Walks & Parks

  • 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
  • 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.

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    • 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
  • Mavora Lakes Park

    Beautiful lakes, open tussock, grasslands, and beech forest make this a very popular destination in the summer. Many activities are available here including fishing, hiking, biking, or just relaxing and enjoying the scenery. There are options to hike longer distances along the Mavora - Greenstone Walkway, to the Kiwi Burn hut or just a short loop around South Mavora Lake.

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    • Location: 3532 Mavora Lakes Rd, Mavora 9672
  • Whites Bay tracks

    Whites Bay has walks for a range of abilities, including kids - there are rocky areas for scrambling and exploring and a near-flat sandy beach that's excellent for swimming too. Pukatea Walk (10 min) meanders down to the cable station alongside Pukatea Stream passing through regenerating forest. Black Jack Track (1 hr return or 1 hr 30 min to complete the loop) climbs to a superb viewpoint on the edge of a bluff where Te Whanganui/Port Underwood, Cook Strait and Cape Campbell can be seen. Children need to be closely supervised here. Return the same way or complete a longer, loop option by winding slowly down through regenerating forest. Rarangi Bay–Whites Bay Track (1 hr one way) zig-zags up from Whites Bay to the Port Underwood Road through a pine plantation, then follows the road for about 500m before descending to Rarangi, near the Monkey Bay track. Monkey Bay Walk (20 min return) leads around a rocky point and into Monkey Bay, with its small beach. A lookout point near the beginning of the track offers good views and has signs explaining the way that sea currents have formed Rarangi Beach over thousands of years.

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    • Location: Follow State Highway 1 to Tua Marina (9km north of Blenheim). Turn off at Tua Marina and continue through to Rarangi, stopping at the car park at the base of the hill beside the sea.
  • Otago Anniversary Track - Arrowtown

    Start from carpark in Ramshaw Lane, centre of Arrowtown. Follow the Arrow River along the flat to the outskirts of Arrowtown. Cross the bridge and return most of the way along the other side, crossing a bridge once more and finishing in carpark.

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    • Location: Arrowtown - Start from carpark in Ramshaw Lane
  • The Rhino Walk (Children’s Bay Walkway) - Akaroa

    The start of the walk is a 10 minute boardwalk walk with beautiful views. Then venture further to access Childrens Bay Farm tramp (3hr loop if you return on the back roads), a walk... read more

    • Location: Childrens Bay Road, Akaroa
  • Halswell Quarry Park

    A unique, 55 hectare family-orientated park on the outskirts of Christchurch. The disused quarry makes for an interesting (and fenced off) stroll, with its striking amphitheatre of steep, jagged rock walls. There’s plenty of grassy spots and picnic areas to spread out and play, plus loads of walking and bike tracks that wander through woods and orchards. Take a walk through the ‘sister-city’ gardens, with Korean statues and bridges. Toilets and water on-site. To get there from Halswell, take Kennedys Bush Road south toward the hills. A marked turnoff at the base of the foothills leads into the park. A lake on the left is surrounded by the new plantings of the Sister Cities' Gardens, and on the right, the abandoned buildings of the quarry are visible.

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    • Location: Christchurch - Halswell
  • 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
  • Taupo - Craters of the Moon

    The Craters of the Moon is an area of thermal activity with boiling mud pools, steam vents and interesting plants which have adapted to thrive in the hot, steamy conditions. Boardwalks and pathways have been created to lead spectators safely through this area and the walk will take you around 60 minutes. There is an information office and shop on site.

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    • Location: Wairakei Tourist Park
  • Waihi Beach

    Waihi beach is one of the safest surf beaches in New Zealand. There is plenty of room to relax and play on the nine kilometers of beautiful, white sand. There is a modern shopping centre close by with restaurants.

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    • Location: Waihi, Coromandel/Bay of Plenty
  • Gisborne - Bermuda Palms Banana Research

    This unique banana research establishment, located at Wainui Beach, is set in a tropical paradise of exotic plants and is only a few kilometers away from where the film Whale Rider was filmed. The gardens feature plantings of environmentally friendly bananas, a water feature area, a palm grove, a fairy dell and a play area for children.

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    • Phone: 06 867 7095
    • Location: 11 Murphy Road, Wainui Beach, Gisborne
  • Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge Tawa Loop - Palmerston North

    This 2 hour, 4km loop track is a great option to explore the native bush and the view points along the Te Apiti Gorge.

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    • Location: Napier Rd, Aokautere 4471
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.