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As countless New Zealand natives will attest, a childhood visit to The Coromandel means fond memories for a lifetime. The fantastic combination of wild outdoor playlands and cool, interactive attractions make this a holiday destination that puts adults at ease and kids in paradise.
Stay where kids can play
Sometimes the best holiday memories come from the times you can’t plan, the days when you find yourself lingering around a picnic table or playing in a gorgeous green park. Two of The Coromandel’s best holiday parks put you in the perfect place for these unplanned moments.
With its brightly-painted cabins, dazzling flowers and plentiful palm trees, the Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park brings the feeling of a tropical getaway to this region’s beautiful mountain views. Its jumping cushion, heated pool, playground and go-cart rentals mean kids can play to their heart’s content. The park also provides immaculate kitchen facilities and cozy lounges so you can unwind after active days outdoors. It’s close to town, close to the beach, and close to wonderful bush walks. It’s a perfect base for exploring the western coast and northern terrain of The Coromandel.
Across the peninsula, the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park provides a haven just steps from the beach. It’s an ideal base to explore the wonders of Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove and nearby shores and walking trails. The park offers a playground, jumping pillow and even a skate ramp. The huge lounge and kitchen open onto a patio with picnic tables where you can linger over dinner. Perhaps best of all, it’s just a short walk to the beach: you can follow the trail outside the lounge and have your toes in the sand just a few minutes later.
Swim and build sand castles by the waves
The Coromandel is lined with beautiful beaches, many wonderful for swimming and splashing in the waves. You can get recommendations for specific stretches of sand from the knowledgeable staff at each holiday park, or check out www.thecorodmandel.com for ideas.
Splash, climb, play and learn
The Waterworks is a dream come true for active kids. It’s a quirky and fun park where kids can spray water through playful sculptures, sail through the air on flying foxes (zip lines), splash in a natural swimming hole and climb on creative playground equipment. Nestled in native bush and fed by a gently rushing river, it’s packed with interactive exhibits that run on the power of water and ingenuity.
The park’s cafe serves a great menu of family-friendly eats, or you can bring your own lunch to enjoy in the shade of the outdoor patio or grill on the BBQs located throughout the park.
Meet real-life giants
The Coromandel is a great place for little ones to have fun seeing something really, really big. Just past The Waterworks, you can find an easy walk to the awesome Waiau Kauris, a grove of ancient trees that make the tallest people feel tiny. It’s a short and well-formed trail, with boardwalks that put you up close to this family of incredible giants. (Up for another walk? The next short trail leads to the pretty Waiau Waterfalls and swimming hole.)
If giant trucks or a larger-than-life construction site appeal to the kids in your crew, Waihi is the ultimate destination. The town’s Pit Rim Walkway leads you around the edge of the Martha Mine, an open pit so big that multi-ton trucks look miniscule as they carry ore from the bottom. Kids can stand on their toes and try to reach the top of a display truck’s massive tires, check out the huge piles of quartz that come from the pit, or just take in the awesome scale of it all. The walkway takes you around the top of the pit, while the guided Waihi Goldmine Tour takes you behind the scenes and into the action.
Walk and ride with a smile
Remember when every nature walk meant discovering something new? Seeing New Zealand’s beautiful native plants and breathtaking vistas from a child’s point of view makes them even more memorable. The Coromandel is home to a wide variety of walks, from gentle mountain trails to coastal paths that take you by tide pools and hidden bays. You don’t have to cover a lot of ground to see something amazing here, so a shorter walk at a kid’s pace can be the perfect way to explore.
Of course, there’s nothing quite like riding a bike down an awesome new path. The Hauraki Rail Trail offers well-maintained paths with jaw-dropping views and a rich array of historic sites you can explore along the way. You can see a lot in a short ride, or take time to experience full sections of the trail. Comfortable bikes and helmets are available for hire from the Rail Trail stations.
Learn more and plan your family holiday in The Coromandel at www.thecoromandel.com.
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