Walks & Parks

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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  • 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
  • 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
  • Hawkes Bay - White Pines Bush

    29km north of Napier on SH2, native bush walk with educational panels, native birds and forest. The reserve has huge kahikatea, dwarfing the tawa and pukatea that provide most of the remaining tree cover. Nikau palms are also an attraction. Hanging vines, shrubs and ferns proliferate under the tree canopy, providing habitat for native birds including tui, kereru (native pigeons), fantails, bellbirds, silver-eyes, grey warblers and ruru (morepork). Boardwalks make it easy with buggies and there are two walks to choose from – 30 minutes or 1 hour. Toilets and picnic area.

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    • Location: SH2, 29km north of Napier
  • Drift Bay Picnic Area - Queenstown

    Kingston/Milford Sound Road, only a few kilometres from Frankton just after the Lakeside Estate turn off. Either picnic near your car or take a 10 minute walk down to a lovely secluded beach spot with table. Ideal getaway for relaxing, fishing or bathing. There’s also a very easy 1 hour return walk from this spot following the beach round to Drift Bay.

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    • Location: Queenstown - Kingston Highway (State Hgwy 6), Right hand side, just after the Lakeland Estate development.
  • Observation Rock - Stewart Island

    From the DOC Visitor Centre turn right towards the waterfront, continue right until you reach Excelsior Road on your right. Excelsior Road is an uphill climb, watch for the Observation Rock track sign on your right at the summit of the hill, a short forest track leads you to the rock forming the lookout, with great views over Paterson Inlet, particularly at sunset. To return to Halfmoon Bay retrace steps to the road and continue right, down the hill towards Golden Bay Road. A right hand turn will bring you back to town past Traill Park. Look out for Tui, with the distinctive white feather, or ruff, below its beak.

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    • Location: Stewart Island, off Excelsior Road
  • Clay Cliffs

    The kids will love walking to explore these staggering natural land forms; sharp pinnacles and ridges separated by narrow ravines. The Clay Cliffs are a geological wonder; sharp pinnacles and ridges separated by steep and narrow ravines. The Cliffs are relatively new, made up of layers of silt and gravel deposited by ancient glaciers over a million years ago. To get to the Clay Cliffs, turn onto Quailburn Rd off SH8 and then onto unsealed Henburn Rd. The cliffs are on private land, so please respect the property and obey all signage. Park a bit further back and make it more of walk.

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    • Location: Quailburn Rd off SH8, Nr Omarama
  • Rotorua - Hannahs Bay

    This large, flat area lies between Rotorua airport and the shores of Lake Rotorua. There is an all mobility playground, horse bridle trial and a dog exercise area. The reserve has large open spaces for recreational activities and the beach is popular for swimming and windsurfing. There are toilets, BBQs and picnic tables.

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  • Cathedral Cove Walk

    This walk will take about 40 minutes return and starts near the village of Hahei. Take the signposted road to the lookout car park. The carpark can be full during summer months because this walk is so popular – you may wish to park at an alternative site from the northern end of the Beach car park but you should allow an extra 25 minutes each way.

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    • Location: Hahei
  • Napier - Bluff Hill Domain and Lookout

    Worth the drive up. There are toilets up here and picnic table, and you get a bird’s eye view of Napier port. Panels explain the workings of the port, and what the different machinery is for, and it’s always fun to watch one of the cruise ships if in berth.

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  • 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.

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    • Location: Wanaka - 25 mins drive west of Wanaka, along the Mount Aspiring Road.
  • Spencer Park

    Spencer Park is just 15 minutes drive north from the city centre, right on the beach at Spencerville. Facilities include: BBQ pits, sandy volleyball court, tennis, mini golf, adventure playground, flying fox, toddlers' pool and tons of running around space. It's just a stone's throw from a sandy beach and the popular Bottle Lake Forest Park - a perfect forest for walks and family-suited mountain bike trails. Spencer Park is also right opposite the fantastic Adrenalin Forest - a great outdoor climbing adventure for kids and adults (see our activities section for more information.) If you want to stay on-site, right next door is Spencer Beach Holiday Park. Check our accommodation section for more on this great family accommodation.

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    • Location: Heyders Road, off Lower Styx Rd, Christchurch
  • Hagley Park

    Expansive parkland (around 160 hectares) in central Christchurch, Hagley Park public reserve is totally flat and a perfect escape from city life, without leaving the city. Drive in off Rolleston Avenue – there’s plenty of parking, a licensed café and information centre. Nearby is a large playground, lake and extensive gardens. There are walking, cycling or rollerblading tracks throughout the park and indoor/outdoor Botanic Gardens. Numerous recreation areas provide tennis courts, rugby fields, fitness track, netball courts and cricket pavilion. Look out for open air concerts during summer.

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    • Location: Christchurch - city centre
Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • North Canterbury
  • 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

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.