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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
Wither Hills Farm Park - Blenheim
Wither Hills Farm Park is just minutes from Blenheim. The park boasts an extensive network of walkways and tracks that guide you to a variety of tree-lined valleys and breath-taking hill-top vantage points overlooking Blenheim, Wairau basin and lagoons, and the North Island. Mountain biking is also an option in the park.read more
- Location: Wither Hills, Blenheim 7201
Hanmer Forest Park
Various choices for walks up to an hour in return or a short 5 minute stroll. Many walks will include species of Douglas fir, poplar and redwood trees. Streams, flax wetland and ponds with associated bird and aquatic life are also accessible here. A popular family one is Woodland Walk - 45 minutes round trip, 2.8 km. This loop walk starts and ends at the DOC picnic area on Jollies Pass Road. Jollies Pass Road is on the right as you drive through Hanmer, just before the Heritage Hotel. The well-formed track is suitable for strollers/young children and passes through woodland forest, meadowland and stands of exotic trees including Douglas fir, poplar and redwood. There are many nice grassy areas to picnic on and run around. The ponds are great places to feed the ducks but take care of children around these. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a lead.read more
32 River Road
- Location: 32 River Road
Kelvin Heights Track Yacht Club Loop - Queenstown
You can join this track at various points along the Kelvin Heights Peninsula Road. Follow the lake towards the Golf Course. A good place to start a loop walk is from the Yacht Club on Bay View Road From here you head to the Golf Course and round the Perimeter in a loop, then back down to the track. You do actually enter onto the Fairways for a few minutes of your walk. If you don’t want to do this you’re not missing much by returning the way you came. Almost completely flat.read more
- Location: Queenstown - yacht club, Bay View Road, Kelvin Heights
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)read more
- Location: Christchurch - Lyttelton Harbour region
Moeraki Boulders - Oamaru
An unique beach experience as the beach is filled with massive round boulders - some which are split open to expose the layers beneath. A fun natural playground to explore and have a wander. It's a short walk down to the beach with parking at the cafe.read more
- Location: Moeraki Village, Oamaru, New Zealand
Waipu Caves Walk - Waipu Gorge Scenic Reserve
This 2 km track can be walked in either direction and will take about an hour each way. The track crosses farmland and leads up a steep ridge, across stiles and an unbridged stream to a large flat grassy area which is ideal for picnics and leads to the Caves Road entrance. The Waipu Caves feature stalactites, stalagmites and glowworms near the entrance. Be careful when walking the track as there are sinkholes underground. The inner caves should only be accessed by experienced cavers.read more
Cave Stream Scenic Reserve
This really is a hidden gem, and an adventure activity with older children that is FREE! You can opt for either the above ground 30 minutes return for each track, or add the cave walk through water if the conditions are right. The reserve is well signposted off SH 73 between the Broken River road bridge and Craigieburn Forest Park entrance. Two short, but steep tracks lead from the reserve car park to the cave entrances. You will need to help or carry little ones in a child carrier pack. The easier track to the upstream entrance goes through a karst (limestone) landscape of sculptured rock formations. The other track leads to the edge of a terrace and then drops steeply down to the junction of Cave Stream and Broken River. The limestone formations nearby were the settings for the filming of The Chronicles of Narnia. The 600-metre cave walk itself is not suitable for little children, but is a great adventure for older families that are well prepared, with torches, warm gear and plenty of dry clothes to change into. A separate brochure describes the cave adventure. Note: Do not attempt to enter the cave if the stream is high, with the water discoloured or foaming.read more
- Location: Castle Hill 7580, SH73 between the Broken River road bridge and Craigieburn Forest Park entrance.
Ruakuri Walkway - Waitomo
The 45 minute return journey is over a well-constructed track which passes through picturesque rain forest and limestone landscale with excellent views of the Ruakuri Natural Tunnel (a remnant cave). There are picnic tables and toilets at the start of the walk.read more
- Location: 3 Kilometres from Waitomo Museum, off Tumutumu Road
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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.