10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids

© NZPocketGuide.com

Family Activities in Gisborne

Whether you’re road tripping around New Zealand with the kids and have been savvy enough to discover the off-the-beaten-track destination of Gisborne or you live locally have little ones to entertain, there are some amazing family activities in Gisborne. From exploring nature’s playground via horse treks to riding across the suburbs in a vintage steam train, there’s plenty to suit families whatever the budget and whatever the weather. Check out the options in this list of things to do in Gisborne with kids.

And for more help planning the perfect trip, check out The Guide to Gisborne for Families and the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Gisborne.

1. Meet and Feed the Stingrays at Dive Tatapouri

Meet Tamariki of Tangaroa, the Children of the Maori God of the Sea, on an exciting stingray-feeding tour with Dive Tatapouri! See just how gentle stingrays and eagle rays are on the reef ecology tour where you’ll meet the reef inhabitants and even pet them as they swim up to you. The tour takes place at low tide, where people of all ages can enjoy thanks to the banana boat to pull the little ones out onto the reef if it’s too deep for them.

Location: 532 Whangara Road, 15km (9 miles) from Gisborne city centre.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

2. Ride the Gisborne City Vintage Railway

Kids love riding the Gisborne City Vintage Railway, a ride in the train carriages pulled by a Wa165 steam locomotive! Ride through Gisborne city, out to the suburbs, over the 329m (1,080ft) Waipaoa River bridge and even over an operating airport runway on this family-friendly tour which takes place on weekends in summer and on holiday weekends. Tickets can be picked up from the local i-SITE (information centre) and trips depart from the railway station. See more activities like this in the 10 Things to Do in Gisborne on a Rainy Day.

Location: Gisborne i-SITE, 209 Grey Street, Gisborne city centre.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© Pxhere

3. Build Sandcastles, Swim or Learn to Surf at Waikanae Beach

Keep a family trip to Gisborne affordable with some of the free things to do, such as relaxing on Waikanae Beach. The main beach of Gisborne is a long stretch of golden sand with a stroller-friendly boardwalk running alongside it. The waters are shallow with a sandy bottom, making it safe for swimming and even learning to surf with local operators like Surfing with Sarah, who do great lessons for kids. Otherwise, simply building sandcastles is another way to enjoy your time here with the little ones.

Location: Access is off the end of Grey Street, Roberts Road and Centennial Marine Drive, Gisborne city.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

4. Race Down the Rere Rockslide

For families with kids who have a lot of energy, buy a cheap bodyboard or inflatable mattress from The Warehouse and head to the Rere Rockslide. This natural waterslide could well be the happiest place in New Zealand, where kids race each other down the flat rock with shallow water running over it to the pool at the bottom. It’s so fun, you’ll want to try it out too! When you’re done, take a picnic to the neighbouring Rere Waterfall for a scenic place to enjoy lunch. See more like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Gisborne.

Location: Wharekopae Road, Ngatapa, approximately 48km (30 miles) from Gisborne city centre.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

5. Play a Round of Gisborne-themed Mini Golf

Affordable, fun and a good excuse to bond as a family, mini golf is always a winner and Gisborne’s mini golf is arguably one of the best in New Zealand. Kids love the fun challenges, while parents will enjoy the puns and Gizzy-related jokes of each hole. If you know nothing about Gisborne, each hole will educate you on things to do in the area!

Location: Gisborne i-SITE, 209 Grey Street, Gisborne city centre.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

6. Explore the Eastwoodhill Arboretum

A great place to let the kids roam while enjoying the beautiful surroundings for yourself, the Eastwoodhill Arboretum is New Zealand’s national arboretum. It’s the largest collection of exotic trees in the country, which families can enjoy along the well-signposted “Blue Walks” that are flat and easy. Look out for native birds like tui, wood pigeons and fantails, and learn more about them at the Visitor Centre. See more places to enjoy walks in the 10 Gisborne Walks You Can’t Miss.

Location: 2392 Wharekopae Road, Ngatapa, approximately 34km (21 miles) from Gisborne city centre.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

7. Go Horse Riding in Gisborne’s Countryside

If the little ones are ready for their first horse trek, then take them with Riverview Treks or Waikereru Horse Riding Adventures. The former specialises in family-friendly adventures to suit all abilities with exciting terrain from gentle stream crossings of the Waipaoa River and surrounding bush. Alternatively, Waikereru Horse Riding Adventures offers full-day packages to make the most of the rural, native bush rides alongside the Waimata River.

Location: Riverview Treks – 2424 Matawai Road, Te Karaka. Waikereru Horse Riding Adventures – 1235 Riverside Road, Waimata.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

8. Have a Splash at Morere Hot Springs

For a relaxing day escape, head to the village of Morere where you can find a fantastic hot pools complex nestled in native nikau palm forest. Not only will you find large swimming pools for the kids to have a splash, but you can even relax in some private pools with the little ones. On the reserve are also stroller-friendly bushwalks. And don’t worry, they sell swimming nappies at the hot springs if you don’t have you’re own.

Location: 3968 State Highway 2, Morere, approximately 58km (36 miles) from Gisborne city centre.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

9. Learn About Gisborne’s History and Culture at the Tairawhiti Museum

There are even some educational experiences to be had in Gisborne, including the Tairawhiti Museum. Tairawhiti is the Maori name for Gisborne and the museum is where you can learn more about the local culture and history through interesting relics and displays. Climb up into the wheelhouse of the Star of Canada that was retrieved from Gisborne’s shores, visit the oldest European house in Gisborne and much more.

Location: 10 Stout Street, Gisborne city centre.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

10. Let the Kids Loose at Crazy Caterpillars

Perhaps you’ve dragged them along on too many wine or brewery tours or spent too long pottering around the shops. Give them a quick and easy reward at Crazy Caterpillars! Let them loose in the indoor play area with ball pits, swingbridges, trampolines and more. Meanwhile, sit back and relax with a coffee or a meal at the cafe.

Location: 19 Pitt Street, Gisborne city.

10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids© Pixabay

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