Wellington, Family Activities

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  • The Heritage Centre

    Take a walk through time with a visit to the Department of Corrections’ Heritage Centre.  As well as the history of corrections in New Zealand, the centre looks at Corrections today, with multi-media displays showcasing our modern facilities. Open Monday-Friday, 7.30am - 5pm.

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    • Phone: 04 460 3000
    • Location: Ground floor Mayfair House 44-52 The Terrace Wellington.
  • Colonial Cottage Museum

    Wellington’s oldest original cottage is home to the story of the Wallis family who lived there for three generations. A guided tour of Cottage and garden gives a glimpse into the lives of this pioneering New Zealand family. Or you can stroll around the organic heritage garden at any time and visit our resident chickens.

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    • Phone: 04 384 9122
    • Location: 68 Nairn Street Mt Cook Wellington
  • Murrayfield Clydesdales - nr Levin

    Experience New Zealand’s pioneering heritage and learn how your ancestors lived in the days before washing machines and running water! The museum at Murrayfield has lots of exhibits to teach the children how life used to be, including items from a general store, chemist and how people saw movies before the advent of videos and DVDs. The miniature town of Helenstown depicts a typical town around the early 1900s, complete with miniature train and water fountain. Meet the beautiful Clydesdale horses in the stables and stop at the café for light refreshments and a view of animals grazing in the green paddocks beneath the Tararua Ranges.

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    • Phone: 06 367 8166
    • Location: Corner Potts Road and State Highway 57
  • H2O XStream - Upper Hutt

    The place to go to swim, slide or just hang out! Bodysurf the wave pool, ride the slides and experience the thrilling pitch black fast and furious water slide. There is serious swimming in the 25m lane pool, fun in the wave pool and toddlers will enjoy splashing in their very own pool. All pools are heated and a crèche is available weekdays to look after the children while adults enjoy a swim. Friday nights are Teen Time nights and waterslides, waves and river rides operate after 1.30pm on weekdays and 10.30 am at the weekend. The Waves Café has meals, snacks and drinks for after your swim.

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    • Phone: 04 527 2113
    • Location: Corner Blenheim and Brown Streets, Upper Hutt, Wellington
  • The Enormous Crocodile Company

    Take your family or friends on a discovery tour from Oriental Bay to Kumutoto on an Enormous Crocodile quadricycle. These two or four seater, four wheeled, covered cycles are fun for the whole family (but person hiring must be at least 18 years of age).

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    • Phone: 027 276 2269
    • Location: Clyde Quay Wharf, Downtown Wellington
  • New Zealand Police Museum

    The New Zealand Police Museum collects evidence of our history in action. Historical objects and original evidence are used in displays that tell the story of the formation of New Zealand's Police as well as their changing role in all areas of law enforcement. Many major historical events also feature, including the 1913 strikes, 1981 Springbok Tour, the Erebus plane disaster and the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. This is a great family friendly activity that will interest kids of all ages. Guided tours can be booked on request and adapted to suit differing ages. There is a Museum shop with collectable memorabilia, novelty gifts, postcards and toys along with the widest range of policing history books in New Zealand. General admission is free and guided tours $5 per adult and $3 per child.

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    • Phone: 04 238 3141
    • Location: Royal New Zealand Police College, Papakowhai Road, Porirua, Wellington
  • East by West Ferries

    Enjoy the best of Wellington with a cruise on the citys unique harbour ferry service. Up to 16 return harbour crossings daily between Queens Wharf and Days Bay and calling into Matiu Somes Island.

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    • Phone: 04 499 1282
    • Location: 1 Queens Wharf, Wellington
  • The Boatshed :: Days Bay

    Cool little spot for a family day out: SUP and sit on top kayak hire, real fruit ice cream, unique lolly shop, bike hire. Grab a kayak (weather dependant) and cruise out to Matiu / Somes Island - about 45 minutes paddle each way.

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    • Phone: 04 562 8150
    • Location: 612A Marine Drive, Days Bay, Lower Hutt
  • Owlcatraz - Shannon

    Visit the world of the native New Zealand owl, known as the morepork or ruru. Guided tours range from 30 minutes to 2 hours and there is no barrier between you and the birds so you will see the owls close up. As well as owls, Owlcatraz has two ostriches, deer and other animals. A miniature train near the picnic area will take you to the Lolly Shop and there is also a craft shop.

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    • Phone: 06 362 7872
    • Location: Main Road South, Shannon
  • Silver Stream Railway

    Come and ride on a working heritage railway. Silver Stream Railway has one of NZ's most comprehensive and largest collections of preserved and operating steam locomotives, diesel locomotives and railcars. Open every Sunday and most public holidays, you can enjoy travelling behind a vintage locomotive. This is a great day out for the whole family to experience; there are picnic facilities at the station and a shop where refreshments can be purchased. You can also hire a historic wooden carriage to celebrate birthdays (or any special occasion). Book a half carriage for 14 people or a full carriage for 28 people for your next birthday experience.

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    • Phone: 04 563 7348
    • Location: Reynolds Bach Dr (off Eastern Hutt Road), Silverstream, Upper Hutt, Wellington
  • Ages 3+

    The Circus Hub

    The Circus Hub offer a wide range of classes in a wide range of circus skills for kids, teenagers and adults.  Pre-schooler classes (ages 3-4) are designed to develop motor skills, coordination, balance, spatial awareness and musicality with all the fun and imagination of the circus. Juniors (5-7) classes are imaginative, introducing kids to a wide range of circus apparatus as well as the basics of acrobatics and movement. Kids (8-12) classes offer training on a wide variety of circus disciplines including aerials, acrobatics, juggling, manipulation, and balancing, and their Teen classes (12-18) are designed for students who want quality training in the basic skills involved in circus. Students can expect to have fun with a stimulating range of physical challenges and circus techniques to explore. Casual and term passes available, including great School Holiday Programmes and birthday party options.

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    • Phone: 04 380 0051
    • Location: 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington
  • Wellington Museum

    The Wellington Museum is home to the intriguing stories of Wellington's social, cultural and maritime history. Exhibitions house precious objects and use stunning special effects bringing the past to life.
    The Museum is located in the heart of Wellington's vibrant waterfront - just 2 minutes from Lambton Quay and 8 minutes from Te Papa. We are open every day from 10 am to 5pm (except Christmas Day).
    A tour with a friendly and knowledgeable Museum Host is the ideal way to gain a personalised insight into the stories of Wellington.

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    • Phone: 04 472 8904
    • Location: Queens Wharf 3 Jervois Quay Wellington
  • Ages 7+

    Daytona Raceway Wellington

    Daytona Raceway Wellington is an adrenaline pumping, indoor go kart racing attraction where you will experience some high-octane fun (min. age 10+ and min. height 1.4m), there is also Indoor Paintball and JT splatmaster paintball guns for the kids (ages 7+). You can also play 18 holes of mini-golf fun, a game the whole family will enjoy. They also offer kids parties!

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    • Phone: 04 979 9426
    • Location: 85-87 Port Road, Seaview, Lower Hutt, Wellington
  • Wellington Cable Car

    The Cable Car is one of Wellington’s oldest and most popular tourist attractions. Cars depart every ten minutes from Lambton Quay in the heart of the city and run under the corporate towers of The Terrace, emerging in Kelburn and ending up at the top of Upland Road where the Lookout, Carter Observatory and Cable Car Museum are located.

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    • Phone: 04 472 2199
    • Location: 280 Lambton Quay, Wellington
  • Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf

    Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf is a great entertaining family adventure, that Mum, Dad and the kids will love!  Based on a pirate theme, this lovely picturesque location and the fabu... read more

  • The Most Amazing Chocolate Factory

    With more than 30 years of experience Nyco Chocolates is a well established chocolate manufacturer on the Kapiti Coast. Tours by appointment, mimimum 5 people.The Tours shows the chocolate making "secrets" and we offer FREE Chocolate Tasting. During school holidays and for birthday parties we can organise a bouncy castle session for the kids.

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    • Phone: (0)4 299 8098
    • Location: Cnr. State Highway One & Raumati Rd. Paraparaumu, Kapiti Coast
  • Loco Miniature Railway and Gardens

    Open 1 October – 30 April. Every Sunday, and daily during school and public holidays. Step back in time and experience the elegance and nostalgia of the 1920s. This fascinating miniature landscape covers 1/4 acre. Loco Miniature Railway and Gardens keep little ones entertained with a play area, trampoline, Petanque and backyard cricket while you can relax in the hammocks under the walnut tree.

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    • Phone: 06 364 6506
    • Location: 200 State Highway 1 North, Otaki
  • Lindale Tourist and Agricultural Centre - Kapiti Coast

    The Farm Show is an all weather fun and educational experience including a shearing and milking demonstration, and the chance to handmilk a cow or feed the baby animals with a bottle. Take some food on the farm walk and most of the animals will eat from your hand. There are toilets, a café, restaurant and picnic areas.

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    • Phone: 029 254 9765
    • Location: State Highway 1, Paraparaumu, Kapiti Coast
  • Belinda Carr Photography

    Belinda Carr is a professional newborn & baby photographer based in Wellington.  ​Belinda takes a natural approach to capturing the beauty and innocence of your newborn, ​whether that be in her home studio or from the comfort of your own home.  Book your session today!

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  • Kilbirnie Recreation Centre

    This modern facility is designed for all those fans of wheelbased activities like skateboards, bikes, scooters and skates. Kilbirnie has a 20m by 40m concrete rink with a barrier and safety netting and removable ramps and obstacles. The centre is also home to Tinytown, a preschool play space with a safe, fun, interactive play area and ride-on toys. Phone Kilbirnie for details on skate and Tinytown sessions.

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    • Phone: 04 387 1491
    • Location: 101 Kilbirnie Crescent, Kilbirnie
  • Cable Car Museum

    The award-winning Cable Car Museum brings to life the story of Wellington's iconic cable cars. Situated within the original Winding House, the Museum is home to two of the original grip cars and the historic winding machinery once used to haul the cars through a series of tunnels up the steep incline.

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    • Phone: 04 475 3578
    • Location: 1a Upland Road Kelburn Wellington
  • The Bike Shed :: Pencarrow

    There's plenty to see and do around Eastbourne and Pencarrow - explore Wellington’s wild South Coast, including historic lighthouses and shipwrecks, lakes and wetlands, amazing views of Wellington and the Kaikoura Ranges, and occasional sightings of seals, little blue penguins, dolphins and orca!

    Or for a more relaxed experience, grab a bike and cruise Eastbourne’s bays and cafes.

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    • Phone: 04 562 7077
    • Location: South End of Muritai Road, Eastbourne
  • Fergs Kayaks & Indoor Climbing Wall

    Fergs Kayaks and Indoor Climbing are home to the largest indoor real rock wall in NZ!  This 13 metre high wall offers something for everyone whether you are an absolute beginner or complete climbing whizz.  There are heaps of kids climbing options available during the school term, in the holidays or for a Sunday morning session.  Birthday Parties are awesome at Fergs, with freedom hire climb parties for 8 or more friends on weekdays or weekends – or come and experience the fun and excitement of Fergs Adventure Birthdays – bring the kids along for an adventure race that includes unlocking clues and challenges either by rock, inline skating or paddling to win your way to victory and prizes! Fergs Kayaks also have a great range of hire options for SUPs, bicycles, inline skate hire and kayaks. 

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    • Phone: 04 499 8898
    • Location: Shed 6, Queens Wharf, Wellington
  • Ages 4+

    HangDog Rock Climbing - Lower Hutt

    HangDog is an indoor rock climbing adventure for beginners through to advanced climbers. It is fun for everyone from adults right down to young children as young as 4. They offer beginner and advanced climbing walls, lessons and equipment hire - everything you need to get started. Birthday party hire options available too.

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    • Phone: 04 589 9181
    • Location: 453 Hutt Road, Alicetown, Lower Hutt
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.