Children’s Attractions Around NZ

Childhood memories of good times at the bach can last forever. With a bit of planning your family holiday can be just as memorable.

Feeding the giraffes at Wellington Zoo

Planning a bach holiday with the kids can be fun no matter what time of year, or what the weather brings. 

It helps to select a bach that have families in mind: check the facilities and guest feedback to see what they have 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

Northland

Activities

www.kiwinorth.co.nz - Whangarei Museum, Kiwi House & Heritage Park
www.theparrotplace.co.nz - The Parrot Place - Bird breeding and display, Kerikeri
www.adventureforest.co.nz - Adventure Forest - circuits & flying foxes in the treetops
www.kauri-museum.com - The Kauri Museum, Matakohe

More Info

www.northlandnz.com - Northland Tourist Information

2. Auckland

Where to stay

Auckland

Activities

www.motat.org.nz - Museum of Transport and Technology
www.aucklandzoo.co.nz - Auckland Zoo
www.aucklandmuseum.com - Auckland War Memorial Museum
www.kellytarltons.co.nz - Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World
www.rainbowsend.co.nz - Rainbow’s End Theme Park
www.butterflycreek.co.nz - Butterfly Creek
www.aucklandartgallery.com - Auckland Art Gallery
www.reptilepark.co.nz - Reptile Park, near Leigh
www.stardome.org.nz - Stardome Observatory Planetarium
www.goatislandmarine.co.nz - Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre

More Info

www.aucklandnz.com - Auckland Tourist Information

3. Coromandel

Where to stay

Coromandel

Activities

www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz - Driving Creek Railway and Potteries, Coromandel
www.bullswoolfarm.co.nz - Bullswool Farm Park, Karangahake Gorge
www.thewaterworks.co.nz - The Waterworks, 309 Road, near Coromandel Town
www.combatzone.co.nz - Combat Zone paintball, laser tag, kids quad bikes, archery & more.

More Info

www.thecoromandel.com - Coromandel Tourist Information

4. Bay of Plenty

Where to stay

Bay of Plenty

Activities

www.waimarino.com - Waimarino Adventure Park - Kayaking, climbing & more, near Tauranga
www.bayvenues.co.nz - Mount Maunganui Hot Salt Water Pools
www.rainbowsprings.co.nz - Rainbow Springs - Kiwis, native species & Big Splash, Rotorua
www.agrodome.co.nz - Agrodome - Sheep Show & more, Rotorua
www.paradisevalleysprings.co.nz - Paradise Valley Springs - Trout, lions & wildlife, Rotorua
www.buriedvillage.co.nz - The Buried Village, Tarawera Rd
www.hotpools.co.nz - Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, near Rotorua
www.skylineskyrides.co.nz - Gondola, Luge & Skyswing, Rotorua
www.waiotapu.co.nz - Waiotapu - Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua
www.waimangu.co.nz - Waimangu - Volcanic Valley, Rotorua
www.tepuia.com - Te Puia - Maori Cultural Centre and Geothermal Valley, Rotorua
www.orakeikorako.co.nz - Orakeikorako - Cave & Thermal Park, 25 mins from Taupo
www.redwoods.co.nz - The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest - Mountain Biking, Walking, Rotorua

More Info

www.bayofplentynz.com - Bay of Plenty Tourist Information
www.rotoruanz.com - Rotorua Tourist Information

5. Waikato

Where to stay

Waikato

Activities

www.hamiltonzoo.co.nz - Hamilton Zoo
www.hamiltonpools.co.nz - Waterworld
www.waikatomuseum.org.nz - Waikato Museum
www.kiwihouse.org.nz - Otorahanga Kiwi House
www.waitomo.com - Waitomo Caves

More Info

www.hamiltonwaikato.com - Waikato Tourist Information

6. Taupo

Where to stay

Lake Taupo

Activities

www.wairakeitouristpark.co.nz - Wairakei Tourist Park - Geothermal sights, mountain-biking & more
www.hukaprawnpark.co.nz - Huka Prawn Park
www.volcanoes.co.nz - Volcanic Activity Centre
www.taupodc.govt.nz - AC Baths - Heated swimming complex
www.hukafallsjet.com - Huka Falls Jet
www.greatlaketaupo.com - Aratiatia Rapids
rapids.co.nz - Rapid Sensations & Kayaking Kiwi
www.taupodebretts.co.nz - Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort
www.nzhotpools.co.nz - Tokaanu Thermal Pools
www.extremebackpackers.co.nz - Turangi Climbing Wall
www.troutcentre.com - Tongariro National Trout Centre

More Info

www.greatlaketaupo.com - Taupo Tourist Information

7. Central Plateau (Mt. Ruapehu)

Where to stay

Central Plateau (Mt. Ruapehu)

Activities

www.armymuseum.co.nz - National Army Museum, Waiouru
www.slr.co.nz - Vertigo Indoor Climbing Centre, Ohakune

More Info

www.visitruapehu.co.nz - Ruapehu Tourist Information

8. Taranaki

Where to stay

Taranaki

Activities

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

More Info

www.taranaki.info/visit - Taranaki Tourist Information

9. East Cape

Where to stay

East Cape

Activities

www.divetatapouri.com - Dive Tatapouri - Reef Ecology Tour
www.eastenderhorsetreks.co.nz - Eastender Horse Treks
www.gdc.govt.nz/olympic-pool - Gisborne District Council - Olympic Pool
www.morerehotsprings.co.nz - Morere Hot Springs

More Info

www.gisbornenz.com - Gisborne & Eastland Tourist Information

10. Hawke’s Bay

Where to stay

Hawke’s Bay

Activities

www.faradaycentre.org.nz - The Faraday Centre, Museum of Technology and Science
www.nationalaquarium.co.nz - National Aquarium of New Zealand
www.aratakihoneyhb.co.nz - Arataki Honey Visitor Centre
www.oceanspa.co.nz - Ocean Spa heated pools, Napier
www.splashplanet.co.nz - closed for winter (reopens in November)
www.farmyardzoo.co.nz - Hawke’s Bay Farmyard Zoo

More Info

www.hawkesbaynz.com - Hawke’s Bay Tourist Information

11. Manawatu - Whanganui

Where to stay

Manawatu - Whanganui

Activities

www.splashcentre.co.nz - Splash Centre, Indoor swimming and recreation, Whanganui
whanganuinz.com/item/riverlands-park - Riverland Family Park, Whanganui
www.wanganui-museum.org.nz - Whanganui Regional Museum
www.riverboats.co.nz - Paddlesteamer Waimarie & the Whanganui Riverboat Centre
www.daytona.co.nz - Daytona Indoor Raceway, Palmerston North
www.esplanaderail.org.nz - Esplanade Scenic Railway, Palmerston North

More Info

www.wanganui.com - Wanganui Tourist Information
manawatunz.co.nz - Manawatu Tourist Information

12. Wellington

Where to stay

Wellington

Activities

www.tepapa.govt.nz - Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand, Wellington
www.wellingtonzoo.com - Wellington Zoo
www.wetanz.com/cave - The Weta Cave, Miramar, Wellington
www.visitzealandia.com - Zealandia, The Karori Sanctuary Experience
www.wellingtoncablecar.co.nz - The Wellington Cable Car
www.staglands.co.nz - Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Cafe
www.wellingtontrams.org.nz - Kapiti Coast Electric Tramway
www.pukaha.org.nz - Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre

More Info

www.wellingtonnz.com - Wellington Tourist Information
www.wairarapanz.com - Wairarapa Tourist Information

South Island

13. Nelson - Golden Bay

Where to stay

Nelson - Golden Bay

Activities

www.clmnz.co.nz/asb/aquatics - ASB Aquatic & Fitness Centre
www.naturelandzoo.co.nz - Natureland Zoo, Tahunanui Beach, Nelson
www.prokarts.co.nz - Pro Kart Racing, Nelson
www.jesterhouse.co.nz - Jester House Country Cafe & Tame Eels
www.potteringabout.co.nz - Pottering About - Pottery Painting, Nelson
actionindoorsports.com - Action Indoor Sports
www.museumnp.org.nz - The Nelson Provicincial Museum
www.wowcars.co.nz - World of Wearable Art & Classic Cars Museum

More Info

www.nelsonnz.com - Nelson Tourist Information

14. Marlborough

Where to stay

Marlborough

Activities

www.ecoworldnz.co.nz - Ecoworld Aquarium, Picton
www.omaka.org.nz - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Blenheim
www.omakaclassiccars.co.nz - Omaka Classic Cars, Blenheim

More Info

lovemarlborough.co.nz - Marlborough Tourist Information

15. Canterbury

Where to stay

Canterbury

Activities

www.iceberg.co.nz - International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch
www.willowbank.co.nz - Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch
www.airforcemuseum.co.nz - Air Force Museum, Christchurch
www.alpineice.co.nz - Alpine Ice Sports & Entertainment Centre, Christchurch
www.boatsheds.co.nz - Christchurch Boat/Canoe/Kayak Hire & Cafe
www.canterburymuseum.com - Canterbury Museum
www.tekaposprings.co.nz - Tekapo Springs, Lake Tekapo

More Info

www.christchurchnz.com - Christchurch Tourist Information

16. West Coast

Where to stay

West Coast

Activities

www.onyerbike.co.nz - On Yer Bike, Off Road Adventures & Little Earth, Greymouth
www.shantytown.co.nz - Shantytown Heritage Park, 10kms south of Greymouth
treetopsnz.com - West Coast Treetop Walk and Cafe, 15 mins south of Hokitika
www.denniston.co.nz - Denniston Coal Mining Experience
www.caverafting.com - Underworld Adventures & Rainforest Train, Charleston

More Info

www.westcoastnz.com - West Coast Tourist Information

17. Queenstown Lakes

Where to stay

Queenstown Lakes

Activities

www.skyline.co.nz - Skyline Queenstown, Gondola & Luge, Gondola Accessed Mountain-biking
www.queenstownicearena.co.nz - Queenstown Ice Arena
www.realjourneys.co.nz - TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak High Country Farm
www.kiwibird.co.nz - Kiwi Birdlife Park, Queenstown
www.lakesleisure.co.nz - Queenstown Sports and Recreation
www.goldfieldsmining.co.nz - Goldfields Mining Centre, Kawarau Gorge
www.puzzlingworld.co.nz - Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World, Wanaka
www.wanakatransportandtoymuseum.com - National Transport & Toy Museum, Wanaka
www.warbirdsandwheels.co.nz - Warbirds and Wheels, Wanaka
www.basecampwanaka.co.nz - Basecamp Wanaka Climbing Centre
www.wanakawastebusters.co.nz - Wanaka Wastebusters

More Info

www.queenstownnz.co.nz - Queenstown Tourist Information
www.lakewanaka.co.nz - Lake Wanaka Tourist Information

18. Otago

Where to stay

Otago

Activities

www.albatross.org.nz - Albatross Centre - Taiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula
www.marine.ac.nz - New Zealand Marine Studies Centre & Aquarium, Otago Peninsula
www.otagomuseum.govt.nz - Otago Museum
www.larnachcastle.co.nz - Larnach Castle, Dunedin
www.dunedin.govt.nz - Moana Pool, Dunedin
www.taieri.co.nz - Taieri Gorge Railway
Earthlore Insect Conservation Park - Owaka, The Catlins
Lost Gypsy Caravan - Papatowai, The Catlins

More Info

www.dunedinnz.com - Dunedin Tourist Information
www.centralotagonz.com - Central Otago Tourist Information

www.catlins.org.nz - Catlins Tourist Information

19. Southland, Fiordland

Where to stay

Southland

Activities

www.southlandmuseum.com - Southland Museum, Invercargill
www.icc.govt.nz/splashpalace - Southland Aquatic Centre - Splash Palace
www.sportsouthland.co.nz - Sport Southland - Holiday Programmes
tehikoi.co.nz - Te Hikoi Heritage Museum, Riverton
www.doc.govt.nz - Te Anau Wildlife Centre

More Info

www.southlandnz.com - Southland Tourist Information
www.fiordland.org.nz - Destination Fiordland