Manawatu, Family Activities


  • Ages 8+

    The Cave Palmy

    The Cave Virtual Reality Studios - New Zealand’s best venues for VR, Virtual Escape Games, Esports, Sim Racing, Solo & Multiplayer Gaming, Corporate Events, Private Studio Hire and... read more

  • 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:

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

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  • Te Manawa - Palmerston North

    Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History is the cultural heart of a city that thrives on discovery – entertaining and inspiring young children and adults. There is always something happening through their events, exhibitions and education that families will enjoy. Including school holiday programmes, science and art classes for children. Admission is free.

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    • Phone: 06 3555 000
    • Location: 326 Main Street, Palmerston North
  • Lollipop's Playland and Cafe - Palmerston North

    Indoor Play Centre with a three level playground maze, big slide, ball pits, jumping castle, merry go round, and a special area for the little ones.

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    • Phone: 06 356 6200
    • Location: 25 Matipo Street, Palmerston North
  • Esplanade Scenic Railway - Palmerston North

    A great little family adventure ride on a miniature railway, the track is 2.2km long, and the ride 20 minutes in duration. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this outing. The loop takes makes its way to the children's playground and back again. Open on weekends and public holidays. 

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    • Phone: 06 357 3049
    • Location: Victoria Esplanade, Park Road, Palmerston North
  • Ages 10+

    Wind Warriors - Foxton Beach

    Wind Warriors Kitesurf and SUP can give you a short lesson and rent you a Powerkite or 3 so the whole family can harness the power and have fun with the wind (choose from a 2 or 4 hour session).  Or you can choose to have a Stand Up Paddleboard lesson and rent enough SUP boards & paddles for the whole family (available rental by the hour, half or full day).

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  • Ages 7+

    Daytona Indoor Raceway - Palmerston North

    Daytona Indoor Raceway offers indoor racing suitable for all ages 7+ with a variety of different karts from our junior kadets, to intermediate and senior.  A great place to come that is fun for the whole family.  Also a host of private functions that includes kids birthday parties, where you get to have exclusive track hire and race against only your buddies.  Minimum height 1.2m.

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    • Phone: 06 353 5082
    • Location: 23 Bennett Street, Palmerston North
  • Ages 3+

    Mangaweka Adventure Company

    Check our their "Splash and Giggle", a perfect introduction to rafting for the whole family. This is a fun and bouncy float along Grade 2 rapids that start straight away and are intermingled with long flat pools ideal for that tempting swim on a hot summers day! Want more...they also offer a half day option giving you more family fun time on the water!

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  • Murrayfield Clydesdales - nr Levin

    Experience New Zealand’s pioneering heritage and learn how your ancestors lived in the days before washing machines and running water! The museum at Murrayfield has lots of exhibits to teach the children how life used to be, including items from a general store, chemist and how people saw movies before the advent of videos and DVDs. The miniature town of Helenstown depicts a typical town around the early 1900s, complete with miniature train and water fountain. Meet the beautiful Clydesdale horses in the stables and stop at the café for light refreshments and a view of animals grazing in the green paddocks beneath the Tararua Ranges.

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    • Phone: 06 367 8166
    • Location: Corner Potts Road and State Highway 57
  • Bushy Park Wildlife Sanctuary

    Bushy Park Reserve is a 100 hectare native forest sanctuary kept predator‑free for native birds and is ranked one of Australasia’s ‘Top 25’ Restoration Projects. There are 3.4km of easy all‑weather walking tracks throughout the forest and a huge variety of bird life and species of trees. Don’t miss ‘Ratanui’, believed to be the biggest northern rata, 43 metres high with a girth of more than 11 metres with an age of between 500 and 1000 years.  Free entry, daylight hours.
    While you’re there, visit the 22 room 1906 Edwardian‑era homestead and enjoy a picnic.

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    • Location: 791 Rangitatau East Road, Wanganui
  • New Zealand Rugby Museum - Palmerston North

    The New Zealand Rugby Museum is a place where you can explore the rich history of the Nation’s game!  You'll get to see up close and personal some of the world’s rarest rugby artifacts, and learn about our rugby greats. Plus you can enjoy the ‘Have A Go’ area where you can tackle, scrum,  jump, sprint and kick just like the rugby legends!

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    • Phone: 06 358 6947
    • Location: 326 Main Street, Palmerston North
Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Auckland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin
  • Coromandel
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Manawatu
  • Northland
  • North Canterbury
  • Queenstown
  • South Canterbury
  • Taranaki
  • Southland
  • Taupo
  • Wanaka
  • Waikato
  • Wellington
  • 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…


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.