Wellington's top 10 playgrounds


Wellington has some 50 well-equipped public playgrounds – many located in some of the city's most scenic areas, such as the waterfront, Oriental Bay and Botanic Gardens. Many are also conveniently located close to great cafes and gelaterias. Here are 10 of the best Wellington playgrounds.

Frank Kitts Park, Waterfront

One of the most popular playgrounds in the city, Frank Kitts is known for its huge lighthouse slide. There's also swings, a climbing structure and spring ride-ons for younger ones. It's also in the heart of all the waterfront activity, especially on weekends, when you'll be able to buy an icecream from the nearby van, and might even see a helicopter take off from the wharf opposite.

Freyberg Beach Playground, Oriental Bay

Wellington playground Oriental BayA huge rope climbing frame is a feature that will delight 5-and-ups!  Either side of that is a toddler-sized slide-&-tunnel and a large and varied climbing platform. Best of all, it's located next to on a mini-beach built with sand especially barged in from Golden Bay, alongside the famous Boat Cafe (it's an actual tugboat), should coffee be required. With comfortable grassed area facing the harbour and Oriental bay fountain, its a beautiful spot for fish & chips on a summer's evening, which can be fetched from the nearby Mt Vic Chippery.

Botanic Garden Playground, Wellington

This playground has plenty of big and exciting slides, ride-ons and climbers. There's a pair of long slides with a tunnels over the top half, that are reached by a good platform climb, a four-armed 'octopus' ride on (pivots around and in and out from a central pole), and a flying fox. The Carter Observatory and Wellington Cable Car are just a little further up the hill, meaning a whole day can be built around it.

Homebush Road, Khandallah 

Tucked away without much signage, Homebush Rd playground is a well-kept secret, cherished by parents in the hill suburb of Khandallah. See-saw, spiderweb climber and a slide-&-tunnel platform structure keep the wee ones busy, and parents will love the incredible panoramic views right across Wellington Harbour, from Hutt Valley to the CBD.

Ben Burn Park, Karori 

A recent refit means the playground at Ben Burn Park has a great set of modern equipment for both toddlers and older kids. It's also a fairly sheltered spot on a windy day, (especially northerlies), has heaps of free parking and is close to Karori shopping centre.

Shorland Park, Island Bay

Beachside Shorland Park has a bit of an old-school feel, with large open spaces to run around, swings, a long slide, pirate ship, concrete tunnels, a band rotunda and wood-based climbing structures. It also has great parking, and, in an awesome, rarely seen touch, a wheelchair accessible 'liberty swing'.

Wadestown Playground, Wadestown

A very well-designed little playground, Wadestown has a great climbing platform with suspended tunnel, bridge, slides, mini flying fox and more. Add swings, see-saws, a big metal slide across the park and covered picnic table it's a playground with depth that the kids can explore for a good length of time. The entire park is also fully fenced and gated, so you can relax and let them run free.

Avalon Park, Lower Hutt

If you're heading into the Hutt Valley, make a detour to Avalon Park. A series of playground areas with equipment for all ages, surrounded by grassy parkland it's a great place to stop for a picnic. A big old-school wooden fort sits on an 'island' in a picturesque pond, various climbers and swings have the older ones covered, while wee ones get a substantial area all to themselves, surrounded by a white picket fence.

Katherine Mansfield Park, Thorndon 

The leafy suburb of Thorndon hides one of the prettiest parks in the city. Although there may not be as much equipment as some other playgrounds, the setting is beautiful, with trees and a scented garden alongside. Plus the disc swing, where a grown up and a kid can easily lie together and rock, is worth the visit on its own. Perfect for younger families, while kids 8+ might not find enough gear to keep their interest for long.

George Denton Park, Highbury

Set your GPS or grab a map to make your way to the end of Highbury Rd, because what you'll find is well worth the effort. Open spaces, plus swings and a great range of entertaining and physically challenging equipment. Not your usual stuff. There's even play equipment clearly designed to get adults in on the fun, like the overhead grinder that travels along a rail.

The playground is also beautifully situated, sheltered from pretty much all prevailing winds and backing on to the Zealandia wildlife sanctuary, meaning you'll likely see kaka and other native birdlife in the surrounding trees.


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


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.