Walks & Parks

  • Whinray Scenic Reserve

    There a couple different options to custom fit this trail to your time frame. Either a 30 minute walk from the car park on Motu Falls Road or a 2.5 hour walk from Marumoko Road to the Motu Falls Car Park.

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    • Location: Motu 4092
  • 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.

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    • Location: Rangituhi
  • Makara Walkway

    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.

     

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    • Location: 1099 Makara Rd, Makara Beach, Wellington 6972
  • Best Beaches :: Taranaki

    Round up the family and head to one of the region's superb beaches! Great choices include Back Beach, Centennial Drive, East End Beach, Nobs Line, Fitzroy Beach, Beach St, Ngamotu Beach, Ocean View Parade, Oakura Beach, Jans Terrace, Oakura. East End, Fitzroy and Oakura are the only beaches in New Zealand to be awarded the Blue Flag eco-label for their environmental, education and safety status.

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  • Bason Botanic Gardens - Whanganui

    Bason Botanic Garden is rated a “Garden of Significance” by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. It includes one of the most extensive public garden orchid collections in New Zealand. Families enjoy their time here making use of the wide open spaces and free gas BBQ facilities.

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    • Location: 552 Rapanui Rd,
      Westmere 4574
      Whanganui
  • Avalon Park

    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!



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    • 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!

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    • Location: Whareroa Farm, Queen Elizabeth Park off-ramp about 3.5 km north of Paekakariki on SH1.
  • The Coastal Walkway, New Plymouth

    This is an excellent, completely flat walkway that is also perfect for family bike rides. You can start the walk from the middle of New Plymouth, just in front of the iSite, and head alongside the Tasman Sea towards Bells Block. You will pass the famous, 45 metre Wind Wand sculpture along with a number of interesting stone carvings, before passing the popular surf beaches of Fitzroy and East End. There are plenty of good picnic spots and a playground enroute, before you arrive at the must-see Te Rewa Rewa Bridge. From the town centre, if you head in the other direction - west, the walkway winds past the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Kawaroa Park and playground then heads to the marina at the port and Ngamotu Beach - a safe swimming beach for the family.

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    • Location: New Plymouth, Taranaki
  • 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.

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    • Location: Wellington Harbour
  • Kauaeranga Valley hiking trails

    The Kauaeranga Valley is located 15 minutes out of Thames and is a beautiful and historic location for the entire family. With walks/tramps that last from 10 minutes to a full day, a well informed visitors centre, camping, cottages, swimming holes, a café through summer and canyoning, there's activities to suit everyone.

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    • Location: Kauaeranga Valley, 15 minutes from Thames
  • Mount Taranaki Walks

    A must-visit of the region is the Egmont National Park and there are plenty of short walks around the foothills or sides of Mt Taranaki (also known as Mt Egmont). During summer you can also tackle the all-day hike to the summit (very strenuous, 8-10 hours return, 2518m).
    The two 'starting off' points for day hikes are North Egmont Visitor Centre, nearest village Egmont Village, or Dawson Falls Visitor Centre on the southern side, nearest town, Stratford.
    From here you can choose a walk or hike to suit your family's ability and fitness, from just a few minutes to 10 hours (Mt Taranaki summit climb). Some of the 3-4 hour walks are long enough to get you up high on the mountain with amazing views of the summit and right across flat farmland to the sea. They are short enough to be do-able for reasonably fit families. There are also overnight huts on the mountain and the most famous multi-day tramp is the Around the Mountain Circuit (4-5 dayas)

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    • Location: Mt Taranaki National Park, nr New Plymouth
  • Pukekura Park, New Plymouth

    Wander through this inner-city botanical wonderland to discover lakes, a zoo, historic tea house, playground and countless short walks, as well as a Fernery and Display Houses and a Japanese-inspired hillside.

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    • Location: Fillis Street, New Plymouth
  • Banks Peninsula Walks

    This awesome and easy to explore site lists all the walking and tramping tracks on beautiful Banks Peninsula near Christchurch, New Zealand.
    Includes Lyttelton, Akaroa, Governors Bay and Diamond Harbour.

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  • Barrett Domain and Lake Mangamahoe, New Plymouth

    A good venue for a family day out - pack a picnic and hang out on the shores of Lake Mangamahoe. There are lots of walking and easy mountain bike tracks. It takes about 2 hours to walk the round the lake circuit, and there are some undulating sections so reasonable fitness is required. There are other walks that take 10-20 minutes, and a section of dedicated mountain bike trails.

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    • Location: nr Egmont Village, New Plymouth
  • Trounson Kauri Park - nr Dargaville

    Take a walk through this park to view the wonderful forest and beautiful kauri trees. The track is easy and takes about 30 to 40 minutes. The park is managed by the Department of Conservation. During the day you can see kukupa (New Zealand’s only native pigeon), fantails and morepork. Or a guided nightwalk will give you the opportunity to see the forest at night and maybe see kiwi or bats.

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    • Location: Off State Highway 12, 30 mins north of Dargaville
  • Whites Bay tracks

    Whites Bay has walks for a range of abilities, including kids - there are rocky areas for scrambling and exploring and a near-flat sandy beach that's excellent for swimming too. Pukatea Walk (10 min) meanders down to the cable station alongside Pukatea Stream passing through regenerating forest. Black Jack Track (1 hr return or 1 hr 30 min to complete the loop) climbs to a superb viewpoint on the edge of a bluff where Te Whanganui/Port Underwood, Cook Strait and Cape Campbell can be seen. Children need to be closely supervised here. Return the same way or complete a longer, loop option by winding slowly down through regenerating forest. Rarangi Bay–Whites Bay Track (1 hr one way) zig-zags up from Whites Bay to the Port Underwood Road through a pine plantation, then follows the road for about 500m before descending to Rarangi, near the Monkey Bay track. Monkey Bay Walk (20 min return) leads around a rocky point and into Monkey Bay, with its small beach. A lookout point near the beginning of the track offers good views and has signs explaining the way that sea currents have formed Rarangi Beach over thousands of years.

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    • Location: Follow State Highway 1 to Tua Marina (9km north of Blenheim). Turn off at Tua Marina and continue through to Rarangi, stopping at the car park at the base of the hill beside the sea.
  • Craigieburn Forest Park and walking tracks

    Short walks in Craigieburn Forest Park range from a 20 minute nature walk to a 3-4 hour walk to the top of Helicopter Hill. About 110 km from Christchurch on SH 73 towards Arthur’s Pass, is a signposted side-road to the Craigieburn picnic area on the Broken River ski field road. This picnic area provides nice spots to have lunch, explore and paddle in Cave Stream. From here you can walk along the road to the Environmental Education Centre (suitable for buggies and strollers) and the start of the Craigieburn Nature Trail (20 minutes return) a pleasant walk through mountain beech forest.

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    • Location: 110 km from Christchurch on SH 73 towards Arthur’s Pass.
  • Otago Anniversary Track - Arrowtown

    Start from carpark in Ramshaw Lane, centre of Arrowtown. Follow the Arrow River along the flat to the outskirts of Arrowtown. Cross the bridge and return most of the way along the other side, crossing a bridge once more and finishing in carpark.

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    • Location: Arrowtown - Start from carpark in Ramshaw Lane
  • Bathing Beach - Stewart Island

    From the general store, continue uphill to your left on the Horseshoe Bay Road and branch right when you reach Kamahi Road (after about 5 minutes). The signposted track descends on the left to a popular bathing beach.

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    • Location: Stewart Island, Horseshoe Bay Road
  • Cathedral Cove Beach

    The cove is part of the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve which covers 9 square kilometers. The cove itself is named after after the giant rock arch at its entrance and is accessible only by foot or boat. The track to the sandy beach begins at the northern end of Hahei. The beach itself offers shade from the pohutukawa trees along the foreshore.

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    • Location: Cathedral Cove
  • Napier - Waipatiki Beach

    This stretch of golden sand is in the picturesque settlement of Waipatiki, 45 minutes north of Napier and a short walk from the car park. The sandy area of the beach is flanked by cliffs and the beach is reported to be a good place to find paua shells, although the current here is strong so swimming is not recommended. There is a beach picnic area, toilets and a camping ground nearby.

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    • Location: 11km from SH2, 45 minutes drive from Napier
  • Lake Hayes Track - Queenstown

    As you drive from Frankton, you'll see a carpark at the end of the Ladies Mile Road, as you descend towards Lake Hayes, or continue to the pavilion where there' s lots of parking. The track is either well-graded, or a wooden walkway, to create an easy stroll around the lake, famous for its stunning reflections. Native birds to be seen along the way include the deep blue pukeko, also known as the New Zealand Swamp Hen! There are some inclines, but they're pretty short, and mostly the track is easy. There are toilet facilities at the recreation and picnic area at the Arrowtown end of the lake, which is also a great spot to pause for a dip in the lake! The path has some steep drop offs at some points, so keep small children with you.

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    • Location: Lake Hayes, Queenstown
  • Ohope Beach - Nr Whakatane

    A few kilometers from Whakatane, this beach is one of the safest surf beaches in the country, with 11 kilometres of white sand perfect for walking at low tide. Swimming is safe between the flags at Ohope beach and lifeguards are stationed at Mahy reserve at the bottom of Ohope hill and also along the beach near the camping ground at Port Ohope. Mahy reserve is a great place for picnics, with electric barbecues, tables, playground facilities and parking.

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    • Location: West of Whakatane
  • Mount Drury - Mount Maunganui

    Mount Drury is opposite Moturiki Island across Marine Parade from the beach. The ten minute walk follows a well established loop track through mature native and exotic trees. There are great views of the Pacific Ocean and the offshore islands from the peak.

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    • Location: Moturiki Island, access from Marine Parade, Mount Maunganui
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…

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.