Nelson & Golden Bay, Family Activities

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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ages 5+

    Cape Farewell Horse Treks

    Explore the beautiful beaches and tracks around Golden Bay and Cape Farewell on horse back! There's nothing as awesome as galloping down a beach or surveying the horizon from astride your horse! We love working with children and families, and have grandkids ourselves, who love the horses! We have trips to suit families with children as young as four, through to overnight treks for the more experienced.

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    • Phone: 03 524 8031
    • Location: Travel to Puponga, 26 kms north of Collingwood, (towards Farewell Spit) then a further 2 km towards Wharariki Beach.
  • 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 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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  • 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
  • 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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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.