There are a lot of boxes to tick when looking for a family-friendly holiday destination. Tongariro National Park ticks them all. From water sports to child-friendly nature walks, family fun in Tongariro is always easy to come by.
While Tongariro National Park is known for its abundance of outdoor activities, you don’t need to be an extreme thrill-seeker to have fun here. There are so many activities for families to enjoy and it doesn’t have to cost the world.
We know that it can be tiring to travel with children and, ideally, families prefer to stay as close to the action as possible. The Park Hotel’s central location means we’re only a stone’s throw from family fun in Tongariro, allowing families to make the most of their time in the region.
Our favourite activities for family fun in Tongariro
We highly rate the Taranaki Falls walk as a family-friendly bush adventure.
There are so many reasons to love this walk and reaching the Taranaki Falls is a particularly rewarding experience for any age.
The Taranaki Falls is the product of andesite lava flows from an eruption on Mount Ruapehu some 15,000 years ago. The 20-metre waterfall plunges into a boulder-lined pool and many visitors love to feel the freshwater on their faces as they watch from the viewing areas.
But it’s not just the waterfall that makes this such a worthwhile adventure. The well-formed tracks make this an easy-grade walk and throughout your journey, you will pass some amazing sights.
Alpine shrubs, beech forest and native birds scatter this loop track, adding excitement to every twist and turn. You’ll see the mysterious volcanic zone in the distance, cross bridges and climb stairs.
This walk takes around two hours to complete but the structured tracks make it a very easy family adventure.
The Sky Waka gondola is our new favourite activity for family fun in Tongariro National Park.
We can’t think of many things more exciting than flying up a mountain inside a glass bubble! In the short time it’s been operating, the Sky Waka has added so much to the region already. This is something that not just the kids will find memorable, but the grown-ups certainly will too.
The Sky Waka gondola was constructed in just over a year, replacing the old chair lift. Visitors to Whakapapa ski field can now glide up and down Mount Ruapehu in a state-of-the-art gondola with floor-to-ceiling windows, leather seats and onboard WiFi.
So what do you do when you reach the top?
You can stop for a buffet lunch at the Knoll Ridge Chalet or take a short walk to explore the mountain. The Sky Waka has given us the opportunity to enjoy Whakapapa all year round. Winter or summer, we highly recommend taking this trip with the family.
If you really want to ignite a passion for outdoor adventure, take the kids river rafting down the Tongariro River.
This is a very safe family-friendly activity and, while you may get a little wet, you’ll be in the safe hands of an experienced guide the whole time.
Tongariro River Rafting offers year-round family rafting adventures. The only requirement is that the kids must be a minimum age of 3. All clothing and safety gear will be provided, as well as food and drink.
If you want to get up close and personal with the Tongariro River, there is simply no better way to do it. Your guide will take you through some gentle, bouncy rapids and tell you all about the scenery on your exciting journey down the river.
It always pays to bring your bikes when you come to Tongariro National Park. Our mountain biking tracks are some of the area’s best features.
There are a number of easy cycle tracks but for something a little more challenging, yet still very family-friendly, we highly recommend the Marton Sash and Door Tramway loop track.
This track starts and finishes in the National Park Village, only a five-minute walk from The Park Hotel. Following a recovered tram track, the Marton Sash and Door is a two-hour bush lined loop track.
Cycling through the Marton Sash and Door Tramway will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time. The old rail irons, pumice cuttings and remains of an old log bridge take you back to the early settlement era. A good history lesson on your family bike ride.
Whatever activities you decide to partake in while in Tongariro National Park, there is one that is always easy to access and won’t cost a cent.
While you’re here, be sure to take some time to step out into nature and appreciate the surroundings. Listen to the native birds, see the diversity in the landscape and look up to the majestic volcanoes in the distance.
You only need to step out the door of The Park Hotel to see all of this.
Head down to the Tongariro River, listen to the flowing water, see how crystal clear it is. You might even be lucky to spot a trout or two.
The natural beauty of Tongariro National Park is one of the main things that draws people to the region. If you’re from a busy town or city, we know you’ll appreciate the tranquil nature of Tongariro National Park.
We love accommodating families at The Park Hotel. Seeing kids get stuck into all that the region has to offer is one of the most rewarding things about running our hotel.
Our accommodation is ideal for making the most of family fun in Tongariro. Cosy, comfortable and right in the heart of Tongariro National Park, The Park Hotel provides an easy, quality base while you enjoy all of your family adventures.
There is a lot to do here and the days can be jam-packed with family fun.
We make the dinner routine easy for you with our on-site restaurant and bar. Grab a bite to eat before retreating to your room or heading to our outdoor hot tubs for a nice soak in the open air.
We encourage all families to head to Tongariro National Park and create some lasting memories here. To book easy, central accommodation, call us today.