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Family Travel Tips | Activities & Attractions

Travelling with children? You don't need to endure cries of 'I'm bored' or 'Are we there yet'?  Here's some exciting, family friendly spots to stop off, enjoy & regain your sanity!  

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EcoWorld - Picton

EcoWorld offer an exceptional wildlife experience with awesome opportunities to interact with wildlife (the Tuataras are amazing). Kids love fossicking in the rock pools and handling the tactile displays. There’s also a cafe onsite to grab lunch or drinks. Ecoworld Aquarium & Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is open every day except Christmas Day. Entry is $24.00 adult, $12.00 children. Close Encounters Tour: Adults $39 Children $27 (includes admission)

Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve - Rai Valley

Here you’ll find plenty of walking tracks beside the Pelorus River which is safe for swimming. Birdlife is prolific and it’s a fabulous spot to cool off in summer. There's  plenty of parking, picnic areas and bush to explore. Let the kids go wild!

Domestic animals are not permitted within the reserve. (Cats & Dogs). Free to use.

Nelson | Tasman

Cable Bay Adventure Park - Nelson

This vast farm park offers a plethora of activities, including New Zealand’s longest flying fox. This skywire is a real thrill to experience and offers great views. Horse riding, farm animals, paintball games, 4WD buggies and e-bikes are available to get you around all the fantastic trails. Kids love hand feeding the tame eels in the creek. An onsite cafe offers tasty food and is also licensed if you’d like a glass of wine or ale with your meal. Open every day from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Entry to the park is free and there is no cost to walk or cycle the trails (using your own bike). Other activities range in price from $25.00 - $175.00.

Founders Heritage Park - Nelson

Set in beautiful heritage surrounds, the park offers something for everyone. Children have fun riding the old trains & picnicking on the expansive lawn area. An old Bristol Freighter Aircraft can be entered and the cockpit is a fascinating place for young ones. The gift shop, cafe & galleries top off facilities in this quaint and beautiful village. Open 10am - 4.30pm every day (except Good Friday & Christmas Day). Entry $7.00 adults, under 12 free, $15.00 family.

West Coast

Westcoast Treetop Walk & Cafe - Hokitika

A nature walk with wow factor! Westcoast Treetop Walk is a 450 long metre series of walkway platforms, 20 metres high in the treetops. Colourful interpretation panels relay interesting eco information which is easy for the young to grasp.  A huge viewing tower 40 metres above the walkway offers excellent views over Lake Mahinapua & the Southern Alps. The walkway is pram & wheelchair friendly. Native birds can be viewed and heard on the walk and several varieties of colourful fungi line the trails. The cafe is warm and inviting with a good selection of maelas and treats on offer. During the summer season, you can dine al fresco on the front deck. Open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ( in winter). Admission is Adult $32.00, Senior (60+) $29.00, Students $29.00, Children (5-15) $16.00, Family pass $77.00 (2 x adult + 2 x children).

Punakaiki (Pancake) Rocks - Punakaiki

The famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes are just a 20 minute loop walk from where you park your vehicle on the main highway at Punakaiki. Looking like giant pancakes, the curious limestone formations are especially spectacular at high tide. There are interpretation panels along the walkway relaying interesting facts about the rock formations, flora & fauna. Entry is free, though there is a donation box at the entrance for contributions to the upkeep of the track and facilities.


The Plains Vintage Railway & Museum - Ashburton

Located on the outskirts of Ashburton, The Plains Vintage Railway & Museum is a small recreated historic village complete with steam and vintage train rides. Families can ride the trains on open days and there are minature train rides too. Running days vary, so check web link for details. Next door in Tinwald Domain, there’s  a large pond & playground to enjoy. If you have the family pet on board, a dog exercise area is also available. Entry is free.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools - Hanmer Springs

World famous, these hot pools are a real hit for all ages. Relax in a warm pool and watch a movie, or enjoy the spa like facilities privately. Kids love the thrill of screaming down the water slide. A lazy river, pool caves & pools of varying temperatures offer a wonderful watery playground. Open daily 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.. Entry Adult $25.00, Children (3 - 15 yrs) $12.50, Under 3’s free.


Puzzling World - Wanaka

An absolute blast of a place filled with trickery!  Puzzling World will challenge your perception in a topsy turvy array of weird and wonderful rooms. Puzzles, interactive activities and a large maze keep the kids buzzing for hours. An onsite cafe compliments the facility and is a great place for adults to take some time out while children continue to explore. Open daily from 8.30 a.m. - 5 p.m. ( Christmas Day 10 a.m - 3 p.m). Entry fee varies depending on what activities you’d like to do. See web link for details.

Fort Taiaroa - Otago Peninsula

Today, visitors to Taiaroa Head are very fortunate to be able to view the Armstrong Disappearing Gun which now has worldwide recognition as the only one still in working condition, in its original gun pit. Let th little ones explore the series of secret tunnels. There are excellent views out to the Royal Albatross Colony. Several tour options are available. Check web link for options.


Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound

Southern Discoveries are a premiere tourism provider supplying incredible tours into Milford Sound. Also offering transport links from Queenstown, Southern Discoveries boat tours enable guests to experience Milford Sound from the comfort of well appointed vessels. View wildlife, waterfalls & magnificent landscapes as you float seamlessly throughout this outstanding UNESCO World Heritage site. Take the kids to an aquatic wonderland at the Underwater Observatory and view exotic coral, fish & marine life. Packages available to suit your family’s requirements. See web link for options.

Tautuku Walks - Catlins

Tautuku is a spectacular, forest-fringed bay that sweeps round to an impressive headland. The walk to the bay suits all ages. Lake Wilkie Walk - From podocarp forest at the track’s start to the impressive viewpoint. Good interpretation panels explain the lake’s formation and vegetation succession.When the rata is flower it’s an impressive and colourful place, with an active bird population. Children will enjoy the song of the Whistling Tree Frog. (Yep, they're real!)

This is a small selection of interesting family activities. There’s plenty more on our website, so have a squiz. You'll find lots of exciting discoveries that the whole family will enjoy.




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