North Canterbury, Family Activities


  • Ages 2+

    Alpine Jet Thrills

    A thrilling NZ adventure the whole family can share! Experience the shallow, twisting streams, turquoise water and swaying broom of the mighty Waimakariri. Jet boating is a truly u... read more

  • Ages 3+

    Hanmer Springs Attractions

    The gateway to the natural beauty of Hanmer Springs is the historical Waiau Ferry Bridge, home of Hanmer Springs Attractions. Our shop, cafe and activity base overlook the river, c... read more

  • Ages 3+

    Whale Watch - Kaikõura

    Situated against an absolutely stunning backdrop that takes in views from the alps to the ocean is a pretty special township called Kaikõura, where Whale Watch operates its tours y... read more

  • Kowhai Farm - horseriding and lessons

    All things horse!  Treks, lessons, care - complete beginners to advanced level riders are always welcome.  Your full day ride includes helping to catch, groom, saddle and bridle your horse
    followed by a flat work group lesson with a helpfull instructor working on basic position and control of the horse.
    Lessons available for different levels, or jumping for experienced riders.

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  • Hanmer Llamas

    From a day leisurely village walk to overnight or multi day wilderness treks. All fitness levels, fully guided and catered. Our guided day tours take a gentle stroll around the hidden beauty spots of the Hanmer village surrounds. The tour runs approximately 9.30am-3pm and guests join their llamas and our guide for a relaxed sit down lunch at a local restaurant.(Lunch is included in the tour cost).
    Llamas are the perfect low impact, high altitude animal. Our boys will happily carry the load leaving you hands free to walk at a comfortable pace and enjoy the scenery. For our multi day tours there’s the added bonus of the level of comfort that pack animals can bring with our ample and delicious, freshly prepared food and comfortable sleeps, not to mention that extra photographic equipment or warm jacket.

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  • Hanmer Tours & Shuttle

    Daily Passenger Transport between Hanmer Springs and Christchurch. We also connect with Christchurch International Airport. One way transfers between Hanmer Springs and Christchurch cost $35 per person. Same day return from Hanmer Springs to Christchurch costs $50. $10 per person surcharge for Christchurch Airport drop offs or pick ups. Daily departures from Hanmer Springs at 8 AM and from Christchurch at 13:00 PM.

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  • Weka Pass Railway - Waipara

    Weka Pass Railway is a historic rural railway that uses both vintage steam and diesel-electric locomotives on 12.8 km of scenic line through the unique limestone beauty of Weka Pass out of Waipara. The public trains run every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, every Sunday in January and most public holidays. Pre-schoolers travel for free and family passes are available.

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  • Alpine Crazy Putt - Hanmer Springs

    Alpine Crazy Putt is Hanmer Springs central mini golf course. Located just past the Heritage Hotel, this course has been recently rebuilt with lots of new and exciting holes!  Stage 2 will include water features and landscaping. Watch this space!

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    • Phone: 03 3155177
    • Location: 1 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs, North Canterbury
  • A-Maze-N-Golf - Hanmer Springs

    Come and solve the mystery of the Lost Temple and be in for lots of surprises along the way or play our Gold Rush themed 18 hole mini golf course. Located on the Main Rd into Hanmer Springs. Just a 2 minute drive or 5 minute walk from the village centre.

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    • Phone: 03 315 7272
    • Location: 1 Fraser Close, Hanmer Springs
  • Waipara Valley Farmers Market

    The Waipara Valley Farmers market are a passionate group of growers and producers from the local Waipara Region, sharing great produce to locals and visitors alike.  All our Stallholders come from the region and offer you a delightful selection of fresh and hand made produce.  Operating every Saturday (year round) from 9am-12noon.

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    • Location: 66 Carters Road, Amberley
  • Thermal Pools and Spa - Hanmer Springs

    Set in a breathtaking natural landscape, surrounded by forests and mountains, the award-winning Thermal Pools offers visitors a wide range of experiences, from soothing indulgence to exciting family fun. The Thermal Pools & Spa has nine open-air thermal pools, three sulphur pools and four private thermal pools, as well as a sauna/steam room.

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    • Phone: 03 315 7511
    • Location: 42 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs
  • Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre - Mountain Bike Hire

    Quiet roads with stunning Alpine backdrops provide easy access to the mountain bike tracks, forest and hills around Hanmer Springs Village. The forest rides are particularly suited to families - you can ride from 20 minutes to 2 hours around the weaving mountain bike tracks, and it's mostly flat.

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    • Phone: 03 315 7233
    • Location: 20 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs
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


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.