Queens and Huangshi Chinese Gardens - Nelson
Queens Gardens is a beautiful example of a classical Victorian ornamental park. Centrally located information panels placed around the garden reveal its history and encourage the kids to walk. The gardens are part of a designated Historic Places Trust precinct. Stroll around and make a game of finding the park’s sculptures, which include The Cupid Fountain, the Water Wheel, the Boer War memorial, Sentinel and fine memorial gates at both main entrances. Cross the 'Rainbow Bridge” linking the Queens Garden to the Chinese Garden - with its traditional Chinese pavillion with upturned tiled roof, beautiful water features and see if the kids can spot the two stunning Fu Dog statues.read more
- Location: Off Hardy street, Nelson
Snout Walkway - Picton
Standing in Picton and facing out to sea, the tip of the headland that stretches out to your right is called The Snout. This whole area is known as Victoria Domain and is well stocked with swimming beaches, walking and bike tracks and picnic areas. The whole track, past the Queen Charlotte View and right out to Snout Head takes around 1 ½ hours. There’s a toilet and picnic area at the lookout, and a picnic area right at the end of the headland. Track tends to be slippery when wet, but otherwise an easy walk.read more
Kaipupu Point Wildlife Sancturary Walk - Picton
Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary has a 2.8 kilometre circular walk track, which starts from the jetty in Shakespeare Bay. Look and listen for fantail, kereru, weka, silvereye, grey warbler, tui, bellbird, and kingfisher, as you explore this predator free sanctuary. Kaipupu is a community run project, a short boat ride from Picton.read more
- Location: Kaipupu Point, Shakespeare Bay, ( 10 min water taxi ride) from Picton
Governors Bay Track - Picton
Governors Bay is accessed via this short walking track ( 10 mins each way), just a 15 minute drive from Picton on Queen Charlotte Drive. Governors Bay is a beautiful golden beach surrounded by lush native bush, and great for swimming. Pack a picnic and your togs for a relaxing day trip to paradise.read more
- Location: 15 minute drive from Picton on Queen Charlotte Drive.
Whites Bay tracks
Whites Bay has walks for a range of abilities, including kids - there are rocky areas for scrambling and exploring and a near-flat sandy beach that's excellent for swimming too. Pukatea Walk (10 min) meanders down to the cable station alongside Pukatea Stream passing through regenerating forest. Black Jack Track (1 hr return or 1 hr 30 min to complete the loop) climbs to a superb viewpoint on the edge of a bluff where Te Whanganui/Port Underwood, Cook Strait and Cape Campbell can be seen. Children need to be closely supervised here. Return the same way or complete a longer, loop option by winding slowly down through regenerating forest. Rarangi Bay–Whites Bay Track (1 hr one way) zig-zags up from Whites Bay to the Port Underwood Road through a pine plantation, then follows the road for about 500m before descending to Rarangi, near the Monkey Bay track. Monkey Bay Walk (20 min return) leads around a rocky point and into Monkey Bay, with its small beach. A lookout point near the beginning of the track offers good views and has signs explaining the way that sea currents have formed Rarangi Beach over thousands of years.read more
- Location: Follow State Highway 1 to Tua Marina (9km north of Blenheim). Turn off at Tua Marina and continue through to Rarangi, stopping at the car park at the base of the hill beside the sea.
Lake Chalice Hut tracks
Explore the area around Lake Chalice, the only lake in Mount Richmond Forest Park - the short, easy walk (1 hr to hut / 2 hr 30 min loop) to the hut is ideal for an overnight tramp with children.read more
- Location: 5 km north Renwick (just over the Wairau River bridge) turn off SH6 onto Northbank Road. Follow this for 33 km then turn into Top Valley Road. Continue for 6 km then turn into Staircase Road and follow this for 18 km to the car park.
Wairau Lagoons Walkway - Blenheim
This flat loop track (3hrs), is ideal for kids with the added incentive of seeing a shipwreck, it follows the lagoon shoreline to the rusting remains of the Waverley ship. There are plenty of birds to see here – a bird book and pair of binoculars would be a useful addition to your equipment.. There is no fresh water here so carry some with you on the hot, dry days.read more
- Location: Hardings Road, which leaves State Highway 1, 5 km south of Blenheim.
Queen Charlotte Walkway - Marlborough Sounds
The whole track takes 3 – 5 days to complete, but there are plenty of places to enter and exit the track, making some fantastic half or full day walks. Anakiwa is right by the water ( and the one point you can drive in to - other places you will need a water taxi), with picnic spots and toilets. You can start the track here and either return by the same path or come out at Mistletoe Bay. A pleasant, undulating walk of around 4 hours, with a mix of high up, sea views, native bush and mature beeches. If you feel like a good uphill grunt, start from the Portage Hotel and make your way up to one of the track’s highest points – the Kenepuru Saddle, with breathtaking views of the surrounding Sounds. It takes around 45 minutes to reach the treeline and view points, although there are plenty of lookouts on the way.read more
Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve
Options for walking paths range from 5 minutes to 4 hours at the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve. Tracks will take you along side the river, to see the Elvy Waterfalls, through areas of podocarp, broadleaf and beech trees – and an ancient giant tōtara.read more
- Location: 5949 State Highway 6, Pelorus Bridge 7192
Tirohanga Walkway - Picton
This is a good walk over the hill and should take about 2¼ hours as a round trip (including about half an hour of fairly easy uphill) plus photo snapping time. The view from the Lookout is excellent over the whole of Picton and Waikawa Bay. I would recommend that you start at the Newgate St end as the track is quite steep in places on the Garden Terrace side. The track levels off at a 360 degree viewpoint, then descends via the Esson’s Valley.read more
Northbank Walking Track - Mount Richmond Forest Park
The park spans several regions and comprises most of the steep native forest-covered mountain country between Nelson and Blenheim. Top Valley is a popular recreational area, with short walks, swimming holes and picnic and camping areas. The Riverside Walk - 2 hr 30 min (4 - 5 km) return - follows an old gold miners’ track. You will see old gold tailings and the historic battery site of the Wellington mine. Forks Walk - 1 hr 30 min return (4 km). This track leads to Whiteheads Clearing, where there are stacked river stones from the mining era.read more
- Location: Northbank Road, Turn off State Highway 6, just north of the Wairau River Bridge, 16 km from Blenheim.