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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Yarndley’s Bush - Waikato
A short walk of about 30 minutes return will take you along a board-walked track and through 14 hectares of Kahikatea forest. There is a viewing tower half-way around the track where you can see the canopy layers within the bush.read more
- Location: off Ngaroto Road, off State Highway 3
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.read more
Bathing Beach - Stewart Island
From the general store, continue uphill to your left on the Horseshoe Bay Road and branch right when you reach Kamahi Road (after about 5 minutes). The signposted track descends on the left to a popular bathing beach.read more
- Location: Stewart Island, Horseshoe Bay Road
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
Hawkes Bay - Lake Waikaremoana
1 hour drive off SH2, or on the way if heading to Rotorua on SH38. The road is unsealed for several stretches, and quite narrow, so care must be taken, and drive in lower gear than for sealed road. Campsite, shop and picnic area down by lake. Great for swimming, or you can hire row boats or kayaks. 400m further round there’s a DOC information centre and lots of short (30 mins) to multi-day bush walks.read more
- Location: 2 hours drive north of Napier, turn off SH2 onto SH38
Oparara Basin short walks
These short, easy walks feature limestone arches, caves with critters and a tarn with reflections of the surrounding rainforest - plenty to keep kids interested. Crazy Paving Cave (10 min return) take a torch and follow a short bush track to the cave entrance. Be extra careful not to step off the track and not to step on any of the large spiders that live in the cave.The unusual floor pattern was created over long period of time from deposits of mud which have dried out forming paving patterns on the cave floor. Take a look at the ceiling – another example of nature’s art. Box Canyon Cave (10 min return) At the end of the main track, carefully descend the steps to the cave. Explore its blocky recesses in complete freedom and take a hard look at the ceiling for fossils - look but don’t touch. Cave dwellers such as weta, spiders, and bettles live in the darkness. Have a look at these interesting insects, but be careful not to disturb them. Mirror Tarn (30 min) a sign points along a bush track toward this secretive spot. A pool full of dark water reflects tall trees and rich birdsong fills the air. Here you are called on to joyfully reflect on the foresight of a local bushman who noted the rimu trees around the tarn had been tagged for felling and his successful argument to have the beauty preserved. Oparara Arch (25 min, one way) From the first car park a well-formed track leads up the Oparara riverbank, through beech and podocarp forest and past limestone outcrops. The arch is 219 metres long with sides 79 metres apart and a roof 43 metres above the river that carved the impressive feature.read more
11km north of Karamea on the road to Kohaihai. Then 12km to the arches car park and another 3km to the caves car park. Kahurangi National Park 7073
- Location: 11km north of Karamea on the road to Kohaihai. Then 12km to the arches car park and another 3km to the caves car park. Kahurangi National Park 7073
Billygoat Landing Walk - Coromandel
A 20 minute gentle return walk from the carpark at the end of Kauraeranga Road. Follow the Kauri Trail for about five minutes before turning onto the Billygoat Landing Walk just after the swing bridge. At the Billygoat basin there are good views of the 180 metre high falls and the cliffs.read more
- Location: Kauaeranga Road, Kauaeranga Valley, Coromandel Peninsula
- 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.