Mighty Waikato family fun things to do
Discover the Waikato, a place where the outdoors is Hamilton city’s backyard. From mini adventures for kids with power to pedal or kayaking on Lake Karapiro there is something for everyone. Auckland’s playground is a tempting short 50 minutes drive creating a day trip full of possibilities and adventures.
HAMILTON, WAIKATO ADVENTURES
- EXTREME EDGE HAMILTON offers over 100 climbing routes ranging in height from 6-8 metres. The absolute beginner to experienced climber has the challenges calibrated to suit.
- LEAP INDOOR TRAMPOLINE PARK – HAMILTON defines trampoline adventures for kids With trampoline lengths up to 9 metres and walls to bounce kids’ energy levels off, kids will leap from one place to another with ease.
- BLASTACARS – drift kart track. Kids will relish the chance to challenge parents and themselves in karts that drift on purpose built, indoor tracks. Going sideways becomes a new sport at Blastcars.
- KARTSPORT Hamilton, an outdoor venue where ‘Have A Go’ days is a great way to get an introduction to karting
- Hampton Downs another go karting event centre. A fun activity for families is the tandem ride. Rigorous safety conditions apply and check online beforehand to avoid disappointment.
- Cambridge’s Avantidrome is a great bike skills park catering to all ages. Kids will enjoy themini roading system with traffic lights and stop signs. You can take your own bikes, trikes or scooters or hire bikes there for adults and kids over the age of 6. Entry is free.
WATER SPORTS / ACTIVITIES
Mighty Waikato is Auckland’s playground and the rest of the country / overseas visitors are just finding out about things to do.
- Raglan is vintage surf culture with Raglan Surf School a must-do activity for surf buddies. Try out Raglan Rock for freshwater challenges sliding down natural canyon rock faces into refreshingly nippy swimming holes.
- Boat Shed Kayaks on Lake Karapiro offers kayak and paddle boarding tours. A highlight is the twilight glowworm trip taking you through into a magical glowworm canyon.
- WATER WORLD a premier indoor aquatic centre is packed with slides, splash pad, hydroslides and dedicated areas for toddlers.
- Waterfall buffs will not be disappointed. Check out the section on Walks, Waterfalls in the Waikato for further information.
MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITS
WAIKATO MUSEUM AND EXSCITE. There is plenty to learn at the Waikato Museum, at the Exscite Science Gallery. Play a tune on the musical pipes or create mesmerizing patterns by changing the magnetic field on the Magnetoscope. Check out Waikato travel guide for more inspiration on what to do.
Print a copy for the kids of the Children’s Discovery Trail or the Children’s Tudor Trail. And the amusing Find the features on the blocks – Hamilton Gardens.
INTERESTING FACT FOR KIDS
BATS. Hamilton is one of the only cities in New Zealand to still support a resident population of long-tailed bats. Many of them live here at Hamilton Gardens.
Another great playground is located adjacent to the HAMILTON GARDENS. A playground with a garden theme and a maze to challenge the senses.
Hamilton Zoo is another popular attraction for the animal loving kids with exotic creatures from chimpanzees, rhinos, tamarins, giraffes, meerkats, zebra, red pandas, lemurs, tigers, brids, geckos, tuataras spread over 25 hectares. There are daily free zoo keeper talks (dependent on health and safety and the day you visit).
PLAYGROUNDS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES
Play at Hare Puke Destination Playground. An outstanding playground where you are tempted to give the equipment a go. Enormous giant climbing waves, spinning carousels, in-ground trampolines, sand diggers, basket swings and lots of swings for all ages of kids including hard to please teenagers. The playground has all the elements of a modern play area, tactile, sensory and challenging with a scooter track, social swings, an enormous emerald green slide there is a strong focus on collaborative play with shared swings, shared rocking chairs and large social areas for climbing up cargo ropes.
Nothing like the promise of Duck Island ice cream together with time at Steele Park playground.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE
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