Walks & Parks

  • Mount Crichton Scenic Reserve - Queenstown

    If you walk the track clockwise you’ll follow the stream through native beech forest until you reach the relic of Sam Summer’s hut, believed to be over 70 years old. (It’s worth checking out the ‘historic site’ detour you’ll see just before the hut, taking you through an old tail race tunnel only 1 metre wide). The walk involves quite a climb, but the views down to Lake Dispute and Lake Wakatipu are rewarding.

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    • Location: Queenstown - take the Glenorchy Road from Queenstown. The Scenic Reserve, a goldmining area of last century, is signposted on your right after about 12km.
  • Kelvin Heights Track Yacht Club Loop - Queenstown

    You can join this track at various points along the Kelvin Heights Peninsula Road. Follow the lake towards the Golf Course. A good place to start a loop walk is from the Yacht Club on Bay View Road From here you head to the Golf Course and round the Perimeter in a loop, then back down to the track. You do actually enter onto the Fairways for a few minutes of your walk. If you don’t want to do this you’re not missing much by returning the way you came. Almost completely flat.

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    • Location: Queenstown - yacht club, Bay View Road, Kelvin Heights
  • 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.

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    • Location: Otaki Gorge Road, off SH1
  • Woodhaugh Gardens - Dunedin

    A great spot for a picnic or day out, the gardens are north of the city, near the end of George Street. Toilets, toddler pool, BBQ and playground on-site. There are several tracks through the gardens, some suitable for those with buggies. The main track encircles the park and takes around an hour to walk around.

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    • Location: Dunedin - nr George St, Nth Dunedin
  • Hawkes Bay - Lake Tutira

    Forty kilometers north of Napier is Lake Tutira. The area surrounding this lake is a bird sanctuary and makes a wonderful picnic and camping spot. There are toilet facilities and a free campsite with fresh water and barbecue facilities. The Tutira walkway is steep and not suitable for young children or pushchairs (the round trip takes about five hours!), but there is good swimming in this very pretty lake and trout fishing in the lake’s northern reaches.

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    • Location: Between Napier and Wairoa
  • Hoon Hay Scenic Reserve

    This spot is easily missed when travelling down summit road as It's not very well sign posted ! But being only a short 5 minute walk I would definitely recommend stopping. It's one of the best views of Governors Bay/ Lyttelton Harbor I've seen (yet) Travel to this spot using the GPS coordinates below, it will take you to a grass 'carpark', follow the grass foot path up the hill, but keep an eye out as there's a small turn off that's easily missed. Take a picnic and relax, let the kids explore.

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    • Location: 2016 Summit Rd, Kennedys Bush, Christchurch 8971
  • Moeraki Boulders - Oamaru

    An unique beach experience as the beach is filled with massive round boulders - some which are split open to expose the layers beneath. A fun natural playground to explore and have a wander. It's a short walk down to the beach with parking at the cafe.

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    • Location: Moeraki Village, Oamaru, New Zealand
  • 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.

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    • Location: Wanaka - The access track is well signed 2km from Wanaka along State Highway 6.
  • 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
  • Clay Cliffs

    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.

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    • Location: Quailburn Rd off SH8, Nr Omarama
  • Shakespeare Regional Park

    This 376 hectare coastal park has an amazing view of Auckland city and the inner Hauraki Gulf. There is a wonderful variety of birdlife including peacocks, herons and tui. There is a campground and several walks. Picnic sites are available and Okoromai Bay is a normally safe swimming beach and good for children to paddle in at high tide, while Army Bay offers a sandy beach backed by cliffs and Te Haruhi Bay is a sandy beach with sand dunes. There are toilets and changing facilities available.

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    • Location: Whangaparaoa Peninsular, 50 km from Auckland
  • Biking - Bottle Lake Forest Park

    This Kidz Go! favourite has it all! Immerse yourself in miles of sandy beaches, walking tracks galore, superb forest mountain bike trails that are easy yet varied and fun, mountain bike terrain park and a recreation area with adventure playground, flying fox, paddling pool, tennis courts, sandy volleyball and BBQ pits. The flat trails are ideal for buggies but this area really comes into it’s own as a perfect place to take the kids mountain biking. Try the Pegasus Bay track which skirts the forest, following the beach from Spencer Park to New Brighton’s North Shore. Otherwise discover the maze of fun, winding mountain bike trails that criss-cross the forest. You can pick up maps of the forest from the information centre at Spencer Park (Off Lower Styx Road.) Alternative access and recreation area off Waitikiri Drive.

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    • Location: Christchurch - 10km northeast of city centre.
  • Kaipupu Point Wildlife Sancturary Walk - Picton

    Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary has a 2.8 kilometre circular walk track, which starts from the jetty in Shakespeare Bay. Look and listen for fantail, kereru, weka, silvereye, grey warbler, tui, bellbird, and kingfisher, as you explore this predator free sanctuary. Kaipupu is a community run project, a short boat ride from Picton.

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    • Location: Kaipupu Point, Shakespeare Bay, ( 10 min water taxi ride) from Picton
  • Te Kopua Beach - Raglan

    This is the safest beach in Raglan for swimming. It is accessible from either the road or from the footbridge at the lower end of Bow Street. The beach is black-sand but is popular with families. There is a children’s playground.

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    • Location: Over footbridge by holiday park, Raglan
  • 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
  • Waitangi Park

    Previously known as Chaffers, this newly re-created recreation space is close to Te Papa. The facilities include a waka launching area, a children’s playground, skateboard zone and plenty of grass to run around on.

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    • Location: Wellington Waterfront
  • Hagley Park

    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.

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    • Location: Christchurch - city centre
  • Hastings - Waimarama Beach

    Waimarama Beach is a popular weekend and picnic venue. Its long stretches of sandy beach which are ideal for walking, searching for pipi and swimming are patrolled daily through the summer months. Rock pools are located at the southern end of the beach and Waimarama Domain has a large grassy area with shade, picnic tables and swings. A general store nearby offers snacks like fish and chips and ice cream.

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    • Location: 35 km from Hastings
  • Queens and Huangshi Chinese Gardens - Nelson

    Queens Gardens is a beautiful example of a classical Victorian ornamental park. Centrally located information panels placed around the garden reveal its history and encourage the kids to walk. The gardens are part of a designated Historic Places Trust precinct. Stroll around and make a game of finding the park’s sculptures, which include The Cupid Fountain, the Water Wheel, the Boer War memorial, Sentinel and fine memorial gates at both main entrances.  Cross the 'Rainbow Bridge” linking the Queens Garden to the Chinese Garden - with its traditional Chinese pavillion with upturned tiled roof, beautiful water features and see if the kids can spot the two stunning Fu Dog statues.

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    • Location: Off Hardy street, Nelson
  • 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!

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    • Location: Arrowtown - Start off on the Otago track but cross the first bridge and follow the Tobins Track
  • Gisborne - Bermuda Palms Banana Research

    This unique banana research establishment, located at Wainui Beach, is set in a tropical paradise of exotic plants and is only a few kilometers away from where the film Whale Rider was filmed. The gardens feature plantings of environmentally friendly bananas, a water feature area, a palm grove, a fairy dell and a play area for children.

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    • Phone: 06 867 7095
    • Location: 11 Murphy Road, Wainui Beach, Gisborne
  • Lake Kaniere Short Walks

    These short (2-15min)  forest walks lead to picnic areas, waterfalls and sandy beaches ideal for swimming - plenty to keep kids interested.  The beach at the end of Canoe Cove Walk and Dorothy Falls are spots for swimming. Dorothy Falls is refreshing but a little chilly!

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    • Location: Dorothy Falls Rd, Kokatahi 7881
  • Taupo - Huka Falls Walkway

    A visit to the spectacular Huka Falls, just outside Taupo, is a must! Huka is the maori word for 'foam' - very apt when you see this amazing set of thundering rapids, the largest, and final drop being 11 metres. Imagine kayaking down them - some more intrepid paddlers have done just that! You can cross the bridge over the falls and there's an easy walkway on the other side, so you can walk either back to Taupo, to the Aratiatia Dam or just for a short wander.

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  • Oriental Bay

    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.

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    • Location: Oriental Parade, Wellington
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.