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Family Fun

Each region with its family themed things to do

Your must-have guide to Aotearoa NZ family friendly attractions with plenty of tips what to do with the kids from mini adults (teenagers through to mini kids with very short legs).

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Maximise time in public spaces such as museums, art galleries and libraries where admission is free.

 

AUCKLAND FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

Water lovers rejoice. Auckland, city of sails, is surrounded by water. Surfing, snorkeling and swimming are great year round activities in the temperate subtropical climate. From Takapuna Beach to Hauraki Gulf Islands there are boundless opportunities. Enjoy a snorkel and/or dive exploration ofl Goat Island marine reserve, kayak to Rangitoto Island or simply picnic in one of Auckland’s many regional parks. Families visiting Auckland, get yourself on the water – Best Bits and enjoy a day exploring the coastline.

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NZ has millions of cows, a massive dairy industry and, of course great ice creams. Find out where to obtain the best ice creams in Auckland.

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For an overview of Aotearoa New Zealand attractions, things to do and places to visit check out the definitive New Zealand travel guide.

 

THAMES & COROMANDEL FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

The Coromandel is a kid’s idea of a holiday. Rather than a carousel of themed entertainment the Coromandel offers a chance to explore a gold mine, observe quirky pottery in a working studio at Driving Creek or try your hand at mountain biking.

Driving Creek Railway, Coromandel, New Zealand @SightseeingKiwi
Driving Creek Railway, Coromandel @SightseeingKiwi
@corozip
@corozip

In the Coromandel families can explore a marine sanctuary or sandy beaches, or dig for an impromptu hot water spa at Hot Water Beach …. read about Things To Do with Kids in Coromandel – Best Bits and don’t forget to check out Whitianga what to do with the kids – Best Bits with the Whitianga Bike Park a very special place with its free loan mountain bikes and sense of community spirit.

For more holiday ideas what to do and see in the Coromandel scroll through Coromandel attractions, things to do, places to go.

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Check out Best Bits Travel Guide to small KIWI TOWNS. There is a section dedicated to kids and family fun.

 

WAIKATO AND HAMILTON FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

Mighty Waikato offers plenty of family holiday ideas. 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.

Create a fun filled day in Hamilton with the kids in summer – Best Bits.

Taitua Arboretum Hamilton Walking Trails @Hamilton Waikato
Taitua Arboretum @Hamilton Waikato
@hamiltongardens
@hamiltongardens

Play and eat + ice cream is the makings of a perfect day out in Hamilton with the kids. Kids have an opportunity to explore the Hare Puke Playground among others.

For more holiday inspiration about what to do in Hamilton and the central North Island, Waikato check out Hamilton & Waikato Region – Best Bits.

BAY OF PLENTY, TAURANGA AND THE ICONIC MT MAUNGANUI WHAT CAN FAMILIES DO WITH THE KIDS?

Bay of Plenty, Tauranga and Mt Manganui is an ideal place for a family road trip with plenty of short journeys interspersed with stops at funky firestation museums, interesting wharves to bomb dive off and fascinating heritage trails.

A highlight for any kid and their parents is the Classic Flyers Museum in Tauranga. Boring and stuffy is not possible when you can clamber into the cockpit of a fighter jet. Spend several days at Waihi Beach or Katikati enjoying the beach, the artists and weekend markets where catering is solved. Unearth the story of Mataatua, the house that came home.

Papamoa Hills Regional Park @Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Papamoa Hills Regional Park @Bay of Plenty Regional Council
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Don’t forget to scroll through the Bay of Plenty travel guide has plenty of tips and things to do.

 

HAWKE’S BAY & NAPIER FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

The Fairy penguin (or Blue penguin) in National aquarium of New Zealand. This species is the smallest penguin in the world.1
Blue Penguins

Napier is an ideal family destination with the Hawke’s Bay National Aquarium, a kids friendly historic prison tour, cycling trails for fabulous selfie moments and a Marine Parade where everything happens. Places to go add joy to the holiday when the kids hand feed endangered rescued adorable small Blue Penguins. For a bucket list of twenty things to do scroll through The Ultimate Guide to Things to Do in Hawkes Bay in 2022 | NZJane and start planning your next holiday with the kids.

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Delve into the resources of New Zealand’s Department of Conservation kiwi guardians programme is packed with activities, things to do and places to go for kids of all ages. The bonus you get to be outdoors.

 

TARANAKI & NEW PLYMOUTH FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

Exploring the outdoors is a core part of the holiday experience with New Plymouth / Taranaki offering a range of short easy family walks. Taranaki is home to a number of reserves, wetlands and natural places.

Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
Model fire engine on roof of Fun Ho toy factory museum, Inglewood, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand
Fun Ho toy factory museum, Inglewood, Taranaki

Whether exploring the small towns of Taranaki (remember to check out Taranaki’s ‘What’s so great about …) or spending a day finding out what school children have achieved at Newell Lake year round there is something for everyone outside, outdoors in Taranaki.

INTERESTING FACT

Wetlands are the lungs of New Plymouth as well as natural water storage areas releasing heavy downpour flows slowly. With less than 10% of wetlands remaining in Taranaki wildlife such as native eels have dramatically plummitted… read more in 9 family excursions & short easy walks in Taranaki

 

Find out more about Surf Highway and scroll through Taranaki Regional Travel Guide and New Plymouth City guide for tips about the best places to stay and where to eat.

 

ROTORUA WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

Rotorua is the best place to see volcanoes in action in New Zealand with Te Puia geothermal centre & Maori Art and Craft Institute – Best Bits offering the bonus of guaranteed viewing of kiwi birds (nocturnal shy birds who are notorious for their elusive nature in the bush). Take a short Rotorua town walks, Sulphur Bay boardwalk – Best Bits and discover birds whose webbed feet are dissolving in sulfurous water.

@tepuia.rotorua.nz
@tepuia.rotorua.nz
Sunset on Lake Rotorua

There is a public park, Kuirau where bubbling mud and steaming vents give visitors a taste of Rotorua. Check out Rotorua 10 free & cheap things to do – Best Bits.

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For more information about Things to do in Rotorua. Activities, Attractions & Places to Visit.

 

TAUPO

Taupo is a must-go destination for adventures from kayaking on Lake Taupo to the classic bungy jump. Consider 6 Taupo family friendly outdoors places to visit, nature explored and listen to stories about NZ’s native owl or spend time Tongariro National Trout Centre, Turangi, best activities learning how to catch freshwater trout.

Tongariro National Trout Centre, New Zealand @LoveTaupo
Tongariro National Trout Centred @LoveTaupo
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Check out Amazing 12 New Zealand Attractions and pop them on your family holiday bucket list.

 

WHANGANUI FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

Whanganui River DAvid McCracken
Whanganui River DAvid McCracken "Beaning" sculpture mirror ball

Discover a great playground, Kowhai Park with a nearby arboretum. Explore west coast North Island local beaches and build a temporary driftwood castle. Camp by the beach or swim in the Whanganui river at Mosquito Point.

Spend time at Whanganui Splash Centre or enjoy foodie treats at Whanganui Riverside Saturday market. And everyone will enjoy a quick elevator ride to the top of Durie Hill Tower. And something unique, The Whanganui settlers story in stained glass depicted in the Whanganui local government Council Chambers.

… read more about Whanganui getting there and what to do in Whanganui attractions, things to do and places to visit – Best Bits.

Whanganaui memorial tower, Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand, Pacific
Whanganaui memorial tower
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WANT TO KNOW HOW TO TRAVEL IN NEW ZEALAND ON A BUDGET WITH A FAMILY?

Aotearoa NZ is a great place to holiday on a budget with a family as beaches, outdoor activities are free with often innovative playgrounds and nearby cafes. Check out the curated list of free activities in each region of New Zealand below and enjoy the country without blowing the budget.

WELLINGTON & THE WAIRARAPA FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

Wellington is a must-go destination for families with a rich diverse array of attractions from the world class Te Papa National Museum of Aotearoa NZ to dazzling fantasy worlds at Weta Workshop film studio.

Henley Lake, New Zealand @Stuff
Henley Lake @Stuff

Consider Bustle of a capital city is replaced by quiet spaces, hills, valleys, wetlands and river flats where the occasional visitor utters a friendly greeting. Wairarapa is an ideal day trip from Wellington or an opportunity for visitors to explore lesser known areas of Aotearoa NZ. For nature lovers Wairararpa’s pastoral landscapes interspersed with native bush and wetlands creates a zen moment where visitors are suspended in the cycle of seasons…. Read more 10 Wairarapa short walks for families, where to go, guide: Best Bits.

For families interested in military history Wellington offers a little known military history trail.

For holiday inspiration scroll through Wellington Travel Guide for tips on the best places to go.

MARLBOROUGH & PICTON / BLENHEIM WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

Marlborough and Picton offer visitors plenty of attractions for the kids with Top 12 family friendly attractions, things to do in Picton – Best Bits a great place to start for ideas.

For outdoor enthusiasts families can easily enjoy sections of the Queen Charlotte track, top 10 things to do with even the littlest legs able to cope. The Pelorus River offers a kayaking highlight for Lord of the Rings fans in a family weekend escape to Marlborough – Best Bits. Check out brilliant picnic & swim top spots in Marlborough, South Island – Best Bits.

Picton, Marlborough foreshore, South IslandPicton waterfront playground, South Island, New Zealand
Picton waterfront playground

NEW ZEALAND WHERE ARE THE BEST BEACHES LOCATED?

NELSON will claim to have the best beaches in NZ. Nelson, South Island and home to Abel Tasman National Park has stunning beaches with glittering gold sand, shallow sharp blue water and a coastline fringed with native forest.

Tahuna beach, Nelson, New Zealand
Tahuna beach, Nelson

Picturesque beaches, forest walks and lively foodie scene is the stuff of holiday magic which Nelson regularly delivers in spades. One of the well known summer hot spots, Kaiteriteri has accommodation booked a year in advance. Nelson top 5 beaches and beyond in Abel Tasman – Best Bits details how ridiculously easy it is to find the perfect beach in Nelson. You can hardly move from the regional airport and one of New Zealand’s top family beaches, Tahunanui is within your sights. The province is coast to coast fringed with long stretches of gold perfection, shallow safe waters for children and plenty of campgrounds adjacent to the perfect summer holiday spot.

Ingredients for a hassle free day at the beach is

  • Toilets and changing rooms nearby
  • Playgrounds and outdoor showers
  • Cafes for parent’s coffee buzz
  • Ice cream vendors
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Beach tips, how to plan a great family day – Best Bits must read material for care givers, parents and kids in the know.

 

WEST COAST, HOKITIKA & THE WILDERNESS TRAIL FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?

Imagination is the glue of holiday memories with the South Island West Coast, NZ providing tales of hardy 19th century gold miners and narratives about the pouamua (jade) pre-European Maori adventures.  Get the kids into driftwood art with the Top picks for families & friends in Hokitika – Best Bits.

Driftwood on the beach at Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand
Driftwood on the beach at Hokitika
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Check out the West Coast, walks and hikes places to go and things to do – Best Bits for families with the iconic Charleston, Paparoa National Park, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks – Best Bits are must-go places to visit.

Heli-Glacier, New Zealand @Skyline Enterprises
Heli-Glacier @Skyline Enterprises

Discover a shanty town where the wild west (NZ style) is recreated or explore the tunnels of a coal mine in the Westport Coal Museum. Got kids interested in ghost stories then the West Coast is a veritable goldmine for West Coast ghosts, cemeteries and quirky personalities – Best Bits. Kids interested in nature, the outdoors and climate change then Take a trip to the ice age, unmissable things to do in Glacier Country – Best Bits.

One of Best Bits favourite spots in Aotearoa New Zealand is the West Coast. Scroll through Greymouth & West Coast Region – Best Bits and fall in love with a remote part of New Zealand.

WHERE ARE THE BEST PLAYGROUNDS IN NZ?

Check out Another top 11 kids playgrounds in New Zealand – Best Bits and pop onto the road trip itinerary. Your kids will be very happy.

Picton waterfront playground, South Island, New Zealand
Picton waterfront playground

CANTERBURY, CHRISTCHURCH, AKAROA & BEYOND WHAT TO DO WITH KIDS ON A FAMILY HOLIDAY?

Be introduced to native wildlife from Kaikoura whales, seals and dolphins to blue penguins in Omaru. Enjoy urban cafes and the River Avon in Christchurch with the kids while finding out about kids programmes at the Christchurch Art Centre .

International Antarctic Centre, New Zealand @trip
International Antarctic Centre @trip

Enjoy a vintage tram ride with over twenty hop off and hop on stops. Holiday ideas include the exciting drama of the Antarctic Centre to a sweeping gondola up the side of the Port Hills. Remember to check the travel guide for further ideas about where to go and what to see in Christchurch.

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Here’s a bucket list of 12 awesome family friendly attractions in New Zealand – Best Bits.

 

DOES NEW ZEALAND HAVE FOOD FACTORY TOURS FOR FAMILIES?

NZ has interesting food factory tours which are geared for kids with adults alike enjoying the sampling of goodies at the end of the tour. Check out Chelsea Sugar Factory Tour part of Chelsea Heritage Park – Best Bits. The current factory and Heritage Park are open to visitors and are part of the 5 Heritage Regional Parks near Auckland, day trip: guide by Best Bits.

Coming soon … Food tours, factories, delis and cooking workshops inviting guests to participate in the foodie scene

Chelsea Heritage Park Auckland skyline in distance, New Zealand
Chelsea Heritage Park, Auckland
Rare lokomotive, Lumsden, Otago, New Zealand @Stuff
Rare lokomotive, Lumsden, Otago @Stuff

COMING SOON…

OTAGO & SOUTHLAND WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS

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