these are best spotted at night after rain and at full moon. The Picnic Cafe is also available in the heart of the Botanical Gardens serving up hearty breakfast and delicious lunches 7 days a week.read more
- Location: Near the Treehouse Visitor Centre, Botanic Gardens, Wellington
Hastings - Te Mata Peak Lookout
Good, sealed road to the top of this impressive hill, that winds up on one side, and drops straight down in a sheer bluff on the other. Impressive 360 views from the top, of the whole Hawkes Bay region, and on a clear day you can see as far as Mount Ruapehu. Scattered, tiny, below are some of the fabulous wineries of the Hawkes Bay district, along with the Te Mata cheesery.read more
Hawkes Bay - Ocean Beach
One of the best beaches in Hawkes Bay with 10 kilometres of golden sand, Ocean beach is extremely popular with holiday makers in the summer months. The waters are safe for swimming, although a current will carry you down the beach a little. Lifeguards patrol during the busiest months. Ocean Beach is relatively undeveloped with no shops nearby, so bring your own food!read more
- Location: South East of Hastings, nth of Waimarama
Chisholm Park - Dunedin
Follow the beach region out towards the Dunedin golf course. From here you can walk a gravel track through the golf course and on towards Lawyers Head with its spectacular sea views, or Tomahawk beach – a beautiful, secluded spot. Suitable for buggies, but there are sheer cliffs near Lawyers Head.read more
- Location: Dunedin - nr St Kilda Beach, South Dunedin
- Central Otago
- Bay of Plenty
- Hawkes Bay
- Marlborough Sounds
- Nelson & Golden Bay
- North Canterbury
- South Canterbury
- 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.