Created in partnership with Tourism New Zealand
New Zealand really is the ultimate playground and our beautiful country offers lots of opportunities to try new activities that you may not have considered before – or that you’ve been really wanting to have a go at!
Spring in New Zealand is a great time to try new things, share adventures, and make lots of special memories as a family. So on your next family holiday or break, why not discover a new passion with our guide to spring activities that you can try as a family.
Please note: Venue information was correct at the time of publication. Please check with individual venues for the latest availability, opening dates, times, prices, etc, before making plans.
Kayaking isn’t just an Olympic sport that brings home the medals. It’s also a wonderful way to explore New Zealand’s stunning coastline and inland waterways. Whether you want to paddle Lake Taupō, the sunny Bay of Islands, or the open waters around New Zealand, kayaking can become a favourite family activity that leads you to explore parts of New Zealand that others never see. You can even paddle a waka for a unique cultural experience that you don’t want to miss.
Taupō Kayaking Adventures offers guided tours of New Zealand’s largest freshwater lake and the mighty Waikato River, taking in stunning scenery including the Mine Bay Māori rock carvings. Their passionate and knowledgeable guides will make this a trip to remember.
Everyone wants to fly like a superhero – but skydiving is a bit too extreme for most people! Indoor skydiving however, is a safe and fun activity that everyone can enjoy and is sure to become a favourite story to retell around the dinner table!
iFLY in Queenstown is New Zealand’s only indoor skydiving attraction. The specially designed tunnel has a smooth, wall-to-wall cushion of air on which anyone can safely fly. iFLY simulates skydiving with no strings, parachutes, planes, or scary heights. It’s ‘skydiving approved by mum’! The highly trained instructors are experienced in supporting new flyers of all ages and abilities.
Playing with diggers and bulldozers in the sandpit is great fun when you’re a kid. So who could resist the chance to play on the life-sized versions!
Dig This Invercargill is New Zealand’s only heavy equipment playground – yes, you read that right! Go wild on the big machines as you push, pull, spin, and smash your way to family fun! Their grunty machines include bulldozers, diggers, skid steers, and excavators in a giant gravel pit.
The beauty of zip lining is that almost anyone can enjoy this adrenaline rush! You simply get clipped on to a suspended cable and then you zoom safely down the line, over the landscape below – gravity does all the work. There are several zip line venues in New Zealand that glide you over native forest or through steep canyons and some offer multi-person zip lines.
In Queenstown, Ziptrek Ecotours offers combos for up to six ziplines, including the world’s steepest zipline which descends 30 storeys at up to 70kph! Enjoy this amazing trip down from high up on Bobs Peak (Skyline Gondola) through the forest canopy.
Whether you explore a trail for a fun day out, or take the family on a cycling holiday, getting out into the great outdoors on a bike is a fun and unique way to create memories together. New Zealand’s Cycle Trail network offers magnificent scenery and active exploration on cycle rides for all ages and abilities.
The Otago Central Rail Trail is a family-friendly favourite that follows an old railway line and offers lots of interesting stops along the way. With Trail Journeys you can explore the Otago Central Rail Trail on a self-guided cycling package including bike hire, accommodation luggage transfers and transport. They also have packages for other popular Otago trails.
What it’s really like to drive a high-performance car on an actual racetrack? The opportunity to take the wheel and drive a supercar can become a reality for the older members of the family, while the kids can join in the motorsport fun with speedy go-karts!
At Hampton Downs there’s plenty of motorsport activities on offer. Get the adrenaline pumping while you drive a HotLap in a V8 Supercar, experience up to 230kph in a Lamborghini Huracan, or the whole family can enjoy a high-speed ride in the Lexus Safety car. Then take the Go-Karts out on the undulating 800m track, reaching speeds of up to 70kmph! Single karts are available for ages 10 and up, while kids 6 years and up can jump in the passenger seat of the tandem karts.
You’ve probably seen curling on the television during the Winter Olympics and thought it’s a rather quirky sport! This unique game can be enjoyed by all ages and makes a great activity for a family outing. Pit your skill and strategy against each other in this easy to learn sport.
Maniototo Curling at Naseby Indoor Curling Rink is run by local enthusiasts and offers the chance to give curling a go. The centre is open year-round and also offers an ice luge, ice skating and ice hockey.
Main image credit: Camilla Rutherford
- Find more fun family adventure ideas
- Explore the world without leaving New Zealand
- Plan a trip to Rotorua with our destination guide
- Family holiday experiences that inspire curiosity and celebrate culture
- Richie & Gemma McCaw’s top tips for family travel
Written by Kidspot NZ in partnership with Tourism New Zealand.