Bay of Plenty, Family Activities

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  • Ages 8+

    Glow Worm Kayak Tour

    Paddle along the beautiful Lake McLaren on your way to experience the unique combination of kayaking and viewing New Zealand glow-worms. The Glow Worm Kayak Tour is the only tour in the world to offer this combination, and it is truly a magical experience.

    Your evening begins with a decadent spread of delicious New Zealand cheeses, superb wine from the award winning Mills Reef winery and other refreshments on the lakes edge. Watch the glorious New Zealand sunset as your kayaks are set up for you. As twilight throws her cool, dark blanket over the landscape, you will be briefed on effective kayaking, before launching out onto the glassy waters of Lake McLaren. Once there, you can experience this popular paradise under the calming light of dusk.  Once you enter the magical glow worm canyon, you will be totally captivated when you see the glowing constellations cast by these amazing, tiny wonders. Definitely a perfect end to your day.

    Your kayaking tour will last approximately one and a half hours and all equipment and safety gear is provided. Moderate fitness is required; however, this memorable adventure is very popular with families and suits people of all ages.

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  • Ages 7+

    Adrenalin Forest

    Take a walk in the treetops! This is an adventure park in the heart of the forest, testing your agility and balance in a safe and controlled, but of course, super-fun environment! ... read more

  • Katikati Bird Gardens - Tauranga

    This privately owned park with delightful gardens, lily ponds and secret paths is on the edge of Tauranga Harbour and features a wide range of native and colourful birds.  This is ... read more

  • KG Kayaks

    We offer Guided Kayak Tours and Kayak hire at a number of locations in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
    Join a Guided Tour at offshore Whale Island (we take you there by boat), departing from Whakatane. Or take a Coastal Adventure Tour from Ohope Beach or let us guide you over the beautiful and sheltered Ohiwa Harbour.
    Kayak hire - available at Ohiwa Harbour - explore this beautiful natural inlet with a freedom hire. With six islands and 86kms of sheltered coastline you can easily escape the crowd to find you own corner of paradise. This is an ideal adventure for novice kayakers or family groups.

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  • Ages 8+

    Mount Maunganui Surf Academy

    Based in beautiful Mount Maunganui, we offer surf courses for beginners and improvers in a safe, fun and relaxed atmosphere. We take great pride in personalising all our surf courses, and endeavour to provide some of the smallest Instructor: Student ratios of any surf school in the area.

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  • Ages 8+

    Hibiscus Surf School

    Hibiscus Surf School caters for all levels of surfing. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced surfer, we will teach you at the level you require and get you out on the water and progressing your skills in no time!

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    • Phone: 07 575 3792
    • Location: Main Beach, Mount Maunganui
  • Classic Flyers NZ

    Come and see classic aircraft that still take to the skies, antique engines that roar into life before you, aviation memorabilia from a bygone era and so much more - all in our huge open hangar. As well as a dynamic array of classic aircraft, including many that still take to the skies on a regular basis, including a ½ scale precise flying replica of a Focke Wulf 190. We also have a great collection of models. School visits and birthday parties welcome.

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    • Phone: 07 572 4000
    • Location: 9 Jean Batten Drive Mount Maunganui
  • Tenpin Tauranga

    Have a ball at Bowling Tauranga! They have a special party room, a café, kiddies menu and 20 bowling lanes, with ball ramps and light balls for the littlies.

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  • Memorial Pool

    This is a popular summertime destination for leisurely swimming or fitness training. An on-site barbecue makes this the ideal location for family and group get-togethers.

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    • Phone: 07 578 6091
    • Location: Memorial Park Off Devonport Road Tauranga
  • Fernland Spa Thermal Mineral Springs

    One main hot pool surrounded by towering tree ferns, or choose one of our gorgeous private thermal hot pools, perfect for a family group.

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    • Phone: 07 578 3081
    • Location: 250 Cambridge Road, Tauranga
  • Baywave TECT Aquatic and Leisure Centre

    With four pools, an indoor wave pool, toddlers pool and hydroslide, Baywave is a great place for the children to have fun in the water. They also have a café offering café style meals and a variety of hot foods for children, including wedges, pies, pizzas and ice cream. Kids Klub operates during school holidays, with pool games and activities for children between 5 and 13 years of age (bookings are essential). Little Splashes childcare will look after children between three months and five years from 9 to 11 and 11 – 1 (weekdays only).

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    • Phone: 07 575 0276
    • Location: Cnr Girvan and Gloucester Road, Mount Manganui
  • Marshalls Animal Park

    This 35 acre animal park is located within the beautiful McLaren Falls Park. Children are able to feed and play with a host of farmyard animals and see the unusual Tibetan yaks, giant African ostriches, Texas longhorns, several breeds of sheep, deer, goats, birds, pigs and horses from the mighty shire to cute miniatures. There are also pony rides, flying foxes and a playground. A shop sells essentials like pies and ice creams, or bring your own picnic to enjoy at the picnic tables set up in the park.

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    • Phone: 07 543 1099
    • Location: McLaren Falls Road, RD1, SH29, Tauranga
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.