10 captivating and connecting experiences to wow the whole whanau this school holidays


10 captivating and connecting experiences to wow the whole whanau this school holidays

School holidays can be a whirlwind, but they're also the prime time for making cherished memories and strengthening family bonds. Here’s 10 of our favourite experiences that will delight the kids, connect the family to local culture and wow everybody on your next trip to Taitokerau Northland.

Image credit: Tu Tika Tours

Visit Kā Uri. 

A new destination with a relic from the past, you’ll find handcrafted woodwork from ancient kauri and the famed kauri staircase inside this alluring visitors centre. Feel connected to the history, traditions, and dreams of Ngati Kuri as you explore. 

Explore the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

A firm favourite on the itinerary while in the Bay of Islands, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds always delivers much more than expected. First-time visitors should include the guided tour and cultural performance, but return visitors know there are more gems to uncover. The Whare Maumahara (Memorial Gallery) in the newest museum Te Rau Aroha is one of the most emotionally moving galleries onsite.  

Get lost inside the Kauri Museum.

This gigantic museum is the largest undercover attraction in Taitokerau Northland and there is something for every member of the family to discover about these ancient trees and the livelihoods they have supported over the years. With a new Forest Walkway to explore and an Object Hunt running every school holidays, this is a place where the day just flies by!


Discover the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery.

From simple fun spotting the unique shapes, animals and letters in the quirky mosiaced exterior, to deep reflection about some of the key beliefs of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, this unique attraction in the Whangarei Town Basin will have the entire family in awe. Not only does the centre showcase original artworks, architectural models, and the life of Hundertwasser, it includes the Wairau Māori Art Gallery and a spectacular afforested rooftop.  

Land on Motu Kōkako | The Hole in the Rock.

This incredible experience with Salt Air takes you on a scenic helicopter flight across the Bay of Islands to land on the iconic Motukōkako | Hole in the Rock. The one-hour guided experience includes a cultural tour with a Māori guide who will share the islands’ unique history and its cultural and ecological significance. It’s the kind of experience that creates those once in a lifetime memories.


Step back in time at Pompallier Mission.

A totally underrated spot in Russell in the Bay of Islands, this Tohu Whenua heritage site offers a glimpse into nineteenth-century printing and bookbinding. Kids will be fascinated by the hands-on guided tour and adults will be intrigued by the extensive information and education (who knew the printing industry lent so many phrases to the English language!!) 

Connect with Tu Tika Tours.

Embarking on an authentic Māori cultural experience is a must for any visitor to Taitokerau Northland. Whether it's a half-day immersion or a waterfront walking tour, the Harding family shares their heritage, stories, and traditions, offering a profound connection to the land and its people. It’s a great way to connect the family on a deeper level with Māori culture.


Journey into the story of Kupe at Manea Footprints of Kupe.

When in the Hokianga, you can’t miss Manea Footprints of Kupe. Captivating all the senses, this cultural centre connects you with Te Ao Māori, the Māori world and tells the story of the great discoverer Kupe. The whole family will be talking for hours about the incredible 4D experience inside the theatre!  

Travel the Northland Journeys.

Enjoy a choose-your-own-adventure style roadtrip with the Northland Journeys. These curated itineraries complete with illustrated maps will help you discover the best of Taitokerau Northland. Treat them like a treasure map and set yourself fun challenges or have each member of the family pick the place they want to visit and spend a day connecting over shared experiences. With hundreds of points of interest across 10 maps, there’s something for everyone.  

Marvel at the Stone Store.

The Stone Store and Kemp House at the Kerikeri Mission Station are a great way to delve into the rich history of the Taitokerau Northland region. Be immersed through interactive storytelling inside, make friends with ducks and geese outside and wander up to Kororipo Pā. It’s a lovely laid-back family day out.






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