This loop walk climbs to vantage points with spectacular views - farmland, a beach and gun emplacements will keep kids interested.This 6km loop walk climbs to vantage points with spectacular views, and returning along the beach. The high cliffs and spectacular views for centuries have provided the people of the area with good vantage points for the defence of their land. A Ngati Ira pa site lies on the promontory at the western end of Fisherman's Bay, and gun emplacements at the top of the cliffs mark the position of Fort Opau, which was garrisoned by 100 soldiers during World War II.
- Location: 1099 Makara Rd, Makara Beach, Wellington 6972
Colonial Knob Walk
Climb to the summit of this 468 m peak for views on clear day from the Inland Kaikoura Range in the south to Mt Taranaki in the north-west - it's a good option for older children. 3-5 hr return. You'll think you've sprouted wings when you reach the top of the 468 metre high hill rising to the west of Porirua City. From this lofty perch on a clear day you can view many other high points - from the Inland Kaikoura Range in the south to Mt Taranaki in the north-west.read more
- Location: Rangituhi
Avalon Park is a six hectare park has a great range of features, including the Avalon Park Playground which is open every day and is free. Aimed at preschoolers to 12-year-olds and designed to appeal to families. It has a mix of contemporary and traditional play equipment within a specially-designed landscape. Plus there are lots of other activities to keep the whole family entertained, including beginners’ cycle circuit with various intersections and surfaces, model train (charge applies), mini putt golf, skate park, model marine boating pond, public tennis court, sculptures and more. Make use of the free electric barbecues and picnic tables. Spend the day and play!
- Location: 61 Taita Dr, Avalon, Lower Hutt 5011
Whareroa Farm tracks
Enjoy regenerating shrubland, coastal views and kohekohe forest on these walks that are suitable for children. Walks range from 355 metres to 13.4km - there is something for everyone. Plus some great mountain bike tracks to play on, and even a horse riding track. Lots of room to play!read more
- Location: Whareroa Farm, Queen Elizabeth Park off-ramp about 3.5 km north of Paekakariki on SH1.
Matiu / Somes Island Loop Track
Island walking! The kids will love the ferry ride from Queens Wharf and this easy 40 min walking track has plenty to keep kids interested. This loop track around Matiu/Somes Island offers 360 degree views of Wellington harbour - with native wildlife, remnants from the world wars, historic quarantine buildings, and a lighthouse. The island is open to the public from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm daily. This track takes you around Matiu/Somes Island, offering spectacular views across Wellington Harbour to Wellington and Hutt cities. Pause along the way to check out the island’s historic and ecological attractions, including introduced wildlife which are thriving in native vegetation planted by Lower Hutt Forest and Bird since 1981.read more
- Location: Wellington Harbour
This popular, easy walk passes through different forest types and has swimming holes at the end of the track - it's ideal for families. This easy walking track, that allows dogs on leads is 5.2 km long one way return via same track. Allow 2 hr one way. For the first hour and a half the track climbs through the mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest along Catchpool Stream. The damp floor of the Catchpool Valley supports many nikau palms, tree ferns, kamahi and tawa trees.As you climb up to the drier sides of Cattle Ridge, the forest is more open and consists mainly of hard beech. Look out for a magnificent grove of huge northern rata trees towering above the forest canopy as the track reaches its highest point in the saddle between Catchpool Valley and the Orongorongo River. There are swimming holes at Turere Stream at the end of the track. You can continue past the stream to the river where there are toilets.read more
- Location: Remutaka Forest Park, Catchpool Valley entrance
Island bay is surrounded by small bays with calm, clear waters. Between the beach and the Parade is Shorland Park. Popular with local children, the park has a long slide, swings, pirate ship, junior area and basketball half-court. There are also picnic tables, changing sheds and toiletsread more
- Location: Opposite Island Bay Beach
Otaki Gorge Walks - Kapiti Coast
Otaki Forks is 19 km inland from Otaki township, approximately one and a half hours’ drive from Wellington and is the main entrance to Tararua Forest Park. The two tributaries of the Waiotauru River and Waitatapia Stream meet here. The last five kilometres of the Otaki Gorge Road is unsealed, narrow and windy so care needs to be taken when driving.
There are a number of short tracks which descend from Otaki Gorge Road into the gorge, giving access for picnicking, swimming, fishing and watersports. Boielle Flat, next to the Waiotauru River, is a popular picnic area and has flush toilets. The Waiotauru River has several safe swimming pools.read more
- Location: Otaki Gorge Road, off SH1
This is one of Wellington’s most popular beaches. Close to the city centre it has excellent facilities including cafes and shops nearby. The bay is secluded and suitable for swimming or walking along the main promenade area.read more
- Location: Oriental Parade, Wellington
Hemi Matenga Memorial Park Scenic Reserve
This 330 hectare native forest overlooks Waikanae and is one of the largest remaining areas of protected kohekohe forest. The main entrance to Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve is at Tui Crescent, where there is a small parking area by a reservoir.read more
Central Park Play Area
Located on the fringe of Wellington’s central business district, this park features a three cable flying fox, a six metre high space ball climbing frame, spinner bowl, whirl and swings. The park also has a junior section with slides, swings, crawl tunnels, climbing net and seesaws.read more
- Location: Brooklyn Road, Wellington
This popular sun-bathing beach is very sheltered, with a large grassy area, sandy beach and great views. Refreshments are available at the Chocolate Fish café nearby, a family friendly café offering all day breakfasts and paninis as well as smoothies, salads and pasta.read more
- Location: Miramar Peninsula
The Wellington Botanic Garden features 25 hectares of unique landscape, protected native forest, conifers, specialised plant collections, colourful floral displays, and views over Wellington city. The Botanic Gardens has a play area with a rocktopus, double-pipe tube slides, swings, slides and flying fox. There are also picnic tables, toilets and an enclosed area for small children. There are glow worms in the main garden, from the duck pond up to Glen Road; these are best spotted at night after rain and at full moon. The Picnic Cafe is also available in the heart of the Botanical Gardens serving up hearty breakfast and delicious lunches 7 days a week.read more
- Location: Near the Treehouse Visitor Centre, Botanic Gardens, Wellington
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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!
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.
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.