Nelson & Golden Bay, Family Activities

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  • Ages 12+

    Abel Tasman Canyons

    Canyoning in the Abel Tasman National Park is one of the most exhilarating ways to explore it!  Enter a remote canyon and begin the descent ~ jumping, sliding, abseiling, scrambling, floating and ziplining your way through! The highlight is a royal slide into Cleopatras Pool!
    No previous experience required and we can take children 12 years and over.

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  • Farewell Spit Eco Tours

    Farewell Spit is a  narrow sand spit at the northernmost tip of New Zealand's South Island and is the longest sandspit in the country. With a reach of about 26km (not including an extra 6km of underwater landmass) the Spit is made up of unbelievably beautiful golden sand.

    The low tide – which can recede as far as 7kms – exposes vast mudflats which create a natural feeding ground that attracts seabirds by the thousands; in fact, up to 20,000 godwits, 30,000 knots and many other migratory and native birds (as well as introduced species) come to visit the Spit during the summer time. An absolute dream for bird watchers! The Spit is now a nature reserve and bird sanctuary and public access is heavily restricted; however, during your Farewell Spit eco tour, you will be granted special access to view part of the gorgeous sanctuary for yourself.

     

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  • Ages 2+

    Waka Tours

    Waka are a Maori canoe that were built and used by our tūpuna (ancestors) to sail the Pacific Ocean for thousands of years.  Experience what sailing in a waka is like. Share in New Zealand's treasured heritage by paddling in a double-hulled (waka tuarua) or single-hulled outrigger canoe (waka ama).

    Paddle your waka along the coast to Split Apple Rock (Toka Ngawhā) an iconic location on the Abel Tasman coastline.  Two hours paddling; suitable for children 2 years and up ~ there are small paddles available so they can join in!

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  • Ages 9+

    Southern Latitude Guides - Fly Fishing

    Locally referred to as “Top of the South” offering an abandon variety of rivers and the underlying geology reflects a wonderful diversity in the waters. From the smallest streams t... read more

  • Ages 6+

    Kaiteriteri Kayak - Abel Tasman National Park

    We are the only kayak company in the Abel Tasman to specialise in family kayak trips. It's simply a fabulous way to explore a stunning environment in peace and tranquility and it m... read more

  • Ages 4+

    Cape Farewell Horse Treks

    Cape Farewell Horse Treks are Department of Conservation and Qualmark approved, and suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels.

    Puponga Beach (1.5hrs) - All levels (children 4yrs+)
    This is a great all round trek with a good variety of terrain and an opportunity to ride fast if you choose to. Great for families and time-limited horse lovers.

    Old Man Range (2.5hrs) - All levels (children 13yrs+)
    This trek has it all – hills, grassy paddocks and sandstone tracks, not to mention world-class views!  There are plenty of opportunities for a fast pace along this trek and it is suitable for all ages and skill levels.

    Wharariki Beach (3.5hrs) - Experienced riders only
    This amazing trek combines aqua with equine in an amazing three hour long adventure. More suited to adults, teenagers and older children (10 and above, unless they have riding experience).

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  • Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles

    Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand's great treasures and its picture-perfect coastline is a sub-tropical paradise for you to explore!  The national park has no road access but is home to a gorgeous 63km coastal walking track.  Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles provide comfortable transport to any part of the track and its golden beaches so you can take a walk, swim a deserted beach and spend a day exploring, then they'll pick you up from your chosen location.  They also offer half and full day scenic cruises where you can discover the coastline, spot seals and dolphins, and stretch your legs on a beach walk too.

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  • Natureland Zoo - Nelson

    Go WILD at Natureland! Located next to the beautiful Tahunanui Beach in Nelson, Natureland Zoo enables visitors to meet exotic, native and domestic animals in a fun, family-friendly setting. Visitors can enjoy the antics of monkeys, meerkats and a porcupine. A wide range of endangered native fauna is on display including Kea, the world's only alpine parrot, and interesting forest birds such as Tui, Kereru and Kakariki.
    Visitors can also view some of New Zealand's native reptiles including the pre-historic Tuatara as well as colourful geckos. Kids love to help feed our friendly domestic animals and get up close to a number of different species including Kune Kune pigs, rabbits, goats and more. A small aquarium contains a range of interesting creatures and the exotic bird aviaries are home to a range of different birds. Scheduled animal feeds and keeper presentations occur throughout the day.

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  • Wine Art and Wilderness Tours

    Uniquely guided, fully catered interpretive tours into Abel Tasman and other National Parks and reserves. Scenic tours of Nelson in a Day or Golden Bay in a Day
    Wine & Food Tours, try world class wine matched with beautiful food in wineries with unsurpassed settings in either Nelson or Marlborough.
    Art Tours, be introduced to world class artists and galleries with almost 400 artists to choose from. Combination tours available or 'Trust the 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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  • Ages 2+

    Buller Canyon Jet - Murchison

    Before your jet boating adventure starts you'll walk over NZ's longest swing bridge then enjoy a thrilling 40 minute jet boat ride on the Buller River as it carves it's way through the pink granite rock of the canyons, past waterfalls and over earthquake rapids, right in the heart of historic gold mining country.

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    • Phone: 03 523 9883
    • Location: Beechwoods Complex, Main Road, Murchison
  • Nelson Fun Park

    Just tons of entertainment and summer fun for the family, only 10 minutes drive from Nelson city centre. The Tahuna Fun Park offers a pool with hydroslide, inflatable bumpa boats, crazy golf, mini jeep rides, roller skating, adventure playground, tennis courts, bmx track, go karts, miniature railway, zoological park, roller blading and a skateboard half pipe.

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  • Buller Gorge Swing Bridge - Murchison

    Welcome to the world’s longest swing bridge! It’s110m long and its narrow, wooden planks swing dizzily around 18m (60ft) above the mighty Buller River. Crossing is a must, but if you’re scared of heights, don’t look down! Other on-site activities include the Comet Line – great for kids and they can do it alone or tandem. It’s a 160m line that you are harnessed to in order to be whizzed over the gorge at speed. Also available are goldpanning and guided walks. Snacks, drinks and toilets on-site.

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    • Phone: 03 523 9809
    • Location: Highway 6, Upper Buller Gorge, Murchison
  • Ages 8+

    Vortex Wind Karting

    A power craze on wheels! Fun to learn and with full tuition provided you will be enjoying your cruise along on their purpose built track.  Great for groups and kids birthday parties. Suitable for 8+ years, but for those that are younger you can hire a side seat attachment that fixes onto the main blokart making it just as ideal for them to participate and enjoy too.

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    • Phone: 03 547 2197
    • Location: Richmond Park, 384 Lower Queen Street, Richmond
  • Anatoki Salmon Farm - Golden Bay

    A great family fun day out to be had and only a 1.5 hour drive from Nelson.  Here you will find a unique freshwater fishing experience on the banks of the Anatoki River. Your entry and the use of fishing rods is free. You only pay for what you catch! There is a great cafe and picnicking options for your family to enjoy too.

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    • Phone: 03 525 7251
    • Location: 230 McCallum Rd, Takaka, Golden Bay
  • Nelson Farmers Market

    Open every Wednesday, year-round from 11am-4pm. Not just for honest to goodness, farm fresh, locally produced food, but sights to see and activities and entertainment for everyone! We have buskers and great entertainment for kids every school holidays and often inbetween. Adults - get locally made fresh fruit and vegetables, meet the producers and taste some local honey, try a fresh berry ice cream or have a bratwurst sausage in a bun. Great entertainment for kids and they can find out where their food comes from!

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    • Phone: 022 010 2776
    • Location: Fashion Island, Cnr Hardy/Morrison Sts, Nelson
  • Ages 5+

    Abel Tasman Paddle Boarding - Marahau

    Blessed with calm sheltered shallow bays, lagoons and high sunshine hours make this the ideal location to get the whole family out on the water. Great family tour prices include lesson and safety briefing, Paddleboard's or Sit on Top Kayaks, safety equipment, life jackets-all sizes, local knowledge, family friendly instructor or guide and guided or freedom hire options.

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  • Ages 3+

    Pro Karts & Pro Combat Laser Tag, Nelson

    Both Pro Karts and Pro Combat Laser Tag are conveniently located at Tahunanui Beach, Nelson. Our Go Karts are a really popular and fun weekend activity for all ages, offering pro, fun and two seater karts and if the need for speed doesn't sound quite like you, then try your luck with our Pro Combat Laser Tag.  

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    • Phone: 03 548 5278
    • Location: Tahunanui Beach Fun Park, Hounsell Circle, Tahunanui Beach, Nelson
  • ASB Aquatic and Fitness Centre - Richmond

    Not just a regular swimming pool! Fun facilities include our ever popular Wave Pool - State of the art and great family fun, generating its own wave. We also have 2 toddlers’ pools, a Lazy River, Family Spas and Friday evening Wave Raves. We cater for birthday parties and offer Swimsation Baby and Toddler lessons (caregiver to participate). Splash Café on-site.

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    • Phone: 03 543 9755
    • Location: 161 Salisbury Rd, Richmond, nr Nelson
  • Action Entertainment

    Action Entertainment offers 6 lanes of Ten Pin Bowling an 18 hole outdoor Mini Golf Course, a licensed indoor playland & cafe complete with bouncy castles and extras!  There is also a Rock Wall and indoor courts for netball, football and cricket. All of the above can be bundled into many different birthday party options as well. That should have the parents and kids excited!

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    • Phone: 03 543 8222
    • Location: 30 McPherson Street, Richmond
  • Founders Heritage Park - Nelson

    Founders Heritage Park is a replica historic village containing many of the old historic buildings and artefacts of Nelson. Special attractions include Dr Bush's Windmill, the Port Nelson Exhibition, vintage and horse drawn vehicles, fire engines and a working train. The short-track train gives rides on weekends and holidays. There are also livery stables, museum, old church and bakery. There’s a café, organic brewery, a fun children’s playground and toilets are provided at several locations.

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    • Phone: 03 548 2649
    • Location: 87 Atawhai Drive, Nelson
  • Ages 12+

    Abel Tasman Canyoning - Abel Tasman National Park

    With a choice of canyoning trips available and with age restrictions that apply, the minimum age is 12 years and up for the Torrent River trip, which happens to be their most popular canyoning trip, because it has it all - jumps, slides, floats & abseils. A great trip to start your family canyoning adventures.

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    • Phone: 03 528 9800
    • Location: Abel Tasman National Park
  • Ages 10+

    Wild Rivers Rafting - Murchison

    Raft the legendary Buller River Earthquake Rapids, the section with the most whitewater in the breath taking Buller Gorge. Adventurers will experience plenty of white water action and your guides will give you full rafting safety instruction before you begin. Minimum age 10 years or 13 when the river is running high.

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    • Phone: 0508 467 238
    • Location: SH 6 at the Iron Bridge between Murchison and Westport
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.