If you’re in the Nelson–Tasman region this summer and are looking for some family-friendly activities, then you’ve come to the right place. Our area is bordered by three national parks and has been voted one of the best places in New Zealand to bring up kids.
Here are some activities from free to fee that locals and visitors of all ages enjoy. Check them out and get a taste of our lifestyle! You might even make a few (furry?) friends along the way…
Tahunanui – a beach playground for everyone
If you’ve just arrived in Nelson, get your feet on the ground and your toes in the sand and sea. Tahunanui Beach is close to the airport and a great place for kids and their grownups, with plenty to do. There’s the playground (for the littler ones), a hydroslide (for the bigger ones), bumpa boats, a skating rink, go-karts, trampoline park, mini golf, plenty of cool green grass to run around on, and lots of other affordable activities.
If out-of-town beaches are more your style, drive towards Moturoa / Rabbit Island — 15 minutes from Tahunanui and on the way to the small townships of Upper Moutere, Mapua and Motueka. It’s a pine plantation with bike and walking tracks, 8 km of beach and the largest picnic area in our district, with barbecues provided. Bring your own food and supplies though, because there are no shops on the island. Gates shut at 5pm in winter and 8.30pm in summer.
Furry farm fun for all the family
If you were lucky enough to see a rabbit at Rabbit Island, at Animal Farm you’ll get to cuddle one – and the guinea pigs too! From Moturoa it’s an easy 15-minute drive on the coastal highway to Animal Farm—we’re just after the turnoff to Mapua and up the hill.
Here you can meet and pet our friendly goats, sheep and pigs. You might even have a donkey or horse-and-cart ride, and help feed the ostriches and emus. And adults and kids alike love our daily goat race to the bottle feeding—who will win this time?
Give baby a bottle
Racing is thirsty work, so after the action you could help us bottle-feed the kid goats and lambs. They’re so cute and friendly, and just love to make new friends! Join the fun and feeding at 11:00am or 3:00pm.
And if you’re a bit hungry too, you can order lunch, snacks and drinks from our cart, or you’re welcome to bring your own picnic.
All tired out?
On your way home, don’t forget to try one of our region’s famous real fruit icecreams. They’re a sweet, creamy treat made with your choice of ice cream or frozen yoghurt, fruit and berries—many of which can be found growing in our region. Yummy!
Have a great time in Nelson this summer—we hope to see you at the beach, licking an ice cream, and making friends with the furry locals!