Some of the Best School Holiday Activities for Children

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Located on the breathtakingly beautiful Kapiti Coast, about 60 kilometres north of Wellington on State Highway 1, Waikanae is a small seaside town that combines beaches, natural coastlines and history. This idyllic coastal town boasts a museum, cafes and shops, great restaurants and a superb golf course, as well as a fantastic natural river environment and a gorgeous beach that provides many safe areas for surfing, swimming, fishing and other beach activities.

Many families, school camps, Christian groups, other group organisations and even ordinary holiday makers are increasingly taking advantage of the local Christian camp El Rancho as a way to explore the natural beauty of Waikanae and enjoy fun activities.

El Rancho is the ideal place to enjoy school holiday activities in Waikanae. El Rancho is one of the best Christian holiday camps in Wellington and is also a retreat and conference centre. They offer all kinds of family activities during the summer and school holidays, including horse trekking, rockwall, flying fox, rifle range, archery and more, giving the children a chance to have fun and learn in a peaceful and safe environment, and the grown-ups some room to breathe. They also have a wide variety of free fun activities including table tennis, pool, waterslide, mini-putt, basketball, disc golf and tennis.

Family camp activities in Waikanae

From hiking and fishing to swimming and archery, you can give your child a fun holiday experience and have a wonderful family vacation in Waikanae during the school holidays when you take advantage of El Rancho’s Christian camp packages or school camps deals.

These camps not only create fun-filled moments for your children but also provide active learning and adventure, giving kids the opportunity to build their self-esteem, learn life skills, become responsible citizens, and realise their potential. You – the parent – also benefits, since you’ll be able to take some time for yourself, indulge in outdoor experiences and adventure activities, and form new friendships.

Here are some of the best school holiday activities for families in and around the Waikanae area:

  • Bird watching. Christian camps and kids camp packages allow you and your kids to enjoy the many unique and native birds inhabiting the Kapiti Coast, including those found at the famous Nga Manu bird sanctuary, such as wood pigeons, pied stilts, parakeets and kea.
  • Horse trekking adventures. There are many great trails through the native bush, wetlands, holiday parks and reserves, and miles of wonderful beach on which you can take horse riding treks and enjoy outstanding sea vistas.
  • Hiking, walking, picnicking and backpacking. If you’re keen on the outdoors, the banks of the Waikanae River (both north and south) have walkways through which visitors can enjoy a sample of the region’s flora and fauna as well as coastal views. The bush walk through the parkland and trees is another option for the outdoor visitor.
  • Wilderness survival. A number of campsites and facilities offer courses on nature awareness, outdoor survival skills and wilderness survival skills, allowing campers to learn fundamental skills in how to live closer to nature.
  • Tennis. Waikanae has several fitness centres plus tennis and squash courts.
  • Swimming. In addition to a large outdoor swimming pool, Waikanae offers safe swimming beaches with excellent fishing and diving areas. Here, families get to enjoy swimming as well as the fabulous view of Kapiti Island.
  • Tubing. A number of campsites offer tubing slides, tubing or sliding lanes, and river tubing, allowing you and your family to enjoy this great fun activity.
  • Canoeing. Waikanae River, river mouth and the beach all provide a perfect setting for recreational activities, including canoeing, kayaking, picnicking, swimming, fishing, horse riding, cycling, running, walking and playing sport.
  • Mountain biking. Mountain biking takes you through the lesser known trails of Waikanae. Start out around the town, and then move deeper into the beautiful bush as you progress. As you gain more confidence, you can take road trips off the camp, get driven up the hills at Reikorangi, and then ride down.
  • Golfing. There is a world-class golf course at Waikanae and four other golf courses in close proximity to the town, as well as several mini-golf facilities where children and families can spend quality time together.
  • Arts. The Mahara Gallery is a great place to check out the local arts scene, but there are also several other galleries in the local area displaying beautiful works of art, sculptures, jewellery, photography, drawings, ceramics, pottery…the list is endless.
  • Confidence courses. Entertaining your children through school camp programmes or Christian camp programmes during the school holidays is a great way to get them outdoors and learning new skills while making new friends. It will give them a chance to grow an independent spirit that is self-reliant, confident and responsible.

Whether you’re planning a family reunion or school camp, a large conference or a small retreat, El Rancho is the perfect place to relax, refresh and rejuvenate in unique beautiful surroundings close to a range of activities and beauty spots. They endeavour to ensure an enjoyable and memorable stay for everyone so visit their website,, and book your next break away today.


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