It seems to be the same story every year… Mother’s Day is approaching, but we’ve left it just that little bit too late and now we’re scrambling to get a meaningful gift organised in time. Because, let’s face it, we owe a lot to our mothers. Not to push the old fashioned stereotype here, but mums do just seem to be able to do it all.
The thing is, much of the stuff we buy as last-minute gifts will eventually lose its value.
According to a study by the Journal of Consumer Research, experiential gifts are more emotionally satisfying than material ones and foster a stronger connection between the giver and receiver, and that this connection can lead to greater long-term happiness for both parties. By giving your mom an experience, whether it’s a scenic walk, a day at the hot pools, or picnic at the beach, you’re not only creating memories together, but you’re also showing her how much you value the time you spend with her.
As you know, at the Crafty Weka Bar, we’re all about adventures and getting outdoors. Our beautiful islands are known for its stunning natural beauty, and what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to explore them with your mum?
We’ve put together our top favourite walks that showcase the best of New Zealand’s scenery, from rugged coastlines to pristine forests. Best of all, they are all family-friendly and take 1.5 hours or less to complete.
9 Best Walks for a Family Day Out
1. Mount Maunganui Summit Walk – Bay of Plenty
The Mount Maunganui Summit Walk is a well-known gem in the Bay of Plenty – and for good reason! The walk takes you to the top of Mount Maunganui, offering breathtaking views of the Bay of Plenty and surrounding areas. The walk is steep in some areas, but there are plenty of benches to rest on along the way. There is a playground located at the base of the mountain, making it a great option for families with young children.
2. Cape Kidnappers Coastal Walk – Hawke’s Bay
The Cape Kidnappers Coastal Walk is a 2-hour return walk along the Hawke’s Bay coastline. The walk offers spectacular views of the ocean, cliffs, and wildlife, including gannets and fur seals. It can be a wee bit challenging in some areas, but the stunning scenery makes it worth the effort. There are no toilets or picnic areas along the walk, so it’s a good idea to bring your own supplies.
3. Rangitoto Island Summit Walk – Auckland
The Rangitoto Island Summit Walk takes you (you guessed it!) to the summit of Rangitoto Island, offering panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. The walk is a bit steep in some areas, but the well-maintained path makes it easy to navigate. There are no toilets or picnic areas on the walk, but there is a café at the ferry terminal.
4. Lake Matheson Walk – West Coast
The Lake Matheson Walk is a 1.5-hour return walk through lush rainforest with stunning views of the Southern Alps. The lake itself is known for its mirror-like reflections, which makes it a perfect spot for those memory-making photo opps. There are toilets and picnic areas located at the start of the walk.
5. Mount John Observatory Walk – Canterbury
The Mount John Observatory Walk takes you to the summit of Mount John, rewarding you with panoramic views of Lake Tekapo and the surrounding mountains. The walk is relatively easy, with a well-maintained path, making it suitable for all fitness levels. There are toilets and a café located at the start of the walk.
6. Te Mata Peak Walk – Hawke’s Bay
What a vision! The Te Mata Peak Walk takes you to the summit of Te Mata Peak which enjoys sweeping views of Hawke’s Bay. The walk is steep in some areas, but the views from the top make it worth the effort. There are no toilets or picnic areas on the walk, but there is a café located at the start of the walk.
7. Hooker Valley Track – Canterbury
The Hooker Valley Track takes you through the Hooker Valley to the base of Aoraki/Mount Cook. The walk is relatively easy, with well-maintained paths and stunning views of the mountains and glaciers. There are toilets and picnic areas located at the start of the walk.
8. Whakarewarewa Forest Walk – Rotorua
The Whakarewarewa Forest Walk takes you through the beautiful Redwoods Forest, with towering trees and tranquil streams. The walk is easy and suitable for all fitness levels, and there are picnic areas and toilets located at the start of the walk. You can also pay to do a Redwoods tree walk (pictured) which takes you on a magical trail through the trees and above the forest floor. For those looking for more of a challenge, there are longer mountain bike trails available in the area.
9. Nugget Point Lighthouse Walk – Otago
The Nugget Point Lighthouse Walk takes you along a coastal trail to the iconic Nugget Point Lighthouse. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the rocky coastline and the lighthouse itself. The walk is easy to moderate and suitable for all fitness levels, and there are toilets and picnic areas located at the start of the walk. Keep an eye out for wildlife, as the area is home to fur seals and penguins.
We hope this little line up has given you some inspiration for your Mother’s Day, and maybe inspired you to plan a little surprise adventure for the most important women in your life 😉. If you need to stock up on some adventure fuel for the day, be sure to use discount code CRAFTY-MUMS-NZ for a 10% discount on all New Zealand orders this Mother’s Day week. Enjoy!