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
Mangawhai Estuary - South of Waipu
The dunes which border this estuary are constantly changing. The estuary is safe for swimming but you need to be careful of the outgoing tide near the mouth of the harbour. Kids will enjoy collecting cockles and pipi further up the harbour.read more
- Location: 36 km north of Wellsford, South of Waipu
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.read more
- Location: 203-271 Victoria Street, Auckland Central
This popular beach venue is only ten minutes from Auckland city and is an easy stroll to lots of shops, restaurants and cafes and the Sunday markets. There is good parking, toilets and a changing block and there is free entertainment for the kids during the summer holidays.read more
Omana Regional Park
An ideal place to take the family for a day out. Set in 40 hectares of open farm land, forest, cliff tops and rocky sea shore, there are family walks and a safe swimming beach, rock pools and even pet animals to feed. With large grass areas, plenty of barbecue and picnic sites and a children’s playground, there is plenty to do at Omana Regional Park to keep the children happy.read more
- Location: 40 minutes from downtown Auckland on the Whitford Maraetai Road
Western Springs Park (Lakeside)
This beautiful park is a wildlife sanctuary and surrounds a spring-fed lake where you can feed the birds and the tame eels or watch the native pukeko, swans and ducks. The park has a walking track, boardwalks through the wetlands and there are picnic tables and a children’s playground.read more
- Location: 731 Great North Road, Grey Lynn
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.read more
- Location: 25 kms from Auckland CBD off State Highway 1
Forest, cascading streams and safe beaches – Waiheke Island has it all. Book a picnic site on the beach at Whakanewha Regional Park on the south side of the island which has a crescent-shaped beach with warm, shallow water ideal for children at high tide. Or try Onetangi, Waiheke’s biggest ocean beach with a long, sandy beach, safe swimming, and places to eat.read more
- Location: Ferry to Waiheke Island. Whakanewha is about 20 mins drive from the wharf. Shuttle buses available.
The Auckland Domain is probably best known for the annual CocaCola Christmas in the Park extravaganza. This 75 hectare park is Auckland’s oldest and has been developed around an extinct volcano. There are duck ponds, sportsfields and the Auckland War Memorial Museum is located right in the middle!read more
- Location: 20 Park Road, 21 Domain Drive, George Street, Titoki Street and 72 – 80 Stanley Street, Parnell
A short drive from downtown Auckland is Mission Bay, a child friendly swimming beach with a playground, fountain and picnic area. Walk along the promenade or there is plenty of room for games in the park. Kayaks and rollerblades can be hired during the summer months. Further along Tamaki Drive is St Helier’s Beach, a one kilometre long, white, sandy beach with a children’s playground.read more
- Location: Tamaki Drive, Auckland
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- Marlborough Sounds
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Our favourite destinations…
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 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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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!
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.