Walks & Parks

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Central Park Play Area

    Located on the fringe of Wellington’s central business district, this park features a three cable flying fox, a six metre high space ball climbing frame, spinner bowl, whirl and swings. The park also has a junior section with slides, swings, crawl tunnels, climbing net and seesaws.

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    • Location: Brooklyn Road, Wellington
  • Pancake Rocks and Blowholes - Punakaiki

    This is an easy walkway that circles the Pancake Rock formations. A viewing highlight are the blowholes – the Chimney is a favourite. These are narrow cracks or holes that run from the sea right up through the rock. When the waves rush in, the water funnels up these holes and spurts from the top like steam from a train. Best viewing time for this phenomenon is at high tide, and/or in rough weather. You can find out tide and weather conditions from Punakaiki information centre.

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  • Hauraki Rail Trail, Paeroa to Waikino

    This is a 2hr - 14km bike ride ( a section of the 160km 2-4 day trip). Ride through the historic and scenic Karangahake Gorge past gold mines and through the 1km long tunnel.

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    • Location: Paeroa
  • Bethunes Gully and Mount Cargill - Dunedin

    If you’re feeling fit, the views from Mount Cargill (676m) are definitely worth the steep climb. The track starts at the Bethunes Gully carpark and playground. Follow an easy walk alongside Lindsay Creek, cross the bridge and start climbing! The track is okay for buggies if you have energy, but there are steep steps near the summit that would require a bit more negotiating!

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    • Location: Dunedin - 15 km north of Dunedin City
  • Bendigo Walks

    High on the hill is Bendigo a former bustling hard rock gold-mining area - now a beautiful mining ghost town with walks, mining ruins and amazing scenery.  There are two main walks... read more

    • Location: Bendigo Station, Central Otago
  • Taipa Bay - Doubtless Bay

    This white-sand beach is safe for swimming and you can also fish, surf or sail. Shops are nearby with a bakery and licensed restaurant and it is not too far to get to the cinema or local attractions.

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  • Gisborne - Poverty Bay Beaches

    Gisborne is blessed with a fantastic, sunny climate, year round. It is famed for its gorgeous, golden beaches and turquoise sea. While you can swim at any spot along the Poverty Bay coastline, if you’re with children we would recommend you stick to the popular main beaches as there’s a consistent swell, and surf lifesavers are on duty during the summer, at key swimming spots. Try Waikanae Beach, with toilets and café nearby. These spots are just ideal to learn to surf, or just to play on a boogie board, as the swell tends to be clean and not too large.

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  • Punakaiki Cavern

    Punakaiki Cavern. Take as long as you like to explore. Grab your torches and you can go way back into the depths. A wooden stairway gives access to 130 m of safe passages with a few stalactites and the odd glow worm. Plenty of fun for all ages, so long as a good torch (and preferably a spare) is carried. Access: Signposted beside the main road 500 m north of the visitor center at Punakaiki.

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    • Location: 4300 State Highway 6, 300 m north of the visitor center, Punakaiki 7873
  • Bowentown - Tauranga

    Bowentown, the headland at the southern end of Waihi Beach overlooks Tauranga Harbour. An eight kilometre white sandy beach stretches from Bowentown to Waihi Beach. At the southern end of Waihi Beach, just inside the harbour entrance, is Anzac Bay, a calm beach safe for swimming at all tides or exploring the rockpools and where there are changing rooms and toilets plus shady pohutukawas and barbecues.

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  • Auckland Domain

    The Auckland Domain is probably best known for the annual CocaCola Christmas in the Park extravaganza. This 75 hectare park is Auckland’s oldest and has been developed around an extinct volcano. There are duck ponds, sportsfields and the Auckland War Memorial Museum is located right in the middle!

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    • Location: 20 Park Road, 21 Domain Drive, George Street, Titoki Street and 72 – 80 Stanley Street, Parnell
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.