Activity Category: Manawatu-Whanganui

Aeroplane Playground (Harvard Adventure Park), Pahiatua

This playground is probably most famous for having a bright yellow aeroplane with a slide coming out of it, as one of the pieces of equipment! The sign says it’s for the use of kids under 14 years old. But there’s equipment suitable for all ages including a momentum swinging…

National Army Museum – Te Mata Toa, Waiouru

The army museum makes a good stopping off point if you’re driving along the SH1 or SH49 around Waiouru, especially on a rainy day if the kids just need a break from the car. There’s a lot of information to take in, so it might pay to look at the website to select a…

Esplanade Miniature Train & Playground, Palmerston North

The train ride here is a much longer than your average miniature train ride, covering 2.2km of track and taking approximately 20 minutes. The ride goes from one end of the Esplanade park to the other with 3 stops at the Cafe, the Playground and the Esplanade. Travellers can get off…

Levin Adventure Park

This is a great playgound for all ages with separate fenced toddlers section (which is under shade sails) but also areas that should challenge pre teens and an adult fitness section that teenagers might want to try. There are clean toilets, a coffee cart in the carpark and a room…

Flat Hills Cafe and Tourist Park, Rangitikei, Manawatu

This is more than just a café, as Flat Hills is also home to friendly animals that can be fed, bouncy castles, a maze and a small playground area (although the equipment is probably better suited to kids up to about 5 years). There’s also lots of space for kids…

Memorial Park, Taihape

There is space to run around and benches/picnic tables if you’re looking to take a break from a car journey on SH1 south of the Desert Road. While there is a small playground at Memorial park it is quite tired but just next door at Taihape Area School there’s concrete…

Le Cafe Telephonique, Taihape

This cafe is also known as The Exchange Café as it is housed in what was once a telephone exchange and there’s still a telephone booth inside. It’s light and airy with indoor and outdoor seating and one table that’s in a snug if you’re wanting to be a little away…

Brown Sugar Café, Taihape

Great place to stop with kids if they need some fresh air during a car journey but you’re not necessarily looking for a full meal. This cafe has a large outdoor courtyard with a sandpit that’s covered if it’s drizzling but not protected if it’s cold. There are clean toilets and…

Fantasy Cave, Dannevirke

This place comes highly recommended as a real gem if you’re needing a break on the road to or from Hawkes Bay! Run entirely by volunteers (known as The Cave Dwellers), the opening hours are unfortunately very restricted, so it pays to check out their Facebook page before you promise…