Children’s Attractions Around NZ

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Feeding the giraffes at Wellington Zoo

A bach holiday with the kids can be memorable and loads of fun, whatever the season. 

It helps to select a bach that is aimed at families: check the facilities and guest feedback to see what the bach has in the way of games, books, kayaks, etc.

Chances are at some point “cabin fever” will set in, especially if the weather is damp.  Have a look beforehand at what activities or attractions there might be in the area.  Below are a few suggestions all around the country for keeping the kids active and happy…

Hot pools are like catnip to children, and New Zealand is blessed with lots of them, whether it’s a hike to a natural spring in the river or an aquatic park with hydroslides and artificial waves. You can have a squiz at the Bookabach Guide to Hot Pools and Spas for options around the country, and we’ve included some other child-pleasing pools below. 

Look at the Bookabach Guides to Locations for Things To Do - many of the activities will suit older children. Browse the Bookabach Guide to Mountainbiking, or Guides for Skiing and snowboarding, if that’s what your family likes doing. The Department of Conservation site lists walking tracks in each area. Regional Tourism sites also have lots of local activities and events. Whether your children like animals, trains, museums or physical activities, we hope you’ll find something in our list below that will have the family beaming, even if it’s not a gloriously sunny day.

North Island    South Island

1. Northland

Where to stay


Activities - Whangarei Museum, Kiwi House & Heritage Park - The Parrot Place - Bird breeding and display, Kerikeri - Adventure Forest - circuits & flying foxes in the treetops - The Kauri Museum, Matakohe

More Info - Northland Tourist Information

2. Auckland

Where to stay


Activities - Museum of Transport and Technology - Auckland Zoo - Auckland War Memorial Museum - Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World - Rainbow’s End Theme Park - Butterfly Creek - Auckland Art Gallery - Reptile Park, near Leigh - Stardome Observatory Planetarium - Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre

More Info - Auckland Tourist Information

3. Coromandel

Where to stay


Activities - Driving Creek Railway and Potteries, Coromandel - Bullswool Farm Park, Karangahake Gorge - The Waterworks, 309 Road, near Coromandel Town - Combat Zone paintball, laser tag, kids quad bikes, archery & more.

More Info - Coromandel Tourist Information

4. Bay of Plenty

Where to stay

Bay of Plenty

Activities - Waimarino Adventure Park - Kayaking, climbing & more, near Tauranga - Mount Maunganui Hot Salt Water Pools - Rainbow Springs - Kiwis, native species & Big Splash, Rotorua - Agrodome - Sheep Show & more, Rotorua - Paradise Valley Springs - Trout, lions & wildlife, Rotorua - The Buried Village, Tarawera Rd - Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, near Rotorua - Gondola, Luge & Skyswing, Rotorua - Waiotapu - Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua - Waimangu - Volcanic Valley, Rotorua - Te Puia - Maori Cultural Centre and Geothermal Valley, Rotorua - Orakeikorako - Cave & Thermal Park, 25 mins from Taupo - The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest - Mountain Biking, Walking, Rotorua

More Info - Bay of Plenty Tourist Information - Rotorua Tourist Information

5. Waikato

Where to stay


Activities - Hamilton Zoo - Waterworld - Waikato Museum - Otorahanga Kiwi House - Waitomo Caves

More Info - Waikato Tourist Information

6. Taupo

Where to stay

Lake Taupo

Activities - Wairakei Tourist Park - Geothermal sights, mountain-biking & more - Huka Prawn Park - Volcanic Activity Centre - AC Baths - Heated swimming complex - Huka Falls Jet - Aratiatia Rapids - Rapid Sensations & Kayaking Kiwi - Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort - Tokaanu Thermal Pools - Turangi Climbing Wall - Tongariro National Trout Centre

More Info - Taupo Tourist Information

7. Central Plateau (Mt. Ruapehu)

Where to stay

Central Plateau (Mt. Ruapehu)

Activities - National Army Museum, Waiouru - Vertigo Indoor Climbing Centre, Ohakune

More Info - Ruapehu Tourist Information

8. Taranaki

Where to stay


Activities - Pukekura Park - Todd Energy Aquatic Centre - Coastal Walkway - 11kms to run, cycle or skate - Puke Ariki Museum, Libraries, Tourist Information - Nigel Ogle’s Tawhiti Museum - Traders and Whalers - Govett-Brewster Art Gallery closed til 2015, but exhibitions on at other venues

More Info - Taranaki Tourist Information

9. East Cape

Where to stay

East Cape

Activities - Dive Tatapouri - Reef Ecology Tour - Eastender Horse Treks - Gisborne District Council - Olympic Pool - Morere Hot Springs

More Info - Gisborne & Eastland Tourist Information

10. Hawke’s Bay

Where to stay

Hawke’s Bay

Activities - The Faraday Centre, Museum of Technology and Science - National Aquarium of New Zealand - Arataki Honey Visitor Centre - Ocean Spa heated pools, Napier - closed for winter (reopens in November) - Hawke’s Bay Farmyard Zoo

More Info - Hawke’s Bay Tourist Information

11. Manawatu - Whanganui

Where to stay

Manawatu - Whanganui

Activities - Owlcatraz, Native Bird and Wildlife Park, Shannon - Splash Centre, Indoor swimming and recreation, Whanganui - Riverland Family Park, Whanganui - Whanganui Regional Museum - Paddlesteamer Waimarie & the Whanganui Riverboat Centre - Daytona Indoor Raceway, Palmerston North - Esplanade Scenic Railway, Palmerston North

More Info - Wanganui Tourist Information - Manawatu Tourist Information

12. Wellington

Where to stay


Activities - Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand, Wellington - Wellington Zoo - The Weta Cave, Miramar, Wellington - Zealandia, The Karori Sanctuary Experience - The Wellington Cable Car - Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Cafe - Kapiti Coast Electric Tramway - Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre

More Info - Wellington Tourist Information - Wairarapa Tourist Information

South Island

13. Nelson - Golden Bay

Where to stay

Nelson - Golden Bay

Activities - ASB Aquatic & Fitness Centre - Natureland Zoo, Tahunanui Beach, Nelson - Pro Kart Racing, Nelson - Jester House Country Cafe & Tame Eels - Pottering About - Pottery Painting, Nelson - Action Indoor Sports - The Nelson Provicincial Museum - World of Wearable Art & Classic Cars Museum

More Info - Nelson Tourist Information

14. Marlborough

Where to stay


Activities - Ecoworld Aquarium, Picton - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Blenheim - Omaka Classic Cars, Blenheim

More Info - Marlborough Tourist Information

15. Canterbury

Where to stay


Activities - International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch - Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch - Air Force Museum, Christchurch - Alpine Ice Sports & Entertainment Centre, Christchurch - Christchurch Boat/Canoe/Kayak Hire & Cafe - Canterbury Museum - Tekapo Springs, Lake Tekapo

More Info - Christchurch Tourist Information

16. West Coast

Where to stay

West Coast

Activities - On Yer Bike, Off Road Adventures & Little Earth, Greymouth - Shantytown Heritage Park, 10kms south of Greymouth - West Coast Treetop Walk and Cafe, 15 mins south of Hokitika - Denniston Coal Mining Experience - Underworld Adventures & Rainforest Train, Charleston

More Info - West Coast Tourist Information

17. Queenstown Lakes

Where to stay

Queenstown Lakes

Activities - Skyline Queenstown, Gondola & Luge, Gondola Accessed Mountain-biking - Queenstown Ice Arena - Around the Basin Bike Tours & bike hire - TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak High Country Farm - Kiwi Birdlife Park, Queenstown - Queenstown Sports and Recreation - Goldfields Mining Centre, Kawarau Gorge - Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World, Wanaka - National Transport & Toy Museum, Wanaka - Warbirds and Wheels, Wanaka - Basecamp Wanaka Climbing Centre - Wanaka Wastebusters

More Info - Queenstown Tourist Information - Lake Wanaka Tourist Information

18. Otago

Where to stay


Activities - Albatross Centre - Taiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula - New Zealand Marine Studies Centre & Aquarium, Otago Peninsula - Otago Museum - Larnach Castle, Dunedin - Moana Pool, Dunedin - Orokonui Ecosanctuary, Dunedin - Taieri Gorge Railway
Earthlore Insect Conservation Park - Owaka, The Catlins
Lost Gypsy Caravan - Papatowai, The Catlins

More Info - Dunedin Tourist Information - Central Otago Tourist Information - Catlins Tourist Information

19. Southland, Fiordland

Where to stay


Activities - Southland Museum, Invercargill - Southland Aquatic Centre - Splash Palace - Sport Southland - Holiday Programmes - Te Hikoi Heritage Museum, Riverton - Te Anau Wildlife Centre

More Info - Southland Tourist Information - Destination Fiordland





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