Stuck for something to do with the kids these school holidays?

School holidays can bring some unique challenges when trying to keep your children occupied while at home for 2 weeks from late September, when the weather can be less than favourable at times. Luckily there are heaps of things to do out in the NorthWest area, which will keep the kids and you entertained!

For starters, have you spent time exploring the beach at Muriwai? Parking in the main car park and going for an extended walk down the beach is a fabulous way to spend a few hours. With the waves crashing in on the beach, it is a great way to blow off some of that excess energy! Last time we went to Muriwai, the kids had a field day rolling down the sand hills before we had a game of cricket on the beach. Once you have walked down the beach, venture back towards the Gannet colony which nests on Otakamiro point. This point separates Muriwai beach from Maukatia or Maori Bay, which features a number of caves for the kids to explore and is great even if the weather is a little average.

Further along SH16 you reach Woodhill Forest, and there are many adventures to be had here. Side by side you have Woodhill Mountain Bike Park and Tree Adventures. Starting with Woodhill Mountain Bike Park, which is open early until 5:30pm, and offers a huge amount of different trails starting at beginner trails which go throughout the forest right up to advanced tracks. There is also the Airfield dirt jumps which aren’t for the faint hearted and include shipping container drops. You can still enjoy the trails even if you don’t own a bike too as they have bike and gear hire, so there is no excuse to give it a go!

Tree Adventures is right beside the mountain bike park and again offers a fabulous day out for the family. There are 10 high wire courses you can chose from with some up to 14 metres above ground (there are some a lot closer to the ground too – starting from 2 metres high instead) and include 18 ziplines. There is a large picnic area at tree adventures too – so plenty of space to enjoy some lunch after getting your thrill on high up in the canopy of the trees.

Coming home from Woodhill Forest via Old North Road takes you alongside the Riverhead Forest. There are a large number of different walking tracks within the forest with most being very family friendly. You will also find bikers and horse riders utilising the forest too. If you prefer walking by the water, then dropping into Hobsonville point might suit better. The newly finished coastal walkway offers 5kms of relatively flat walking track that loops around the peninsula’s shoreline and is wheel friendly too, so scooters and bikes are also welcome.

With all that exploring, you may work up an appetite. There are many family friendly places to eat in the NorthWest area. Some you can even kayak too, which just adds to the adventure of going out for lunch! So why not venture out to the NorthWest and explore everything there is to offer. It’s a local’s paradise.           

Sally Mitchell