Walks & Parks

  • Waitangi Park

    Previously known as Chaffers, this newly re-created recreation space is close to Te Papa. The facilities include a waka launching area, a children’s playground, skateboard zone and plenty of grass to run around on.

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    • Location: Wellington Waterfront
  • 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
  • Taupo - Wairakei Thermal Valley

    Open from 8.30am to dusk during summer and 9am to 5pm during winter months, you may see birds, rabbits and other small animals on this walk. Boardwalks make the 30 minute walk easy and you'll view bubbling mud pools, steam holes and native bush. Small charge for the walk. Umbrellas available for extra hot or rainy days. There is also a café for refreshments after your walk.

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    • Location: 7 Km north of Lake Taupo, SH1
  • Lake Outlet Track - Wanaka

    This scenic leisurely walk follows the Clutha River from Wanaka to Albert Town. You can park at the town end of Penrith Beach and walk from here, or access the Outlet carpark via the Outlet Motor Camp along Anderson road. Great for biking.

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    • Location: Wanaka - park at the town end of Penrith Beach and walk from here, or access the Outlet carpark via the Outlet Motor Camp along Anderson road.
  • Victoria Park

    This park is located within the central business district and has large, grassed playing fields, a skate park and a children’s playground. Toilets and drinking fountains are available and at the weekends and during school and public holidays there is live entertainment at the Victoria Park Market which has more than 85 shops, cafes and restaurants and sells arts and crafts, souvenirs, fashion and sportswear.

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    • Location: 203-271 Victoria Street, Auckland Central
  • 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
  • Riccarton House and Bush

    An inner city haven – historic house with café and toilets on-site, situated on the river bank in extensive grounds. The Riccarton Bush walk is an easy 20 minute walk through protected, ancient native forest – it’s undisturbed and is an interesting window into how Christchurch would have looked to the first settlers. In fact it’s the sole remnant of the Kahikatea forest that clothed much of the coastal floodplains. The sound of birds in this pocket of forest is significant. Other than this there’s Riccarton House and Dean’s Cottage to wander through, plus lots of grass area for the kids to play.

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    • Location: Christchurch - 16 Kahu Road, Riccarton
  • Gisborne Botanic Gardens

    The gardens are situated right on the riverbank, with a large playground, toilets, picnic area, lots of grass to spread out, and Noddy Train rides for the littlies. The train runs year round, every Sunday, and costs just 50c a ride (adults or children) with proceeds going to the Lions Foundation.

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    • Location: Station Road, Gisborne
  • Ross Historic Goldfields walks

    Discover old gold mining relics or enjoy 360 degrees on these walks - there are short, interesting options suitable for children. From the Ross Historic Cemetery (10 min one way) w... read more

    • Location: Gay St, Ross 7812
  • 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
  • Glentui Waterfall and Nature Trail Loop

    From the Glentui picnic area there are a few options. Two great family friendly ones are to visit the Glentui waterfall or follow the Glentui Loop Nature Track. The waterfall track takes 30 minutes and offers an impressive view of the river and the waterfall. The Nature Loop is 1 hour return and it descends down to the Glentui River before intersecting with a couple other trails and then heading back to the picnic area.

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    • Location: Glentui Bush Rd, Glentui 7495
  • Oriental Bay

    This is one of Wellington’s most popular beaches. Close to the city centre it has excellent facilities including cafes and shops nearby. The bay is secluded and suitable for swimming or walking along the main promenade area.

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    • Location: Oriental Parade, Wellington
  • Ocean Playground and Skate Park - Whakatane

    This integrated adventure facility provides appropriate challenges for all children, including those with physical disabilities. The playground provides opportunities for children to experience structured activities and creative play in an interactive environment. The Tracks skate park is also situated in the area.

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    • Location: McAlister Street, Whakatane
  • Long Bay - North Shore

    This beachside park on Auckland’s North Shore is only half an hour from Auckland City and a great place to bring the children. The one kilometre long, sandy beach is part of the Long Bay Regional Park and is usually a safe swimming beach. There is a playground with a flying fox at Long Bay as well as barbecue and picnic areas. The Long Bay Restaurant at the south end of the park on the beach front is open for lunch and dinner. Toilets are available and there is a restaurant and kiosk if you need food or a drink.

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    • Location: 25 kms from Auckland CBD off State Highway 1
  • Baldwin Street - Dunedin

    You can’t visit Dunedin without tackling the world’s steepest street! The gradient is 1:2.86 – that means for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally you climb (or descend) by 1 metre. There is a shop with memorabilia and information at the bottom and a bench and drinking fountain at the top! If you’re around in February, look out for the annual event “the Gutbuster’. Around 1000 competitors run up the street and down again. Meanwhile in July the annual, zany street entertainment on offer involves the rolling of around 10,000 jaffas (kiwi spherical red sweets – chocolate centre with a hard red coating) down the street. Each jaffa is sponsored by one person, with prizes to the owner of the winning sweets and proceeds to charity.

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  • Quartz Reef Point Walk

    A 30 min walk to Quartz Reef Point, the best preserved example of herring bone tailings in the country. From the carpark, cross the road and and follow the marker poles to the right. This is through private property. At the top of the rise there's a gate into the historic reserve and the track leads to a viewing platform. From here there are views of the tailings and over to Lake Dunstan, Cromwell and the Pisa Range. These virtually pristine remains are the result of ground sluicing; channeling water to the head of a claim and flooding the working face. Larger stones and rocks were removed and stacked, row after row in a herring bone pattern. The washed material was then directed or shoveled to a sluice channel to separate the gold from the gravel.

     

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    • Location: Cromwell-Lindis Pass Highway, by Lake Dunstan, between Cromwell and Tarras.
  • Matapouri Beach - Tutukaka Coast

    Ten minutes north of Tutukaka, this magnificent crescent shaped bay with beautiful white sand is a great place for families for surfing, kayaking or just walking along the beach.

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    • Location: Matapouri Road, Tutukaka Coast
  • Napier - Perfume Point Reserve

    The beach area between Spriggs Park, just after West Point, and Perfume Point, is a decent swimming spot. There’s a playground in Spriggs Park, right at the beach, and a café, toilets and carpark. A boardwalk makes walking with buggies easy, round to Perfume Point. There’s another restaurant at this end, and you can carry on round towards the marina.

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  • Bridal Veil Falls Walk - Raglan

    This twenty minute (return) walk is suitable for pushchairs (but is not wheelchair accessible) and is an easy walk to the top of the 55 metre Falls following the Pakoka River most of the way.

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    • Location: off Kawhia Road, near Raglan
  • Biking - Bottle Lake Forest Park

    This Kidz Go! favourite has it all! Immerse yourself in miles of sandy beaches, walking tracks galore, superb forest mountain bike trails that are easy yet varied and fun, mountain bike terrain park and a recreation area with adventure playground, flying fox, paddling pool, tennis courts, sandy volleyball and BBQ pits. The flat trails are ideal for buggies but this area really comes into it’s own as a perfect place to take the kids mountain biking. Try the Pegasus Bay track which skirts the forest, following the beach from Spencer Park to New Brighton’s North Shore. Otherwise discover the maze of fun, winding mountain bike trails that criss-cross the forest. You can pick up maps of the forest from the information centre at Spencer Park (Off Lower Styx Road.) Alternative access and recreation area off Waitikiri Drive.

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    • Location: Christchurch - 10km northeast of city centre.
  • 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.
  • Hot Water Beach - Coromandel

    Dig your own hot pools out of the sand one hour before or after low tide near the rocks and see steam rising from the open sea at high tide. Hot Water Beach is just south of Mercury Bay at the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula and is the remains of volcanic activity. The water can be as hot as 64 degrees centigrade so be careful! There are toilets, cafes and a shop at the car park which sells drinks and ice creams. Spades are available for hire if you forget to take your own. Swimming is not safe for children at this beach because of the strong surf.

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  • Shakespeare Regional Park

    This 376 hectare coastal park has an amazing view of Auckland city and the inner Hauraki Gulf. There is a wonderful variety of birdlife including peacocks, herons and tui. There is a campground and several walks. Picnic sites are available and Okoromai Bay is a normally safe swimming beach and good for children to paddle in at high tide, while Army Bay offers a sandy beach backed by cliffs and Te Haruhi Bay is a sandy beach with sand dunes. There are toilets and changing facilities available.

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    • Location: Whangaparaoa Peninsular, 50 km from Auckland
  • Matauri Bay - Bay of Islands

    Resting place of The Rainbow Warrior, Matauri Bay looks out to the Cavelli Islands. This golden, sandy beach, which is over a kilometre long and has crystal clear water, is safe for swimming and excellent for surfing at high tide and fishing. Maturi Bay has its own beachfront camping ground and general store.

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    • Location: Whangaroa, Bay of Islands (north of Kerikeri), off SH10
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.