Get the family adrenalin pumping with one of these exciting days out.
1 Rotorua Canopy Tours
Never mind the mudpools, this award-winning attraction is alone worth the trip to Rotorua. Established in 2012, Rotorua Canopy Tours takes guests on a guided three-hour journey deep into ancient native New Zealand forest on a series of swing bridges and ziplines. There are two tours to choose from — the Original Canopy Tour, suitable for ages six and over; and the brand new Ultimate Canopy Tour, which is a step up in adventure level and suitable for those aged 10 and over. The best part is a portion of your admission fee goes to conservation efforts — the Canopy Conservation Trust, formed with the support of DoC, has already spent more than $250,000, creating a 35km trapping network to remove thousands of pests. On your tour, challenge the kids to spot as many native species as possible — toutouwai (North Island robin), miromiro (North Island tomtit), pīwakawaka (fantail), ruru (morepork) and tūī all call this forest home.
2 Extreme Edge Hamilton
This is the largest indoor climbing centre in the Waikato and, with more than 100 climbing routes ranging in height from 6-8m, offers something for all. Thirty-five of the climbing walls are themed for kids, suitable for those aged three and above, and for all fitness levels. (Under 16s must be actively supervised by an adult.) Courses to climb include an enormous dinosaur skeleton, a giant beanstalk, a pirate ship and a real-life Tetris game. There's also a separate bookable birthday area, a good option for kids' parties of eight or more. Extreme Edge also operates in Auckland's Panmure and Glen Eden.
3 Snowplanet Auckland
Before shelling out for an entire holiday at the slopes, have a trial run at Auckland's Snowplanet. Open daily from 10am to midnight, and from 9am at weekends, choose from skiing or snowboarding, with private and group lessons and gear rental available. Or try snow tubing, where you skid down a snow track in a large inflatable rubber ring, or snow play — available outside school holidays on Fridays, 10am-2pm — where you can mess around and throw snowballs and toboggan down the beginners slope. When they've finally had enough, warm up with a hot chocolate at the on-site restaurant, 7 Summits.