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.read more
- Location: New Plymouth, Taranaki
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
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.read more
Includes Lyttelton, Akaroa, Governors Bay and Diamond Harbour.
- Web: www.bankspeninsulawalks.co.nz/
- Location: Banks Peninsula, Canterbury
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
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.read more
552 Rapanui Rd,
- Location: 552 Rapanui Rd,
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).read more
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)
- Location: Mt Taranaki National Park, nr New Plymouth
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.read more
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
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.read more
- Location: Kauaeranga Valley, 15 minutes from Thames
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.read more
- Location: Fillis Street, New Plymouth
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.
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.read more
- Location: nr Egmont Village, New Plymouth
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
The kids will love walking to explore these staggering natural land forms; sharp pinnacles and ridges separated by narrow ravines. The Clay Cliffs are a geological wonder; sharp pinnacles and ridges separated by steep and narrow ravines. The Cliffs are relatively new, made up of layers of silt and gravel deposited by ancient glaciers over a million years ago. To get to the Clay Cliffs, turn onto Quailburn Rd off SH8 and then onto unsealed Henburn Rd. The cliffs are on private land, so please respect the property and obey all signage. Park a bit further back and make it more of walk.read more
- Location: Quailburn Rd off SH8, Nr Omarama
Mount Iron Track - Wanaka
Mount Iron is a glacier carved hill, visible from anywhere in Wanaka. Worth the climb, the summit provides panoramic views. The access track is well signed 2km from Wanaka along State Highway 6.read more
- Location: Wanaka - The access track is well signed 2km from Wanaka along State Highway 6.
Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall - Arthur's Pass
Just outside of the Arthurs Pass village (on the West Coast side) are a number of reasonably short and easy walks, including the half hour track to the Devils Punchbowl Falls. A large bridge first takes you over the rocky river before the path winds up through the bush. The track is easy to follow and in good repair. Rocky in parts, some care needs to be taken as you clamber over tree roots, but much of the track has been set with board walk and steps. The bush scenery is lush and stunning, and as you arrive at the falls, a viewing platform gives you a good view of the Devil’s Punchbowl.read more
Tobins Track - Arrowtown
Start off on the Otago track but cross the first bridge and follow the Tobins Track up to a fantastic viewpoint over Arrowtown and the Crown Terraces. The track itself is perfect for buggies but whether you want to push one up this quite steep climb for an hour is another matter!read more
- Location: Arrowtown - Start off on the Otago track but cross the first bridge and follow the Tobins Track
Expansive parkland (around 160 hectares) in central Christchurch, Hagley Park public reserve is totally flat and a perfect escape from city life, without leaving the city. Drive in off Rolleston Avenue – there’s plenty of parking, a licensed café and information centre. Nearby is a large playground, lake and extensive gardens. There are walking, cycling or rollerblading tracks throughout the park and indoor/outdoor Botanic Gardens. Numerous recreation areas provide tennis courts, rugby fields, fitness track, netball courts and cricket pavilion. Look out for open air concerts during summer.read more
- Location: Christchurch - city centre
Akaroa Heritage Park and Woodhills Track
Akaroa Heritage Park is accessible from Long Bay Road or on foot via Woodill's Track. Since it was established in 1992, over 1000 native trees have been planted by individual tree enthusiasts. It is an great place to park up and go for a whole or a part walk on the Woodhills Track (even a short 15min walk takes you into some really interesting bush) finishing back at the car to get out your picnic and enter the park with its absolutely stunning views of the peninsular, and sculptures. Facilities include picnic benches and toilets.read more
- Location: 280 Long Bay Rd, Akaroa 7583
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.read more
- Location: West of Whakatane
Pukaki Kettle Hole Track
This walk starts 11 km north of Twizel township, after the Pukaki River spillway. It is signposted off the eastern side of SH 8 and there is a designated car park area. Older children (4–5 years plus) will enjoy this walk and won’t be able to resist running down into the kettlehole. Younger children will need to be carried in a backpack. The walk itself is flat and passes old glacial boulders and eventually circles a kettlehole, which is a large depression in the ground (formed thousands of years ago by glacial ice melt). Note: No shade or toilet facilities.read more
- Location: Lake Pukaki Terminal Moraine Conservation Area, Southern End Lake Pukaki.
Broken Hills walking tracks
The Broken Hills area has a number of walking tracks through old mining sites. From 5 min - 10 hr. A popular walk is to 'Gem of The Boom' 20 min return from Puketui Valley Rd - This was the site of an old mining settlement, and relics of the past can still be seen, including what appears to be a jail cut into solid rock. It is an easy loop walk with two bridged crossings over a small creek. Nestled beside the slow-moving Tairua River, Broken Hills is a tranquil holiday hideaway in a picturesque setting.This beautiful Broken Hills Gorge provides many opportunities for walking, swimming, canoeing, trout fishing, fossicking, rafting, bird watching, photography, picnicking and camping.read more
- Location: End of Puketui Valley Road, 19 km from Tairua and 27 km from Whangamata.
Minnehaha Walk - Fox Glacier
This delightful short walk (20mins) follows a stream through the rainforest - it's a great introduction to the forest for children with the added bonus of glow worms at night. It's suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. l short walk follows a small stream through the lush rainforest, and loops back to the start point via Te Weheka Walkway/Cycleway. Glow worms may be seen in the forest after dark - take a torch to find your way.
- Location: Haast Hwy, Fox Glacier 7886
- Central Otago
- Bay of Plenty
- Hawkes Bay
- Marlborough Sounds
- Nelson & Golden Bay
- North Canterbury
- South Canterbury
- West Coast
- Bay of Islands
- Palmerston North
- New Plymouth
- Te Anau
- Mt Cook
- Abel Tasman
- Nelson Lakes
- Stewart Island
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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.