As we approach the next school holidays, thinking of ways to keep the kids occupied once again features on our list of priorities. With the abundance of school holiday activities available at Tongariro National Park, finding some family friendly fun is easy.
Many of us lead very busy lives, so the opportunity to spend some quality time as a family should be snapped up at every chance we get. Sometimes we need to step away from home comforts to really make these moments unforgettable.
It’s no secret that Tongariro National Park has more family friendly activities than you could shake a stick at.
School holiday activities that leave a lasting impression
Let’s find out what they are.
Visit the National Army Museum
What’s a family holiday without a bit of history? When you tell the kids you’re off to a museum, you may get a few odd looks. But once they’ve spent a couple of minutes inside the National Army Museum, their perspective of museums will change forever.
Located in Waiouru, the National Army Museum is about a 45 minute drive from The Park Hotel and it’s well worth the trip. There are several exhibitions on historical moments within the New Zealand Army, all displayed in a way that will capture your attention. The kids will be so engaged they won’t realise how much they’re learning.
The life-sized models of men in action and unique memorabilia give an in-depth understanding on the sacrifices and courage our Army has shown throughout history and continues to show today.
Just for the kids, the Kids HQ offers loads of interactive fun. Set up by the museum’s education team, the tours and activities are so fantastic it might just make it hard for you to leave.
Spend a day on the snow
If there’s one thing the Tongariro region is known for, it’s the snow season. For the ultimate school holiday adventure, take the family to Mt Ruapehu.
The great thing about a day on Mt Ruapehu is that you don’t need to be an advanced skier or snowboarder to experience the mountain and all its glory. As many of us Kiwis live in areas where it’s never quite cold enough to snow, the excitement of seeing snow doesn’t wear off, no matter how old you are.
That being said, there are plenty of opportunities to get on the slopes.
With three family-friendly ski fields, cafes and rental facilities, Mt Ruapehu is the perfect place for some memorable school holiday activities. If you’d like the kids to learn a few skills before hitting the tracks, the Mt Ruapehu ski schools are now open and ready for some keen students.
Ride your bikes through these family friendly trails
Being at one with the outdoors is what Tongariro National Park is all about. These cycle trails are perfect for beginner riders, yet offer enough variety for more experience cyclists to enjoy.
Jubilee Walkway – Ohakune
When the ski slopes are closed, you still need to get the kids outside before they go stir crazy. The Jubilee Walkway is 1.5km in length and suitable for all ages. Surrounded by native bush and following the Mangateitei Stream, there’ll be plenty to see. The track is mostly flat and begins at the famous Ohakune Carrot where you can take your obligatory family selfie.
Mangawhero River Trail
As one of the more accessible tracks in Ohakune, the Mangawhero River Trail is great for a family bike ride. The two kilometre trail follows the Mangawhero River on a well-maintained track. The ease of this ride means you can enjoy quality time with the family while being outdoors and among nature.
Enjoy a soak in Tokaanu Thermal Springs
We can’t predict the weather, but one thing we know for sure is that the Tokaanu Thermal Springs can be enjoyed rain or shine. In fact, sometimes rain is better.
There’s nothing quite like a soak in a hot pool, especially when it’s geothermal. The Tokaanu Thermal Springs offer the perfect contrast to a day on the snow. If you have any tight muscles from your skiing excursions, they’ll feel much better after a visit to Tokaanu Thermal Springs.
For generations Tokaanu has been known for its Wai Ora (healing waters). The Ngati Kuruaia people have used the steam for cooking and the hot water for preparing flax for weaving for many years. The thermal waters are a taonga within the small village of Tokaanu, meaning they’re a cherished natural resource with many uses.
Relax for as long as you like, day or night. Enjoying the pools on a crisp winter’s day is something the whole family will love.
Finding some exciting school holiday activities to entertain the kids is easy in Tongariro National Park. For both adventure and relaxation, there is something for everyone. Even on a wet winter’s day, you’ll find plenty to do around these parts.
With snow-capped mountains in full view, winter adds so much beauty to the scenery here at The Park Hotel. Whenever we can, we take a moment to look out onto the mountains – a breath taking view we could never get sick of!
Spend a few days at The Park Hotel these upcoming school holidays and enjoy quality time with your family.