9 must-do school holiday activities

Visiting Hawke’s Bay for the school holidays? You’ve come to the right place as there are plenty of family-friendly activities on offer.

Here are just a few boredom-busters that will keep the kids entertained for ages.

The Faraday Centre

The Faraday Centre, Hawke’s Bay’s Museum of Technology is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours (or more) learning about the days before iPhones and iPads. A giant playground for curious kids, you can touch, hold items, pull levers and experience history in a fun and engaging way. Jump on a vintage car and see old bikes, engines, motors, shopping tills and so much more.

During the school holidays kids can 

Kids taking a pedal on the Wind Bike at The Faraday Centre

Kids pedaling on the Wind Bike

Bay Skate

Let the good times roll at Bay Skate on Marine Parade. This giant skating area has it all: ramps, bowls, and rinks ready for some serious shredding. Hire everything you need there or bring your own wheels and get going. Keep an eye on the kids from the grandstand while you take in the incredible views of Mahia Peninsular all the way to Cape Kidnappers.

Wheelie good fun at Bay Skate

Wheelie good fun at Bay Skate

Enigma Escape Rooms

Test your mind and your patience with Enigma Escape Rooms. Mysteries, puzzles, locks, crime, magic tricks are just a few elements you will find in these escape rooms. Get your team together, decipher the clues, solve the puzzles, and accomplish the tasks set to escape! Will you make it out in time?

Te Mata Peak

Ask any local and they will tell you to put Te Mata Peak on your to-do-list while you’re in Hawke’s Bay. A challenging yet rewarding climb, you can choose your trail and let your children loose. Top tip: You’ll also want to have your camera handy to take a few stunning photos at the summit.

Discover the different trails of Te Mata Peak

Discover the different trails of Te Mata Peak

The National Aquarium of New Zealand

Discover an exciting world above and below the water. Visit Penguin Cove and watch the Little Penguins feed and play. Watch sharks, stingrays, and fish swimming right above your head in a 1.5 million litre oceanarium tunnel. Don’t miss the alligator and piranhas and take a peek into enclosures to see New Zealand’s native wildlife – the Tuatara and Kiwi.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, taking a dip with the sharks will give you an adrenaline rush!

Keen-eyed eggsplorers will need to look out for a brown kiwi, kororā/little penguin, ruru/morepork, tui, piwakawaka/fantail, whio/blue duck, tuatara, kakapo and yellow eyed penguin hidden in the exhibits. Find them all to be in the draw to win some amazing prizes. Get all the details here.

Catch feeding time at The National Aquarium of New Zealand

Catch feeding time at The National Aquarium of New Zealand

Birdwoods Gallery

Ask any local and they will tell you to put Birdwoods Gallery and Sweet Shop on your to-do-list while you’re in Hawke’s Bay. Birdwoods is a local treasure housed in the original 1894 church hall from St Peter’s in Waipawa. Take in the gallery, sculpture garden and get a bite to eat from the café. One of the best parts? The charming old-fashioned sweet shop, where you can pick your own lollies and take them home with you.

Birdwoods sweet shop is a treasure trove for old and young visitors

Napier Prison Tours

Discover the truth behind the walls at New Zealand's oldest prison. Take a self-guided tour of the complex and listen to the unforgettable tales of the villains, victims and heroes that once inhabited these building. This tour focuses on the historical day-to-day workings of New Zealand’s oldest prison and gain insight into prison life dating back to 1862.

Napier Prison Tours 600x400

Get your mugshot taken at Napier Prison

Hawke’s Bay Farmyard Zoo

A perfect day for little ones, you can get up and close to a range of seriously cute farm animals. From pigs, sheep and calves to lambs and more, there’s so many animals waiting to be petted! Go for pony rides and hand feed the animals - it’s a unique experience for the whole family.

HB Farmyard Zoo

Feed the animals at Hawke's Bay Farmyard Zoo

Arataki Honey Visitor Centre

Discover a world of bees and honey with free self-guided tours and live bee displays. You can see the bees working away in their hives and learn about their fascinating social structure and importance to the ecosystem. Then for the most delicious part of the visit, a free honey tasting. Un-bee-lievable!

While you're there get buzzy crafting a beeswax frangrancer or a beeswax candle. Get the details here.

Arataki Honey Visitor Centre

Taste 16 different types of honey at Arataki Honey Visitor Centre



Want more family fun?

Check out our full guide of family-friendly activities