No visit to Masterton would be complete without a walk through Queen Elizabeth Park. The park is over 130 years old and has been a mecca for families ever since. There are so many fun and interesting things for kids to do. On the road side of the park, there is one of the most elaborate wooden playgrounds I have ever seen. Painted in lovely light brown, it almost resembles a log cabin. The playground is has many levels and is well looked after. Totally unique! Mini golf is also available right by the playground.
The park has a lake and waterside promenade which gives ample opportunity to feed the ducks. The tree-lined park seems to house varied wildlife with swans a regular appearance. Moving around you'll notice deer in a fenced off paddock. Some are quite small and will definitely remind you of Bambi! Adjacent to the park is the Waipoua river and there is an old crossbridge which is worth a stroll across. On your return across the bridge you'll pass tennis courts and playing fields. Great for kids to run wild.
One of the best parts of the QE Park is the miniature train. Built specifically for kids, this open-top train has a station, bridges and passes by part of the lake. The cost is a modest few dollars and is well worth it, even if you are an adult. the train has delighted children for decades, and is still run by local train enthusiasts. The train makes a great park even better! Operational Saturdays, Public and School Holidays 10 - 4pm. Sundays 1-4pm. Tickets are available on site for a few dollars.
When feeling a little hungry there is a very nice cafe in the QE park. You can have a beer or a coffee on the sunny decks while watching the kids play in the front lawn. After lunch, the Aratoi Art and History Museum is just across the road. You'll also find the Wool Shed Sheep and Shearing Museum which is a fun place for kids to explore, and at a very reasonable discount for families. Children under 5 are free. The Queen Elizabeth Park is definitely a must do in Masterton.