Walks & Parks

  • 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.

    read more
    • Location: Glentui Bush Rd, Glentui 7495
  • Arrowtown Historical Houses Walk

    Arrowtown itself is 150 years old, with around 60 buildings still intact from the goldmining period. This gives the town that ‘step back in time’ feel. The Lakes District Museum sell a “Historic Buildings” Book for only $2.50, featuring a number of easy walks.

    read more
    • Location: Arrowtown centre
  • Piha Beach

    All the beaches on this stretch of the West Coast are black iron sand beaches. The safest place for swimming for children is at low tide in the Blue Pool off The Gap. The main beaches are not recommended for young children to swim in as they are primarily surf beaches. Nearby is the Piha Domain which contains toilets and a camping ground and is a great place for picnics.

    read more
  • Frankton Beach Picnic Area - Queenstown

    Picnic tables, BBQ area, toilets, short walk to playground plus, since it’s so shallow, the warmest part of Lake Wakatipu. Jetski hire from Frankton Marina.

    read more
    • Location: Queenstown - Frankton Beach
  • Ohope Beach - Nr Whakatane

    A few kilometers from Whakatane, this beach is one of the safest surf beaches in the country, with 11 kilometres of white sand perfect for walking at low tide. Swimming is safe between the flags at Ohope beach and lifeguards are stationed at Mahy reserve at the bottom of Ohope hill and also along the beach near the camping ground at Port Ohope. Mahy reserve is a great place for picnics, with electric barbecues, tables, playground facilities and parking.

    read more
    • Location: West of Whakatane
  • Bannockburn Sluicings

    It is a 3.5km, 2 hour walk and can be hot and dry. This track loops around the former Bannockburn gold field to provide a vivid slice of history and a most rewarding perspective of times gone by. The area was sluiced and mined from 1862 to the 1930’s with the remains of dams, water races, tunnels, stone walls, and channels to be seen. Towering cliff faces are all that is left of hills that have been sluiced away to find the precious gold. Good footwear and a drink are essential.

    read more
    • Location: 143 Felton Rd, Bannockburn 9384
  • 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
  • Hawkes Bay - Lake Tutira

    Forty kilometers north of Napier is Lake Tutira. The area surrounding this lake is a bird sanctuary and makes a wonderful picnic and camping spot. There are toilet facilities and a free campsite with fresh water and barbecue facilities. The Tutira walkway is steep and not suitable for young children or pushchairs (the round trip takes about five hours!), but there is good swimming in this very pretty lake and trout fishing in the lake’s northern reaches.

    read more
    • Location: Between Napier and Wairoa
  • Otepuni Gardens - Invercargill

    Winding pathways along the banks of the Otepuni Stream, located between Forth and Tyne Streets, provide a refreshing break from the city’s central business district. A few minutes’ walk from the city centre, Otepuni Gardens covers 9.4 hectares and encompasses four city blocks. The gardens were once the main city park, complete with a nursery, display houses and aviaries, but those have now gone, although the charm and beauty of the gardens still remain.

    read more
    • Location: Invercargill - between Forth and Tyne Streets
  • Mt. John Summit Circuit Track - Tekapo

    The start of this track is located next to the Tekapo Springs complex. The track rises steadily up through exotic forest and then open tussock hill slopes. Mt John is fantastic viewing platform with a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding mountains, lakes and Mackenzie Basin flats. The Mt John Observatory and cafe are at the top.

    It is possible to drive to the top of Mt John and walk the Summit Circuit Track (30 - 45 min).

    read more
    • Location: Mount John Observatory
  • 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.

    read more
    • Location: Whangaparaoa Peninsular, 50 km from Auckland
  • Arawata Track - Queenstown

    Stunning views of lake, and cliffs. Beautiful flora and fauna and small streams. Perfect on a nice day. Gentle ups and downs. Path descends down to road at end, so follow this and loop back along road, or return along track.

    read more
    • Location: Queenstown - access from end of lane at 45 Arawata Terrace, Sunshine Bay
  • Lake Hayes Recreation Area - Queenstown

    Consists of sandy beach, warm shallows, lots of space and toilets. Great spot to picnic and relax on a sunny day - lots of shade. Pontoon and good swimming and kayaking.

    read more
    • Location: Queenstown - 15km from Queenstown - leave town via Frankton. Lake Hayes is on your left. Turn left at the turn off for Arrowtown - the best picnic area is signposted 2km along the Arrowtown road at the head of the lake.
  • Ruakuri Walkway - Waitomo

    The 45 minute return journey is over a well-constructed track which passes through picturesque rain forest and limestone landscale with excellent views of the Ruakuri Natural Tunnel (a remnant cave). There are picnic tables and toilets at the start of the walk.

    read more
    • Location: 3 Kilometres from Waitomo Museum, off Tumutumu Road
  • 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.

    read more
    • Location: Napier Rd, Aokautere 4471
  • Rotorua - Waiotapu Thermal Track

    Only a 2 minute walk one way will take you to the bubbling hot pools where you can see steam and gases rising through the pools. Waiotapu is on the site of what was formerly the largest mud volcano in New Zealand. The track is suitable for all types of fitness and wheelchair access is also available.

    read more
    • Location: 20 minutes south of Rotorua off SH5, turn left on Loop Road
  • 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.

    read more
    • Location: Christchurch - city centre
  • 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.

    read more
    • Location: Christchurch - 10km northeast of city centre.
  • 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.

    read more
    • Location: Quailburn Rd off SH8, Nr Omarama
  • Naseby Forest Trails

    Naseby Forest is a privately owned working forest that will be closed from time to time for logging or if fire danger is high so check ahead. Grab a map from the information centre or local shop. Heaps of mountain bike trails for all levels, a great family friendly one follows the Mount Ida water race.

    read more
    • Location: Forestry Rd
      Naseby 9396
  • 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
  • Rakaia Gorge Walkway - Methven

    This easy 10.4 km return track follows the gorge and the Rakaia River. It through some spectacular geological areas of lava flows and glacial and river carved terraces. Please note this walkway does cross private land - please respect the landowners by staying on the track and not disturbing the stock. 

    read more
    • Location: State Highway 72
  • 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.

    read more
    • Location: 3532 Mavora Lakes Rd, Mavora 9672
  • Port Chalmers Recreation Reserve - Dunedin

    Follow the Port Chalmers road alongside the harbour to this tiny seaside township. There are a number of pathways around the cemetery, providing good views of Careys Bay. For a great beach/picnic spot, follow the Blueskin Road by car, to the beach and river at Purakaunui. Fantastic swimming hole, and fun for kayaks.

    read more
    • Location: Dunedin - Port Chalmers
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.