Walks & Parks

  • Taupo -Tongariro Domain

    Tongariro Domain has a playground which is suitable for children and there are picnic tables. The Domain’s toilets also offer a parents’ room with a changing table and microwave, sink and toys for the children. The Lion’s Club operates children's rides on the Domain on a small monorail, weather permitting, for $1 per person. Check with the Visitor Centre for train times during the winter months.

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    • Location: Tongariro Road, Lakefront, Taupo
  • Lake Wombat Walk

    This short, easy walk (3.8 km return via same track, 1 hr 30 min) leads through a lush rimu forest to the idyllic Lake Wombat - it's a good option for children. Lake Wombat is a fe... read more

    • Location: South from Franz Josef , the track starts from the Glacier Access Road
  • Pukaki Kettle Hole Track

    This walk starts 11 km north of Twizel township, after the Pukaki River spillway. It is signposted off the eastern side of SH 8 and there is a designated car park area. Older children (4–5 years plus) will enjoy this walk and won’t be able to resist running down into the kettlehole. Younger children will need to be carried in a backpack. The walk itself is flat and passes old glacial boulders and eventually circles a kettlehole, which is a large depression in the ground (formed thousands of years ago by glacial ice melt). Note: No shade or toilet facilities.

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    • Location: Lake Pukaki Terminal Moraine Conservation Area, Southern End Lake Pukaki.
  • Lake Kaniere Short Walks

    These short (2-15min)  forest walks lead to picnic areas, waterfalls and sandy beaches ideal for swimming - plenty to keep kids interested.  The beach at the end of Canoe Cove Walk and Dorothy Falls are spots for swimming. Dorothy Falls is refreshing but a little chilly!

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    • Location: Dorothy Falls Rd, Kokatahi 7881
  • Lake Matheson - Fox Glacier

    At Fox Glacier township, turn onto the Cook Flat road and drive for 5km, where you’ll see the turn off for Lake Matheson. The walk around Lake Matheson is best done at sunrise, and if the weather is clear and still, you will be rewarded with incredible reflections of Mount Cook. Any time of day, however, it’s a pleasant lakeside/ancient forest walk, with backdrop views of the Southern Alps, flanked by Aoraki/Mt Cook. Restaurant, toilets and carpark onsite.

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  • 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
  • Stirling Point - Bluff

    If you’ve got this far, it’s a must to visit the southernmost point on NZ’s mainland – Stirling Point. It’s marked by a signpost telling you just how far you are from most of the world’s major cities. There are toilets and a restaurant/café at Stirling Point. Foveaux Walkway 50 minutes return. The coastal track from Stirling Point to Lookout Point has a gravelled and well-compacted surface, which can be used by buggies, although it is uneven in places. Glory Track a 50 minute round trip from Stirling Point, follows the track up the hill behind the restaurant. At the top of the hill you can see gunneries, and then continue walking from the Gunpit entrance around to Stirling Point.

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    • Location: Bluff - Stirling Point
  • Matarangi Beach

    The seaside at Matarangi is perfect for families with its gentle surf and safe swimming and four and a half kilometers of white sandy beaches. There is a store and café nearby.

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    • Location: Halfway between Whitianga and Coromandel town
  • 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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  • Manawatu River Pathway - Palmerston North

    There are many access points to this biking and walking trail, which runs for over 9kms between Maxwells Line in the West to Riverside Drive in the East.  Take a break at the Victoria Esplanade along the middle section of the pathway to enjoy the  rose gardens, bird aviaries, BBQ facilities, playgrounds, miniature train rides and duck ponds.

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    • Location: Manawatu Riverside Walkway
      Palmerston North
  • 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
  • Cooks Beach - Sth of Whitianga

    Just south of Whitianga and backed by pohutukawa trees, this beautiful beach is a 3 kilometre crescent of fine golden sand, ideal for picnics, and water which is free from rips, making it safe for family swimming. The beach resort also has a café and shopping centre. The beach can be reached via Highway 25 or from Whitianga. You can also access it by ferry to Ferry Landing but you will need to take a five minute taxi drive from the landing to the beach.

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    • Location: Cooks Bay, south of Whitianga
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.