One of the best things about Auckland is the range of activities available and there is something for every family and every budget. Check out our comprehensive list of 25 things to do in Auckland.

25 Things to do in Auckland


Waiwera Thermal Park: Thirty five minutes north of Auckland this resort has a range of thermal pools, hydro slides and a movie pool. BBQ hire and picnic facilities are also available.

Goat Island Marine Reserve: An hour north of Auckland. The first marine reserve in NZ. The best place to see marine life. Bring a mask and snorkel and explore the rocky shore or hop aboard the glass bottom boat.

Tawharanui Regional Park: An hour north of Auckland. (Including a gravel road) A beautiful New Zealand beach. Great for a family picnic, swimming and surfing. There are also plenty of walks available. (Note as this is a regional park all rubbish needs to be taken home with you).

Matakana: This village has become a popular destination for many Aucklanders wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to compromise on good food and beverages. Famous for its boutique shops, farmer’s market, cafes and vineyards.

Long Bay Regional Park: Just 20 km north of Auckland City this is a lovely North Shore beach with a beautiful park for picnics and a playground all in one.  Facilities at the park include toilets, changing rooms, showers and barbecue sites. FREE


Butterfly Creek– 12 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland. Crocodiles, butterflies, tarantula, cockroaches and a host of other crawlies; train rides; interactive farm yard; and tractor rides. This is a great option for a rainy day with lots of undercover attractions.

Rainbow’s End Located in Manukau, Rainbow’s End has traditionally been a favourite family day out since it opened in the 1980s. Roller coasters, adrenalin boosting rides, bumper boats, dodgems. There is now also a designated area for the under fives.

Ambury Farm Park in Mangere Bridge is a working farm run by the Auckland Regional Council. Sheep, goats, cows, pigs, pet lambs (in spring), a horse, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and peacocks. During June and December the cows are milked once a day at 10.00am.  Admission: Free

Botanic gardens – Located in Manurewa, South Auckland the Botanic gardens are home to over 10,000 plants from around the world all in 64 hectares of land. Picnic facilities available and events on for the family during the school holidays.


Auckland Zoo is home to the largest collection of native and exotic animals in New Zealand. Set in 17 hectares of parkland just five minutes from central Auckland. To make the most of your visit, try to meet the animals face to face with Animal Encounter. Check out the website for opening times.

Sky Tower – At 328 metres, the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and offers  views for up to 80 km in every direction of the Auckland region. The glass fronted lift takes you up to the three viewing platforms.

Auckland Dockline Tram – This beautifully restored 1920s heritage tram allows you to take a step back in time. The all day ticket give you the flexibility to enjoy Auckland’s waterfront attractions at their best.

Museum of Transport and technology (MOTAT) –Home to many vintage vehicles that were once part of daily life in Auckland. Make sure you have a ride on the vintage tram and check ahead to see what exhibitions are on show.

Devonport ferry – Leaving form central Auckland the Devonport ferry offers your family a chance to see Auckland form the harbour and enjoy the suburb of Devonport. Experience the cafes, restaurants, art and boutique shops as well as the beach. Make sure you climb Mt Victoria and see the sweeping views of Auckland city.

Kelly Tarlton’s– Experience life underwater with passageways allowing you to see large sharks, gliding stingrays and many species of fish all around you as the moving floor carries you along.  The Antarctic Encounter features live penguins.

Auckland Museum – A range of exhibitions are designed to engage your children, from solving mysteries of the poisoners or looking at the creepy crawlies on offer. A great option for a rainy day or make a day of it and picnic at the Auckland Domain at the same time.

One Tree Hill – (Maungakiekie) One Tree Hill and neighbouring Cornwall Park is the largest parkland in Auckland. Enjoy the bbq and picnic areas, farm animals and the views from the summit. Cornwall Park also has a great playground and café nearby.

Mt Eden (Maungawhau) – This can be reached by either foot or car. It is the same height as the sky tower but the extensive views are free. Vehicle entry is off Mt Eden Road. There are also walkways off Clive Road, Glenfell Place, Batger Place, Hillside Crescent, Rautangi Road and Owens Road. Entry to Eden Gardens is from Omana Rd, off Mountain Road.

St Heliers and Kohimarama: These beautiful suburban beaches are not far from central Auckalnd and offer safe swimming for the whole family.

Wynyard Quarter – Located on Auckland’s waterfront there are a variety of places to explore all for free. Check out Wynyard Crossing, boats, Silo Park, the wharf piano and the play space made out of the old sea floor.


Howick Historical Village – Step back in time and explore the 1800s with over thirty original colonial buildings. There is also the opportunity to chat to staff on live days when the museum comes to life. Check ahead to coordinate the dates.


Kiwi Valley Farm Park – Experience a kiwi farm at the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges. Animal feeding horse and pony rides, kiwi maze and tractor rides (weather permitting).

Waitakere Tram Line – Explore the Waitakeres with the tram. A chance to see the Waitakere Falls, glow worms and cave wetas.

There are many parks and walkways all over Auckland that are free to the public. Here are a few in the West.


Mission Bay park: A great park, located on the shores of Mission Bay.  The children will enjoy the fountain and the direct proximity to the beach.

Hobsonville Point: Playground, picnic spots, community orchard, wetland and artworks. This park has it all.

Rocket Park (Mt Albert War Memorial Reserve) A well designed play area with a rocket shaped structure and roundabout.  This is a good place to combine with a trip to St Luke’s shopping mall.

Western Springs Park: Go feed the ducks and bring your bikes to this centrally located park which is also a stones throw away form Auckland Zoo.  A great playground and lunchtime spot.

Now that you’ve worked through our list of 25 things to do in Auckland for your next visit, you’ll also want to check out:

Auckland — Information about making the most of your stay in Auckland.

Places to Eat — Family friendly restaurants and cafes.

Places to Stay — Accommodation for different budgets and lifestyles.

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Deborah Marshall is a super-busy mama of three children- a little lad aged 4 and twins aged 2. An experienced high school teacher, Deborah now writes in between juggling small people. In her brief moments of respite, she loves strong coffee, walking on the beach and is learning to embrace the mayhem.

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