Southland, Family Activities

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  • Stewart Island Experience

    Readily accessible by ferry, Stewart Island is New Zealand's ultimate eco-tourism destination - perfect for a day excursion or an extended stay. Discover a natural world of lush bu... read more

  • Stewart Island Experience :: Village and Bays Tour

    Explore Oban and the surrounding bays in our modern mini-buses. Gain an entertaining insight into the community, history and environment of Stewart Island. Our guides enjoy sharing... read more

  • Bill Richardson Transport World

    The largest private automotive museum of its type in the world, with literally hundreds of motor vehicles and petrol pumps on display. But don't worry though if you're not a motoring enthusiast! Families can also enjoy a growing wearable arts collection, movie theatre, children’s play zones and themed bathrooms which are fast becoming as famous as our vehicles.

    Find dedicated spaces for families like the Construction Zone Lego Room. Watch as your children amass themselves in piles of LEGO, or challenge themselves with educational programmes provided on iPads. Dress up and interactive fun are even encouraged on a Replica 1925 New Zealand Police Paddy Wagon. Enjoy your latte and lunch in comfort as The Grille cafe houses a secure children's play area. With so much to see, let us entertain you for a few hours or the whole day.

    Bill Richardson Transport World is the largest private collection of its type in the world. Home to over 300 vehicles, a wearable arts collection, children's play zones, The Grille Cafe and themed bathrooms fast becoming as famous as our vehicles. Transport World has something for everyone.

     

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  • Ages 5+

    Catlins Horse Riding

    Stunning views over several beaches and with personalized service, you will enjoy the selection of rides ranging from 1 hour treks to full day options.  With small groups and the opportunity to ride among farm animals, through native forest and along sandy beaches to play in the surf or view the sea lions, your family will have a great adventure.

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    • Phone: 03 415 8368
    • Location: Te Taunga, 41 Newhaven Road, RD1, Owaka, South Otago
  • Southern Outdoor Instruction

    Southern Outdoor Instruction have been providing adventure activities since 2006. We specialise in teaching a range of outdoor skills including white water kayaking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and alpine experiences. We have a passion for exploring our natural world and love sharing it with others.

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    • Phone: 03 215 4221
    • Location: 810 North Road Lornville, Invercargill
  • Splash Palace - Invercargill

    Splash Palace in Invercargill is one of the premier aquatic facilities in New Zealand. With a unique southern coastal theme the centre is a fun place to visit. There are few communities in the world that can boast an indoor aquatic centre of this size, within walking distance of the CBD, close to a large selection of motels and parks. The facility includes a 50m x 8 lane sports pool with a bulkhead, a leisure pool with waves and sprays, a tots’ pool and a learners’ pool. There is also a water slide, spa pool, steam room and a café, all indoors with convenient off street car parking. The Splash Palace Swim School is available for babies to adults, of all levels.

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    • Phone: 03 217 3838
    • Location: 56 Elles Road, Invercargill
  • Adventure Southland - Invercargill

    Specialists in fun outdoor education and recreation to schools, families and the general public. Organised activities include high ropes course, abseiling, giant swing, rock climbing, kayaking, caving, tube rafting, bivvy making and more. We cater for all schools from primary to tertiary level providing complete camp and activity management, including equipment, accommodation and menus. We offer activities from 2 hours to several days, and run specialised education courses, such as ‘Getting to know rivers’. Contact us to discuss your school or group’s activity session or programme.  Adventure Southland’s Challenge Ropes Course is also available for birthday parties!  Call us for more information today.

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    • Phone: 03 215 4221
    • Location: 810 North Road, Invercargill, New Zealand
  • Ages 4+

    Hump Ridge Jet - Southland

    One of NZ’s most exhilarating jet boat experiences, jet boat across Lake Hauroko to challenge the most exhilarating journey in New Zealand, the Wairaurahiri river, 27 kilometres of grade 3, rock strewn white water rapids. When the Wild South Coast is reached, you can trek in to see the mighty Percyburn viaduct or just relax and enjoy the abundance of wildlife. A short walk over the Wairaurahiri swingbridge into Waitutu virgin forest is a must. This is a long day and the jet boating is very exciting. The trip would not be suitable for very young children. Transport to and from Otautau to start of the jet boat trip can be provided. Otautau is about 30 mins drive from Invercargill.

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    • Phone: 03 215 4221
    • Location: 17 Main St, Otautau, Southland
  • Hokanui Pioneer Village and Museum

    Wander around the campus, bring a picnic and step back in time. The historic buildings onsite include a church with a lychgate, an old bank, a pioneer cottage, an early school and a blacksmith.
    We have a large complex with an office, a kitchen, souvenir counter and public toilets. 
    Inside the complex are displays of vintage tractors and cars and agricultural implements - many of which are fully restored.
    There are also displays of a saddler, communications, domestic displays, a boot maker and a variety of household and farm items.

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  • Cathedral Caves - Catlins

    These grand imposing caves are one of the well-known Catlins coastal attractions. They can only be accessed at low tide enquire at Information Centres.There is a small entrance fee (the access road is on private land), and the walk from the car park will take you through forest (approx 30 minutes walk one way).  After you come out of the forest it is only a short walk along Waipati Beach to the Cathedral Caves entrance.

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  • Queens Park

    Queens Park is located in the centre of the city offering over 80 hectares of landscaped gardens. Offering an impressive bird aviary, animal enclosures, children’s play areas, extensive sporting facilities and cafes. Other hHighlights include a rose garden, rhododendron dell, an azalea garden, Japanese garden, dramatic tree lined walkways, bush paths through a selection of native plants and rock and herb gardens and an indoor Winter Garden that features tropical and flowering plants and cacti that are displayed in an adjoining house.

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    • Location: Enter the park on Gala Street, Queens Drive or Herbert Street, Invercargill
  • Chipmunks Playland - Invercargill

    Welcome to Chipmunks, the indoor children’s adventure playground and café. Chipmunks is the ultimate place for children up to 11 years to go for entertainment and educational purposes. Our playland primarily consists of specialised play equipment of an extremely high standard, with protective matting and padding. We also have mazes, inflatable slides, flying fox, play stations, ball pools and a separate area for under 3s.

     

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    • Phone: 03 214 6109
    • Location: 103 Spey St, Invercargill
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.