Hawkes Bay, Family Activities


  • MTG Museum Hawkes Bay

    MTG Hawke’s Bay is an award-winning museum, home of the region's taonga and other treasures...MTG Hawke’s Bay uses its collection to tell the stories of the region and beyond, inc... read more

  • Cape Kidnappers Bird Watching Tour

    The gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers is the most accessible colony in the world – and from September to late April annually, these beautiful birds build their nests, lay their eggs and raise their chicks. The chicks take wing for the first time in late April (or early May, for the late bloomers) for their first migration to a warmer climate. A visit to Cape Kidnappers during this time will allow you to see both adults and young gannets, nesting in their tight-knit rows.

    With 35 years' experience, Gannet Safaris know how to ensure you have a great bird watching adventure. By delivering you within metres of the gannet colony in their comfortable, air conditioned 4x4 vehicles, Gannet Safaris are the only safari that guarantee you won't have to work up a sweat walking to the birds. During the 36km ride to the viewing site, you will see the gorgeous green pastures, riverbeds, deep gullies, inclines and native bush of Cape Kidnappers Station. You will also have a stop-in at a panoramic cliff top that looks out over the lovely scenery from Hawke Bay, across to the Mahia Peninsula.

    • Guided 4WD tour of gannet colony
    • Morning or afternoon tea included
    • Pick up from Hastings or Napier i-site info centre
    • Knowledgeable tour guide


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  • Kiwi Guardian Outdoor Adventures

    Get the kids outside to have some FREE family fun connecting with nature at Toyota Kiwi Guardians sites nationwide.

    Toyota Kiwi Guardians highlights family-friendly, treasure hunt style activities at specific Department of Conservation sites that encourage kids to engage with the outdoors and, ultimately, earn themselves a medal for their efforts.

    The goal of the conservation programme is to turn Kiwi kids into guardians of the land and sea.

    A total of 50 sites are operational nationwide. Families can get started on their adventure by downloading the appropriate “treasure hunt” map from: www.kiwiguardians.co.nz

    Click on the area of New Zealand nearest to where you are to find the choices available closest to home.

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  • Boutique Horse Treks - Hawkes Bay

    Boutique Horse Treks offers exclusive horse treks for only 1 - 5 riders, that allows small groups whether beginners, intermediate or advanced riders  individual attention and natural horsemanship techniques training on each ride.  Choose from 3 options: Magical Beach Ride (1 hour), Sparkling River Ride (2 hours) or their Clearview Estate Winery Ride (4-5 hours).

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  • Ocean Spa Hot Pool and Spa Complex - Napier

    This complex is right on Napier's marine parade, just a couple of minutes stroll from the town centre. Ideal for play and relaxation for the whole family, year-round facilities include open air hot pools, 25m lap pool, two leisure pools, toddlers' pool, outdoor plus private indoor spas, steam room, sauna, massage and beauty and gym. The complex is right next to the beach, with expansive sea views through protective clear fencing.

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    • Phone: 06 835 8553
    • Location: 42 Marine Parade, Napier
  • Morere Hot Springs - East Coast

    With a total of eight pools – two private plunge pools, three open-air plunge pools of varying temperatures, a large hot and a large cold pool and a small children’s paddling pool, Morere Hot Springs is an all year-round attraction set in a scenic bush reserve of lush, lowland rain forest. Have more time....enjoy a wilderness experience on DOC rainforest reserve with loop tracks taking only 20-25 minutes.

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    • Phone: 06 837 8856
    • Location: State Highway 2, Morere, East Coast
  • Sk8 Zone - Napier

    Beachside outdoor skate park for blades, boards and scooters. Bring your own wheels or hire from us. Save money by becoming a member of Sk8 Zone, giving you half price entry with your own wheels. Come to KIDZONE every Sunday morning, 10am - noon, for under 12s, and get free instruction from NZ's top ramp skater.

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  • Hilton Brown Swimming School

    Hilton Brown Swimming has been successfully teaching children how to swim since 1973. Infant, pre-school and school aged children all enjoy our focus on fun and technique! A special feature of our methods is continual assessment, which means swimmers are promoted to the next stage as soon as they’re ready. Nobody gets bored and everyone works at the most appropriate learning level. Choose from group lessons, School Holiday Programmes or intensive one-to-one lessons.


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    • Phone: 06 877 7202
    • Location: 15 Donnelly St, Havelock North, Hawkes Bay
  • Napier Prison Tours

    Operating as Napier's Prison from 1853 until 1993, the old building was NZ's oldest prison - take a tour and we'll entertain you with tales of victims, villains and heroes, escapees and ghosts! Walk along the undulating corridors with twisted walls from the 1931 earthquake. Visit the old hanging yard and get locked up in solitary confinement! Don't forget to bring your cameras and take a 'mug shot' of the kids!

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  • Kidz Play :: Toy Library & Funky Farm - Hastings

    Kidz Play offers Toys for Hire and a Funky Farm/Petting Zoo.  Our Toy hire/library is located on the same property as our fantastic farm/petting zoo. Cost is only $9 per Adult, $7 per Child and little ones under 1 are free there is also $1 food bags for feeding the animals.  If you're a member of the toy hire/library you can take a wander through for half price entry. Your little one will love this experience after they've chosen their toys. We also offer coffee facilities for mums/dads and caregivers plus there is an outdoor play area that the kids will love! We are also available for birthday parties and venue hire - enquire today!

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    • Phone: 06 878 2353
    • Location: 236 State Highway 2, Mangateretere, Hastings
  • Farmhouse Kitchen - Havelock North

    Farmhouse Kitchen Cooking School offers you hands-on cooking classes, preparing nourishing food in a comfortable and relaxed setting. Children's holiday classes as well as Christmas baking classes available.

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    • Phone: 06 877 2069
    • Location: 580 Middle Road, Havelock North
  • Fishbike - Napier

    Providing you with bicycles for you to explore Hawkes Bay in your own way, at your own pace. You can explore on your own, or join a guided group. Offering adult and children's bikes, tandems, tag-a-longs and baby seats. All rentals include helmets, locks and trail map. Open 7 days, 10am-5pm.

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    • Phone: 06 8336979
    • Location: 22 Marine Parade (Pacific Surf Club building), Napier
  • Hawkes Bay Farmyard Zoo - Haumoana

    A great selection of animals ranging from pigs, sheep and calves to ostriches, alpacas, turtles, peacocks and many more. Bring a picnic or have a BBQ under one of the sheltered picnic tables. There is a great playground and food to feed the animals. Pony rides and horse treks available. Enjoy close interaction in a clean safe environment. Open 10am - 5pm, 7 days, weather permitting.

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    • Phone: 06 875 0244
    • Location: 32 East Road, Haumoana, Hawke's Bay
  • Ages 7+

    Pandora Kayaks - Napier

    Pandora kayaks offer an extensive range of watersports equipment including kayaks, windsurfing and standup paddle boards. They also have a large range of additional hire equipment for you to take away or to enjoy at any of Hawke’s Bays amazing river/lake or coastal locations.

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  • Mountain Valley Adventure

    Offering the widest range of outdoor adventure pursuits under one roof in Hawke's Bay. Choose from horse treking, rafting, kayaking, walking, mountain biking and more.  Your family will enjoy high quality, iconic, wilderness adventure pursuits for all.  Need more days, they offer accommodation too! Check out our Hawkes Bay Accommodation section for more information.

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    • Phone: 06 834 9756
    • Location: 408 McVicar Rd, State Highway 5, Te Pohue, RD2, Napier
  • Silky Oak Chocolates Tours & Experiences - Napier

    View chocolates being made and choose from the array of chocolate gifts or pick your own selection. The chocolate museum will educate you all about chocolate’s history which is full of information & includes a 2,500 year old Chocolate Pot. A wide variety of gifts are available from the museum gift shop. Or you can take part in one of our experiences including the ‘Triple Chocolate Dipper’ (kids will love this)!

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    • Phone: 06 845 0908
    • Location: 1131 Links Road RD 3, Napier
  • PAR 2 Mini Golf - Napier

    Challenge friends and family at this seaside minigolf course. One course is curved amongst landscaped gardens with views out across the Pacific Ocean. The other is fully of wacky angles and water hazards wending through the trees. Ice cream, drinks and coffee are available.

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    • Phone: 06 834 0248
    • Location: 106 Marine Parade, Napier
  • The National Aquarium of New Zealand - Napier

    Uniquely located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and within easy walking distance of the city, the aquarium’s design is based on the shape of a stingray. Wander around the different continents of the world and view sea creatures, reptiles, exotic fish and native birds. View the 1,500 fish as they swim and feed above you while you walk through the 50 metre long tunnel. Interact with the touch pool and see lizards, spiders and wetas or take a ‘behind the scenes’ tour for close encounters with the animals. The aquarium has a souvenir shop and a café and is suitable for baby buggies or wheelchairs.

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    • Phone: 06 834 1404
    • Location: 546 Marine Parade, Napier, Hawkes Bay
  • Splash Planet - Hastings

    Hawkes Bay's Number 1 Family Attraction and New Zealand's only water theme park!
    Home to thrilling slides and rides like Skycastle Screamer, Never Ending River and Master Blaster, all set within 6.5 hectares of subtropical garden. This is a theme park with a difference - there's so much to entertain all ages, both in and out of the water! Mini Golf, formula fun and quad bikes are just some of the dry activities, while Tiny Town's fully enclosed play area will keep your little ones secure. All this plus facilities like Family rooms, BBQ and two cafes will ensure your family's day is easy, fun and as energetic or relaxing as you want it to be!

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Map of New Zealand
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  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
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  • Te Anau
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  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
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  • Cromwell
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  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

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!

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!


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.