I can suggest the following activities in Taupo New Zealand for families traveling with small children. Children love being outside, playing in playgrounds, exploring the forest: just spending some time in the fresh air.
It strengthens the immune system and keeps you healthy. In addition, the body needs movement to function. And a healthy body means also a happy and healthy mind.
1) Short bush walk at Taupo Rangatira Point
The short bush walk is suitable from age 3 or as soon as the kid are able to walk about 30 to 50 minutes easy tracks. Don’t forget your bathing and beach toys as there is a nice gravel beach in the middle of the track. The best time of the day is the morning as it is then nice and cool and least people are on the way.
I suggest to walk from the second entrance to the beach because this is the shorter way. As this is a one way bush walk and no circle take a break in the middle at the beach and walk back to your car.
Or you can divide your group and in the middle of the bush walk switch the car keys. So one group can then take the car and pick up the others.
But my favorite track is the second entrance. You will pass a huge tree which is awesome to take pictures. At the beach just chill for one or two hours, go swimming and playing with the kids at the beach.
Don’t forget some finger food, water, beach towels and beach toys for your kids. Of course sun cream, sun hat, sun glasses and rash guards (slip, slop, slap).
2) Spa Thermal Park
My favorite playground for the kids! You feel in another world, because everything is so green and open. Spa Thermal Park is a huge grass parkland area with walking tracks, playgrounds, flying fox and a thermal spring.
It is worth relaxing and chilling there for at least 2-3 hours. Also you will find enough shady places, table and benches to sit. Or take a big blanket to lie in the grass. Bring your lunch or picnic with you as your children will definitely get hungry!
Your kids will be busy for a long time. There are different children swings, sandy area and toys, a wooden play house and a nice slide. For bigger kids you will find a track for biking and a long awesome flying fox.
On the hill just beside the parking is a toilet facility. The spa park is also known for other activities like biking, bathing in the hot spring or just hiking. At the entrance of the spa park you will find on the right hand side a mountain biking track, ideal for older kids with bikes.
You can walk from the car park (free parking) about 500 m along the footpath to the bridge over the Otumuheke stream. The thermal stream is on the edge of the Waikato river. There is the start of the popular walk to Huka Falls.
The water under the bridge comes from the hot stream and mixes with the Waikato river. There you will find small rock pools under the bridge where people can sit and enjoy.
3) Besley Park Acacia Bay
This is a lovely new playground, we call it the “pirate ship playground”. The playground is build like a pirate ship. It has a sandy area, climbing tools to enter the ship from outside, a steering wheel and a small flying fox. Also a climbing wall and a slide.
A bit further to the large grass area there are still various children swings and for the adults some exercise equipment. On the other side of the street is the large toilet facility. A few benches invite to relax and watch the kids from close distance. The whole park is beautifully landscaped, with many trees and a great view of the “Great Lake Taupo”.
4) Kinloch Playground by the lake
It‘s about a half hour drive from Taupo to Kinloch where you will find a nice beach and a playground. Nearby are some restaurants and a small harbour.
The lakefront playground is equipped with a huge climbing tower, an awesome swing and other nice play tools. If you need a challenge just go to the beach for a cool swim or playing in the sand. Also a barbecue is available and a toilet facility.
When the kids or yourself are getting hungry just try the restaurant nearby, I really can recommend.
5) Acacia Bay North Beach
We love this small and secret beach at Acacia Bay North in New Zealand. Acess is via Acacia Bay road and you will find there parking lots (free parking). It is a familiar beach with a grass site, sandy beach and trees around. In the morning it is sunny, in the later afternoon it becomes shady.
The beach provides a grassy site, tables and benches, barbecue facility and toilet block. On weekends or school holidays it can get crowded in the afternoon. So I prefer to go in the early morning or late afternoon. For small children, it is advisable to avoid the hot midday sun.
See also my post about exploring Great Lake Taupo New Zealand by Jet Ski. An awesome experience! Or spend another beautiful day in at Lake Maraetai in Mangakino New Zealand and combine it with a nice rain forest walk to Waihora Lagoon Pureora Forest Park New Zealand!
Tinker with your kids: click here for more information.