South Canterbury, Family Activities


  • Ages 4+

    Mackenzie Alpine Horse Trekking- Tekapo

    Enjoy a horseback ride through McKenzie Country seeing tussock grasslands, glacial lakes & forests.  Options include a 30 minute, one, two, 3 1/2 hour or a full day trek.  


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  • Ages 3+

    Flip Out - Timaru

    Dive into our foam pits, fly high on the olympic tramp, play dodgeball or bounce on our huge main trampoline. There's also a kids trampoline area - perfect for parties! Flip Out caters for sporting groups, school & community groups and community events.

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    • Phone: 03 688 2807
    • Location: 147 Hilton Highway, Timaru
  • The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre - Mt Cook

    The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre's 126-seat custom-designed theatre is the world's only theatre with 2D, 3D and a Digital Dome Planetarium under one roof! Offering you 'Mount Cook Magic' an inspiring 3D cinematic experience unlike any other and The Digital Dome Planetarium, where science meets entertainment for an unrivalled 360 degree cinematic experience. The museum showcases the history of the Mount Cook region and where you can learn all about Sir Edmund Hillary himself.

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  • South Canterbury Museum - Timaru

    The South Canterbury Museum is a great place for kids to explore! From fossils to fashions, you can see hundreds of fascinating things! Open drawers, do puzzles and lots more. School holidays are a really good time to visit the Museum, with a range of activities for kids in the galleries. See What's On to find out what current exhibits and programmes are happening or coming up soon. Contact us to join the Museum Explorers Club for primary school-aged students - it's free! All Explorers get a Museum Passport that is stamped every time they visit the Museum - get 5 stamps to earn a prize. Explorers also get sent our latest Explorers Club newsletters and information about our upcoming events for kids - including holiday programmes and special events like Museum in the Dark and more!

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  • Balmoral Farmyard and Shop - Tekapo

    The Balmoral Farmyard and Shop is located next to Mt John Homestead. With a lovely range of farm animals which you can get close to, the kids will love this.  You can also purchase animal feed if you would like to feed the animals.


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    • Phone: 021 329 885
    • Location: 19 Main Highway, Lake Tekapo
  • Ages 10+

    Mt Cook Guided Day Walks

    Take in a guided tour of the Hooker Valley, providing breathtaking views of some of NZ's highest and most enthralling peaks. Our knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides will tell you all about the unique flora and fauna of the region and the local history as you trek through this amazing landscape. Departs and returns from The Hermitage and with the choice of a half or full day option. Minimum age 10 years.


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    • Phone: 03 435 1809
    • Location: Departs from The Hermitage, Mt Cook Village
  • Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre - Timaru

    The Centre boosts three indoor pools, 50M outdoor pool, two hydroslides, a children’s water play area, Rapid River, Bombing Tower and Chillax Area with Steam, Sauna and Spa. The gym is fully equipped with state of the art Cybex strength and cardio equipment. Plus two group fitness studios (including RPM) offering Les Mills group fitness classes. The centre is completed with a Wellness suite to include beauty therapy treatments and nutrition consultants and the Café serves freshly baked food and offers diners an outdoor courtyard. The facilities offer hours of enjoyment for the whole family, including the elite to recreational swimmer, children, and people with disabilities.

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    • Phone: 03 684 2229
    • Location: 11 Te Weka Street, Timaru
  • Alpaca Farmyard - Fairlie

    Gem Alpaca Stud offer farm visits to meet and greet our Alpaca, Llama and sheep.  Our farm visits allows you to get in the paddocks with the Alpaca and Llama and see very clearly the difference between the two species. At the right time of year you will also meet the cria (Baby Alpaca/Llama). Farm visits take 1 hour and are dependant on weather. Great for young and old.

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    • Phone: 03 685 8589
    • Location: The Paca Shack, 77 Main Street, Fairlie
Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • North Canterbury
  • 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…


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.