Northland, Walks & Parks

  • Cooper's Beach - Doubtless Bay

    One of the safest beaches in Northland, this two and a half kilometre unspoiled beach has safe swimming and shade. There is a children’s playground nearby and a shopping centre and restaurant. There is a local product market at the shopping centre every Saturday.

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    • Location: Doubtless Bay
  • Mission Bay

    A short drive from downtown Auckland is Mission Bay, a child friendly swimming beach with a playground, fountain and picnic area. Walk along the promenade or there is plenty of room for games in the park. Kayaks and rollerblades can be hired during the summer months. Further along Tamaki Drive is St Helier’s Beach, a one kilometre long, white, sandy beach with a children’s playground.

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    • Location: Tamaki Drive, Auckland
  • Langs Beach - Waipu Cove

    Four kilometers south of Waipu Cove, Pohutukawa trees grow along the edge of this beach which is safe for family swimming or surfing and has views of offshore islands. There are toilets and a change shed near the car park.

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    • Location: Bream Bay, South of Waipu Cove, off SH1
  • Matapouri Beach - Tutukaka Coast

    Ten minutes north of Tutukaka, this magnificent crescent shaped bay with beautiful white sand is a great place for families for surfing, kayaking or just walking along the beach.

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    • Location: Matapouri Road, Tutukaka Coast
  • Puketi Forest - Hokianga

    The Puketi Forest is easily accessible from Hokianga Harbour and there are several short walks through the forest which are suitable for children. Manginangina Kauri Walk is a 15 minute loop track walk which is easy and has a well formed path. Access is via unsealed roads from South Highway 10, Waipapa. Puketi Nature Trail is a 1 hour return walk which starts at the Puketi Recreation Area and has an easy and well formed walking track. Pirau Ridge Road is an 11 km track which is more suited to older children, and provides the opportunity for mountain biking as well.

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  • Trounson Kauri Park - nr Dargaville

    Take a walk through this park to view the wonderful forest and beautiful kauri trees. The track is easy and takes about 30 to 40 minutes. The park is managed by the Department of Conservation. During the day you can see kukupa (New Zealand’s only native pigeon), fantails and morepork. Or a guided nightwalk will give you the opportunity to see the forest at night and maybe see kiwi or bats.

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    • Location: Off State Highway 12, 30 mins north of Dargaville
  • Taipa Bay - Doubtless Bay

    This white-sand beach is safe for swimming and you can also fish, surf or sail. Shops are nearby with a bakery and licensed restaurant and it is not too far to get to the cinema or local attractions.

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  • Waipu Cove

    Nine kilometers south of Waipu, Waipu Cove has a white sandy beach which is popular for swimming and surfing. The east side of the cove offers safer swimming for small children. There are toilets, picnic tables, BBQ's as well as convenience stores and cafes. Lifeguards patrol part of the beach during the summer.

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    • Location: South of Waipu, off SH1
  • Waipu Caves Walk - Waipu Gorge Scenic Reserve

    This 2 km track can be walked in either direction and will take about an hour each way. The track crosses farmland and leads up a steep ridge, across stiles and an unbridged stream to a large flat grassy area which is ideal for picnics and leads to the Caves Road entrance. The Waipu Caves feature stalactites, stalagmites and glowworms near the entrance. Be careful when walking the track as there are sinkholes underground. The inner caves should only be accessed by experienced cavers.

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  • Shakespeare Regional Park

    This 376 hectare coastal park has an amazing view of Auckland city and the inner Hauraki Gulf. There is a wonderful variety of birdlife including peacocks, herons and tui. There is a campground and several walks. Picnic sites are available and Okoromai Bay is a normally safe swimming beach and good for children to paddle in at high tide, while Army Bay offers a sandy beach backed by cliffs and Te Haruhi Bay is a sandy beach with sand dunes. There are toilets and changing facilities available.

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    • Location: Whangaparaoa Peninsular, 50 km from Auckland
  • Matauri Bay - Bay of Islands

    Resting place of The Rainbow Warrior, Matauri Bay looks out to the Cavelli Islands. This golden, sandy beach, which is over a kilometre long and has crystal clear water, is safe for swimming and excellent for surfing at high tide and fishing. Maturi Bay has its own beachfront camping ground and general store.

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    • Location: Whangaroa, Bay of Islands (north of Kerikeri), off SH10
  • Tokerau Beach - KariKari Peninsula

    The longest beach on the Whatuwhiwhi Peninsula at 18 km long. Good for surf casting and digging for shellfish.

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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.