Hawkes Bay - Eskdale Park
Eskdale Park is on Shaw Road and is signposted from the highway. The seven hectare park, with trees shading the playground and picnic areas, is popular with holidaymakers who want to cool off in the knee deep river on a hot day. There is plenty of room for the children to run around and the park has two rest rooms.read more
- Location: Shaw Road, off Napier Taupo Road, State Highway 5
Hawkes Bay - Lake Waikaremoana
1 hour drive off SH2, or on the way if heading to Rotorua on SH38. The road is unsealed for several stretches, and quite narrow, so care must be taken, and drive in lower gear than for sealed road. Campsite, shop and picnic area down by lake. Great for swimming, or you can hire row boats or kayaks. 400m further round there’s a DOC information centre and lots of short (30 mins) to multi-day bush walks.read more
- Location: 2 hours drive north of Napier, turn off SH2 onto SH38
Hawkes Bay - White Pines Bush
29km north of Napier on SH2, native bush walk with educational panels, native birds and forest. The reserve has huge kahikatea, dwarfing the tawa and pukatea that provide most of the remaining tree cover. Nikau palms are also an attraction. Hanging vines, shrubs and ferns proliferate under the tree canopy, providing habitat for native birds including tui, kereru (native pigeons), fantails, bellbirds, silver-eyes, grey warblers and ruru (morepork). Boardwalks make it easy with buggies and there are two walks to choose from – 30 minutes or 1 hour. Toilets and picnic area.read more
- Location: SH2, 29km north of Napier
Napier - Waipatiki Beach
This stretch of golden sand is in the picturesque settlement of Waipatiki, 45 minutes north of Napier and a short walk from the car park. The sandy area of the beach is flanked by cliffs and the beach is reported to be a good place to find paua shells, although the current here is strong so swimming is not recommended. There is a beach picnic area, toilets and a camping ground nearby.read more
- Location: 11km from SH2, 45 minutes drive from Napier
Napier - Centennial Gardens
The Quarry Gardens were developed in the 1970s and the Napier Prison inmates were given the work of extracting the stone. Some prisoners individually carved many stones with personal designs and patterns. Entrance to the Old Napier Prison is 200m further up Coote Road, opposite the park. The gardens are a good picnic spot or take just a few minutes to walk around. The star attraction here is a large waterfall, very tidy and pretty, reminiscent of a Japanese garden.read more
- Location: Coote Road, Napier (200m from Napier Prison - now closed to inmates, open for tours)
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
Napier - Anderson Park
This 2.6 hectare park has plenty of room for picnics and there are ducks for the children to feed. The playground has lots to keep the children amused with a see-saw, swings, rockers, roundabout and much more. The Hawkes Bay Model Engineering Society runs miniature train rides from Anderson Park Railway Station from 11am on a Sunday along with a sausage sizzle (weather permitting) An easy stroll around the park takes about 30 minutes and there are toilets in the park.read more
- Location: Taradale Road, Greenmeadows Napier
Hawkes Bay - Ocean Beach
One of the best beaches in Hawkes Bay with 10 kilometres of golden sand, Ocean beach is extremely popular with holiday makers in the summer months. The waters are safe for swimming, although a current will carry you down the beach a little. Lifeguards patrol during the busiest months. Ocean Beach is relatively undeveloped with no shops nearby, so bring your own food!read more
- Location: South East of Hastings, nth of Waimarama
Hawkes Bay - Te Angiangi Marine Reserve -
The Te Angiangi Marine Reserve was established in 1997 and covers an area of about 446 hectares between Blackhead and Aramoana beaches. The reserve, which protects this part of the coast, offers opportunities for swimming, walking, shore diving and boating. Between Blackhead and Paoanui Point at low tide birds like kingfishers, oyster catchers and godwits can be seen. Explore the rock pools to find fish, crabs and kina (but return any rocks to their original position) or snorkel in the sheltered waters of Stingray or Shelly Bays and discover reef animals like paua, opal shells and rock lobsters.read more
- Location: Central Hawkes Bay,30 km east of Waipukurau and Waipawa
Hastings - Waimarama Beach
Waimarama Beach is a popular weekend and picnic venue. Its long stretches of sandy beach which are ideal for walking, searching for pipi and swimming are patrolled daily through the summer months. Rock pools are located at the southern end of the beach and Waimarama Domain has a large grassy area with shade, picnic tables and swings. A general store nearby offers snacks like fish and chips and ice cream.read more
- Location: 35 km from Hastings
Hastings - Te Mata Peak Lookout
Good, sealed road to the top of this impressive hill, that winds up on one side, and drops straight down in a sheer bluff on the other. Impressive 360 views from the top, of the whole Hawkes Bay region, and on a clear day you can see as far as Mount Ruapehu. Scattered, tiny, below are some of the fabulous wineries of the Hawkes Bay district, along with the Te Mata cheesery.read more
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.read more
Hawkes Bay - Pourerere Beach
Ideal for fishing, swimming and surfing, Pouerere Beach has a camping ground and freedom camping areas. The safe swimming beach has golden sand and dolphins and seals are sometimes seen in the bay. There are toilets and changing rooms on the right side of Pouerere Road.read more
Napier - Marine Parade
Whereever you're staying in Napier, you'll find yourself visiting Marine Parade. As well as a host of activities right on the waterfront (eg Aquarium, Mini Golf, Ocean Spa, Sk8 Park) there's a walkway that's completely flat, following the beach. Ideal for walking or biking, you can stroll for several kilometers south to the outskirts of town, or north towards Perfume Point, and Napier's best swimming beaches.read more
Napier - Bluff Hill Domain and Lookout
Worth the drive up. There are toilets up here and picnic table, and you get a bird’s eye view of Napier port. Panels explain the workings of the port, and what the different machinery is for, and it’s always fun to watch one of the cruise ships if in berth.read more
- Central Otago
- Bay of Plenty
- Hawkes Bay
- North Canterbury
- Nelson & Golden Bay
- Marlborough Sounds
- South Canterbury
- West Coast
- Bay of Islands
- Palmerston North
- New Plymouth
- Te Anau
- Mt Cook
- Abel Tasman
- Nelson Lakes
- Stewart Island
- Central Plateau
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.