There’s 101 things to do in Auckland, but when it comes to visiting with kids some activities are better suited. We discovered 51 epic things to do in Auckland with kids, and also why fluffy’s and roadtrips just don’t mix!

We decided to head up to Auckland from Hamilton for a couple of days. Before we had children we used to just throw a bunch of clothes in a bag, grab some roadtrip snacks, and that was pretty much it, we were off. In fact, on some roadtrips we didn’t even choose the destination until we got there. We can’t get away with that now though!

We learnt a fair few other things on this particular trip and we’ve compiled our learnings for you in some tips at the end of this article

51 Epic Things to do in Auckland with Kids

NORTH AUCKLAND

Parakai Hot Springs

Things to do in Auckland with kids-Parakai hot springs

Parakai Springs is a firm Auckland favourite, and only 35 minutes from the city. With two hydro slides, a heated open-air pool, a heated indoor pool, private spas, and an exclusive adults-only pool, there’s something for everyone.

You’ll need to bring your own towels and togs. And on super-hot days, although there are covered areas around the complex and plenty of shady trees you may want to bring your own umbrella or popup gazebo to create some shade and really make a day of it.

You can bring you own food and drink and set up a picnic in the picnic area but glass or alcohol is not allowed. The facility also includes BBQs you can use for a cooked picnic lunch, you’ll just need to bring your own cooking supplies.

Goat Island Marine Reserve

Ever thought about taking a plunge into a real-life fishy wonderland? Well, Goat Island Marine Reserve in Auckland is where the underwater party’s at!

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.

Dive right in! Scuba enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Swim with the fish and no, we’re not talking about joining the school of latecomers. This is like a real-life episode of “Underwater Cribs,” but without the expensive mortgage.

But wait, there’s more! If you’ve ever wondered what being a mermaid or merman feels like, this is your chance. They offer guided sea kayak tours too.

And for those who prefer staying on dry land, don’t worry. There are some epic coastal walks where you can enjoy the view without getting your feet wet.

So, whether you’re into snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, or just some good old-fashioned fish-watching, Goat Island Marine Reserve has got your underwater adventure sorted.

Tawharanui Regional Park

Tawharanui Regional Park is an epic spot for a picnic. Pack your sandwiches, fruit, and maybe a cheeky chocolate bar or two. Find a cozy spot under the shade of a Pohutukawa tree, and voilà! You’ve got yourself a gourmet outdoor feast.

An hour north of Auckland, including a gravel road, you’ll discover the 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, so all trash needs to be taken home with you.

And guess what? You’re not alone on this journey. Tawharanui is home to some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, like the takahē and the kiwi. So keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready, because you might just spot these feathered celebrities.

Matakana

Looking to add a pinch of charm and a sprinkle of fun to your Auckland adventure? Well, hold on to your jandals, because Matakana is about to whisk you away on a delightful journey!

First things first, Matakana is your passport to wine-tasting bliss. Whether you’re a seasoned sommelier or a casual wine sipper, the local wineries have something to tickle your taste buds. So grab a glass, swirl, sip, and savor your way through some of New Zealand’s finest drops. Cheers to that!

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. Matakana, famous for its boutique shops, farmer’s market, cafes, and vineyards.

Long Bay Regional Park

Long Bay isn’t your average beach; it’s like the Swiss Army knife of coastal fun. Fancy a swim? Dive right in! Keen on a picnic? There are spots aplenty. Want to show off your frisbee skills? There’s room for that too.

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.

Lace up those sneakers, because there are coastal walks that’ll leave you breathless (in a good way, of course). Keep your eyes peeled for penguins and seals – they’re the park’s VIP guests.

Whether you’re up for a swim, a seaside picnic, a coastal hike, or just some good ol’ beachside chuckles, Long Bay is your ticket to a day of sun, sea, and smiles.

SOUTH AUCKLAND

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Butterfly Creek

Now, let’s talk about the stars of the show – butterflies! They’re not your average garden variety; they’re the divas of the insect world. These fluttery folks come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, and they’re not shy about showing off.

But that’s not all! At Butterfly Creek, you’ll also encounter some rather… scaly characters. Yep, we’re talking about reptiles. From slithering snakes to cool chameleons, it’s a reptilian rendezvous like no other.

And if that’s not enough to get your heart aflutter, how about a stroll through the tropical aquarium? It’s like a fishy fiesta where you can meet some of the ocean’s most charming residents.

Butterfly Creek is your passport to an adventure that’ll leave you with a smile as big as a butterfly’s wings. Located at 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. It’s not just an amusement park; it’s a rainbow-colored playground for the young and the young at heart.

Rainbow’s End is a place where your screams of terror can quickly turn into fits of giggles. It’s the kind of place where you conquer your fear of heights one rollercoaster at a time, all while sharing unforgettable moments with your buddy. From heart-pounding drops to dizzying spins, get ready to scream your heart out (in a good way)! There is now also a designated area for the under fives.

Ambury Farm Park

Have you ever dreamed of a day filled with fresh air, friendly animals, and a good ol’ slice of country life? Look no further than Ambury Farm Park!

Ambury Farm Park in Mangere Bridge is a working farm run by the Auckland Regional Council. From fluffy sheep to quirky goats and even the occasional cheeky chicken, you’ll meet them all. And guess what? Some of these critters are just as eager to make your acquaintance as you are to meet them.

Ever tried your hand at milking a cow? Well, today’s the day! At Ambury Farm Park, you can learn how to milk a cow like a seasoned farmer (and maybe even impress your friends with your newfound dairy skills). During June and December the cows are milked once a day at 10.00am. Be excited for this amazing experience with your family.

Botanic gardens

Are you ready to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in a world of vibrant greenery and serene beauty? 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 are available, and events on for the family during the school holidays.

You’ll encounter them all from exotic blooms to majestic trees and even the occasional mischievous squirrel. And guess what? Some of these plants are just as eager to show off their beauty as you are to admire it.

In the Botanic Gardens, surrounded by flora from all over the world, you can lose yourself in the poetry of nature. It’s like a global garden party without the need for a passport.

So, whether you’re a certified plant nerd or just someone looking for a tranquil escape, the Botanic Gardens in South Auckland are a must-visit. See you there!

CENTRAL AUCKLAND

Auckland Zoo

Things to do in Auckland-Auckland zoo

Whether you’re a zoology aficionado or just someone looking for a day of furry, feathery, and scaly fun, the Auckland Zoo is a must-visit.

It is home to the largest collection of native and exotic animals in New Zealand. From cheeky chimps to majestic lions and even the occasional stand-up comedian parrot, you’ll meet them all. And guess what? Some of these animals have personalities that rival your funniest friend.

Set in 17 hectares of parkland just five minutes from central Auckland. To make the most of your Auckland Zoo 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. It’s a bit like riding a spaceship, except this one’s fueled by excitement and breathtaking sights.

At the Sky Tower, you can walk along the dizzying glass-floor panels and literally see your friend’s jaw drop. It’s a surefire way to test their bravery and yours!

But here’s the sky-high secret – you can become the master of your own destiny. Are you brave enough to take the plunge? SkyJump and SkyWalk offer adrenaline-pumping experiences that will widen your heart and your buddy’s eyes.

Grab your buddy, and go rise above the ordinary!

Auckland Dockline Tram

This beautifully restored 1920s heritage tram allows you to step back in time. It’s not just a tram; it’s a time machine on rails!

Now, let’s talk about the real stars of the show – the trams themselves. They’re like the granddaddies of public transportation and have stories to tell. But don’t worry; they won’t bore you with tales of the good old days. Instead, they’ll charm you with their timeless elegance and a sprinkle of Kiwi humour.

As you trundle along the waterfront, you’ll soak in the sights, sounds, and stories of Auckland’s vibrant history. It’s like a crash course in Kiwi culture, served with a side of laughter.

The all-day ticket gives you the flexibility to enjoy Auckland’s waterfront attractions at their best.

Museum of Transport and technology (MOTAT)

Embark on a journey through the wheels, wings, and wonders of transportation history! Buckle up because we’re headed to the Museum of Transport and Technology, aka MOTAT!

Home to many vintage vehicles 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. From the oldest steam locomotives to the sleekest fighter jets, they’ve got stories to tell.

But don’t worry; they won’t drone on like a history lecture. Instead, they’ll rev up your curiosity and take you on a ride through time.

As you explore the exhibits, you’ll uncover the secrets of how people moved from place to place, and you might just discover a newfound fascination at MOTAT for all things that go “vroom!”

Devonport ferry

Leaving from central Auckland the Devonport ferry offers your family a chance to see Auckland from the harbour and enjoy the suburb of Devonport. It’s a magical journey that connects Auckland’s bustling heart to the charming village of Devonport.

But back to our adventure! Stunning views of the city skyline and Rangitoto Island will greet you as you approach Devonport. It’s like a postcard brought to life.

Once you’ve docked, you can explore the quaint streets of Devonport, where heritage buildings, boutiques, and delightful cafes await your discovery. Don’t forget to grab some iconic New Zealand fish and chips – it’s practically a seaside tradition!

Experience the cafes, restaurants, art and boutique shops, and the beach. Make sure you climb Mt Victoria and see the sweeping views of Auckland city.

And when it’s time to head back to Auckland, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for this scenic ferry ride. It’s not just a means of transportation; it’s a mini escape from the ordinary.

Kelly Tarlton’s

As you step into Kelly Tarlton’s, you’ll be greeted by curious penguins waddling about in their chilly Antarctic enclosure. These guys are the show’s real stars, and they know it!

But the excitement doesn’t stop there. Get ready to walk through transparent tunnels where sharks and rays glide majestically above you. It’s like being in your very own “Sharknado” movie, minus the tornado part!

And if you’ve ever wondered what a seahorse dance party looks like, you’re about to find out. Kelly Tarlton’s is home to some of the tiniest and most fascinating creatures under the sea.

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

Ready to dive into a treasure trove of history, culture, and maybe a few surprises? Well, you’re in for a ripper of a time at the 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. As you step into the Auckland Museum, you’ll be greeted by massive Maori war canoes, standing tall like ancient guardians. These fellas have some tales to tell!

But the real showstopper? The impressive Maori cultural performances that’ll have you haka-ing in no time. Just remember, it’s all in good fun!

And if you’ve ever wanted to see a real-life T-Rex, you’re in luck. The museum’s got you covered with its incredible dinosaur exhibits. Watch out for those tiny arms!

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)

Conquer a hill with not one, not two, but a whole tree on it! You’re in for a leafy adventure at One Tree Hill, or as it’s known in Maori, 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.

There’s also more history here than you can poke a stick at. Maori history, European history, and even a monument to Sir John Logan Campbell, the “father” of Auckland. You’ll be feeling as cultured as a pot of yogurt!

Mt Eden (Maungawhau)

Ready to reach new heights? Go on a new journey on conquering Mt. Eden, or as the Maori call it, 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.

Mt. Eden isn’t just any mountain; it’s a geological wonderland. Like a natural amphitheater, you’ll find a massive crater at the summit ready to host your adventures.

And oh, the view! It’s like the whole of Auckland laid out before you, from the sparkling harbor to the city skyline. It’s so breathtaking; it’ll make you gasp louder than a tea kettle!

St Heliers and Kohimarama

Picture this: You and your trusty mate, strolling along golden shores, the salty breeze in your hair, and the gentle waves serenading your every step. Welcome to St. Heliers and Kohimarama, where beach days are legendary!

There’s something magical about the way the sun kisses the water here, creating a shimmering pathway right to the horizon. It’s like Mother Nature’s red carpet!

And here’s a little secret: St. Heliers has a hidden treasure – a charming village vibe with cafes and eateries where you can refuel with the most divine fish and chips.

These beautiful suburban beaches are not far from central Auckland and offer safe swimming for the whole family.

Wynyard Quarter

Want some urban adventure? Look no further than Wynyard Quarter, where the city meets the sea, and every corner holds a treasure!

Wynyard Quarter has you covered with a smorgasbord of eateries, from seafood feasts that’ll make Poseidon jealous to gourmet burgers that’ll make your taste buds dance the fandango.

And for all you art aficionados, there’s Silo Park, where giant silos stand like urban art canvases, waiting to tell their colorful tales. Plus, it’s the perfect spot for open-air movies under the stars.

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.

EAST AUCKLAND

Howick Historical Village

Things to do in Auckland with kids-Howick historical village

Step back in time and explore the 1800s with over thirty original colonial buildings. This place is a living, breathing slice of history. Imagine you and your friend wandering through cobblestone streets lined with charming cottages, each a portal to a different era. It’s like taking a stroll through time, minus the time travel headaches. And speaking of headaches, they definitely didn’t have ibuprofen back then, so you’ll appreciate the modern comforts a lot more after this visit!

There is also the opportunity to chat with staff on live days when the museum comes to life or try your hand at traditional craftsBut back to the village – there’s even a classic tea room where you can enjoy some old-fashioned treats, like scones and tea.

So, if you and your friend are up for a time-traveling fun day, head over to Howick Historical Village. Check ahead to coordinate the dates.

WEST AUCKLAND

Kiwi Valley Farm Park

Things to do in Auckland with kids-Kiwi Valley Farm Park

Hold onto your cowboy hat, because Kiwi Valley Farm Park in West Auckland is where the wild west meets farmyard adventures!

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

But it’s not just about observing; it’s about getting your hands dirty and having a blast. You can feed friendly farm animals, try your hand at milking a cow (don’t worry, they’re professionals), and even cuddle with some adorable baby animals. It’s a cuteness overload!

After all that farm fun, you can refuel at the farm’s cafe with some delicious treats, like pies and ice cream. Just what you need to keep up your energy for more farm adventures!

So, saddle up, partner, and head on over to Kiwi Valley Farm Park.

Waitakere Tram Line

Explore the Waitakeres with the tram. As you clatter along the tracks, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Waitakere Ranges and the charming countryside. It’s a photo opportunity waiting to happen, so don’t forget your camera!

But here’s where the fun really begins – you can hop off the tram and explore the picturesque rainforest. It’s like stepping into a fairytale, minus the wicked witches (we hope).

Additionally, if you’re feeling peckish, there is a lovely picnic area where you can relax with a friend while eating some snacks in the peace of nature. 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.

Whoa! Studios

An exciting new family destination in Auckland, Whoa! Studios is brought to you from New Zealand and international film, television, and show talent. Whoa! Studios’ goal is to inspire a generation, create lasting memories for families, and bring some joy to the world.

Whoa! Studios is an enterprise with heart. From their state-of-the-art studio and theatre facilities, to the stunning onsite restaurant The Grounds, they provide unforgettable live experiences for all the family. The shows and events change regularly, so check out their website for the latest happenings.

Whoa! Studios

PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS

Mission Bay park

Things to do in Auckland with kids-Mission Bay Park

A great park, located on the shores of Mission Bay. It’s like a mini-vacation right in the heart of the city! The children will enjoy the fountain and the direct proximity to the beach.

If you’re feeling sporty, you can challenge your buddy to a game of beach volleyball or hit the basketball courts. And when hunger strikes, there are picnicking spots aplenty, perfect for a delightful snack break.

So, whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a beach bum, or just looking for a picturesque spot to relax with a friend, Mission Bay Park has it all.

Hobsonville Point

Whether you’re a playground pro, a nature enthusiast, or just looking for a serene spot to unwind with a friend, Hobsonville Point is your go-to destination.

Playground, picnic spots, community orchard, wetland and artworks. This park has it all – a place that’s practically whispering your name for a day of fun with a friend!

Speaking of games, Hobsonville Point is a playground wonderland. Some swings’ll send you soaring into the sky (yep, adults can join in the fun too!), and slides that are express routes to joy.

If you’re in the mood for a little friendly competition, there are basketball courts and sports fields where you and your buddy can show off your skills. And when it’s time for a breather, there are cozy picnic spots that practically beg for a snack break.

Rocket Park (Mt Albert War Memorial Reserve)

Let me tell you, this place is out of this world! A well-designed play area with a rocket shaped structure and roundabout.  There are rocket-shaped climbing frames that’ll make you feel like you’re scaling the stars and slides that are speedy descents to happiness.

For those with a competitive spirit, there are sports fields nearby. You and your friend can have your own mini Olympics!

And when hunger strikes, there are picnic spots where you can refuel for more interstellar adventures.

This is also a good place to combine with a St Luke shopping mall trip.

Western Springs Park

The kind of place where the good times flow like water! But the real star of the show is the park’s picturesque lake. You can feed the ducks, paddle a swan boat, or simply enjoy the tranquil scenery. It’s the perfect backdrop for a day of laughter and relaxation.

Go feed the ducks and bring your bikes to this centrally located park,, which is also a stone’s throw away from Auckland Zoo.  A great playground and lunchtime spot.

MORE THINGS TO DO IN AUCKLAND

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the city’s premier art institution, featuring an extensive collection of both traditional and contemporary New Zealand and international art. The gallery’s impressive architecture alone is worth a visit.

Get your dose of culture with an impressive collection of New Zealand and international art. The gallery often hosts special exhibitions, so there’s always something new to discover.

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Perched atop Auckland Domain, this grand museum pays tribute to New Zealand’s military history and showcases the nation’s natural and cultural heritage. The neoclassical building is a local landmark.

Immerse yourself in the rich history of New Zealand through fascinating exhibits, including the Maori cultural treasures and immersive World War I galleries. The museum also offers breathtaking views of the city from its steps.

Dive into New Zealand’s history, culture, and natural heritage, all under one roof.

Viaduct Harbour

Viaduct Harbour is Auckland’s vibrant waterfront area, known for its bustling atmosphere, upscale restaurants, and stunning views of the harbour. It’s a hub for both locals and tourists. This waterfront precinct is perfect for a leisurely stroll, dining, and enjoying the city’s maritime charm.

Stroll along the promenade, admire luxury yachts, and dine at world-class eateries with outdoor seating. It’s also a nightlife hotspot with many bars and clubs.

Parnell Village

Explore historic Parnell with its boutique shops, galleries, and charming streets. Parnell Village is a charming and historic suburb in Auckland. It has a unique, village-like atmosphere.

Visit the Parnell Rose Gardens, take a leisurely walk, and savour gourmet cuisine in one of the cozy cafes or restaurants.

Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island is an iconic volcanic island situated in the Hauraki Gulf. It’s a favorite day trip destination for those seeking adventure and natural beauty.

Hike to the summit of Rangitoto for panoramic views of Auckland and the surrounding islands. Discover the island’s unique lava caves, explore the native flora and fauna, and relax on the pristine beaches. Ferries regularly depart from Auckland to Rangitoto

Take a ferry to this iconic volcanic island and hike to its summit for breathtaking vistas.

Piha Beach

Experience the rugged beauty of the West Coast with its famous black sand beaches. Piha Beach is a famous black sand surf beach located on the rugged west coast of Auckland. It’s renowned for its powerful surf and dramatic landscape.

Piha is a popular spot for surfers due to its challenging waves, but it’s essential to be cautious while swimming. A prominent landmark, Lion Rock offers an excellent vantage point for capturing stunning sunsets.

Auckland Domain

Auckland Domain is the city’s oldest park, offering a serene escape from the urban hustle and bustle. It’s situated on the remains of an ancient volcano.

Within the park, you’ll find the Auckland War Memorial Museum, vast open spaces for picnics, and walking trails through native trees. Don’t miss the Wintergardens, featuring beautiful plants and a fernery.

Muriwai Beach

Witness gannets nesting on the cliffs and enjoy a coastal walk. Muriwai Beach is another spectacular west coast beach known for its massive gannet colony, impressive cliffs, and endless coastline.

Stroll along the black sand beach, but keep an eye out for the colony of gannets nesting on the cliffs. It’s a unique opportunity for bird watching, especially during the breeding season.

Cornwall Park

Cornwall Park is a vast green oasis in the heart of Auckland, offering a serene escape for picnics, walks, and relaxation. Discover green pastures, grazing sheep, and a view of One Tree Hill.

It’s a great spot for panoramic views of the city. The park also has a working farm with sheep and cattle.

La Cigale French Market

La Cigale is a lively French-style market in Parnell, Auckland, where you can indulge in delicious food, fresh produce, artisanal goods, and a charming atmosphere. Dive into a world of flavors with gourmet food and artisanal products.

Visit on weekends for a delightful experience. Enjoy French pastries, cheeses, and coffee. You can also shop for unique gifts and crafts from local vendors. It’s a taste of France in the heart of Auckland.

Mangere Mountain

Mangere Mountain is a volcanic cone with a rich Maori history. It offers stunning panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes.

Take a leisurely walk to the summit where you’ll find ancient Maori stonefields and enjoy a breathtaking vista of Auckland. It’s a serene spot for picnics and learning about local culture. Explore the lava caves and learn about the area’s history.

Aotea Square

Aotea Square is a vibrant urban space in the heart of Auckland. It’s often used for events, festivals, and cultural performances.

Check the local events calendar to see if there’s a concert, market, or art exhibition happening during your visit. It’s a lively hub where you can soak up the city’s cultural scene.

Auckland Domain Wintergardens

The Auckland Domain Wintergardens are a delightful escape for plant enthusiasts. These historic gardens feature an array of exotic and native plants.

Stroll through beautiful themed gardens and stunning glasshouses, one filled with colorful tropical plants, and the other with temperate species. It’s a tranquil place to explore nature’s beauty, especially during the changing seasons.

Karekare Falls

Karekare Falls is a majestic waterfall nestled in the lush Waitakere Ranges, just a short drive from Auckland. Take a scenic hike to a picturesque waterfall.

Follow a short walking trail through native forest to reach the falls. The area’s natural beauty was made famous by the movie “The Piano.”

Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari

Join an Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari to experience encounters with marine life in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Embark on a thrilling adventure to spot these magnificent marine creatures in their natural habitat.

Keep your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins, seabirds, and other wildlife. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the creatures you encounter. It’s a thrilling and educational marine adventure.

Tiritiri Matangi Island

Tiritiri Matangi is a wildlife sanctuary just off the coast of Auckland. It’s home to some of New Zealand’s most endangered birds. Explore this open wildlife sanctuary, with guided tours available.

Take a ferry to the island and explore walking trails amidst lush forests. Birdwatchers will be delighted by sightings of rare species like the takahē and kiwi. It’s a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Auckland Museum Institute Library

The Auckland Museum Institute Library is a hidden gem for history buffs. It houses a vast collection of books, journals, and manuscripts.

Researchers and curious visitors alike can delve into New Zealand’s past through this library’s extensive archives. It’s a quiet place to discover the nation’s heritage.

Kauri Cliffs Golf Course

Kauri Cliffs Golf Course is a world-renowned golfing destination set against stunning coastal cliffs and native forests. Tee off at one of New Zealand’s top golf courses, set against a backdrop of stunning coastal views.

Golfers flock here for the challenging fairways and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The course ranks among the world’s top golf experiences, making it a must-visit for golf enthusiasts.

Albert Park

Albert Park is a historic inner-city park, offering a peaceful escape from Auckland’s bustling streets. Enjoy a leisurely stroll in this charming inner-city park featuring Victorian-era landscapes and sculptures.

Admire the grand fountain, or simply relax on the grass. It’s an oasis of greenery where locals and tourists alike find respite.

Highwic House

Highwic House is a beautifully preserved Victorian mansion that provides a glimpse into 19th-century New Zealand life, complete with period furnishings and lovely gardens.

Explore the elegant rooms filled with period furniture and decor. The gardens are perfect for a leisurely walk or a picnic. It’s like stepping back in time to colonial New Zealand.

Do the Multi-Day Aotea Track on Great Barrier Island

Prepare for an epic adventure on the Aotea Track, a multi-day hiking trail on Great Barrier Island. This track offers diverse landscapes, from lush forests to rugged coastlines, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Expect to encounter pristine beaches, kauri forests, and captivating viewpoints along the way. You’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in New Zealand’s natural beauty and may even spot some unique wildlife.

Go Horse Trekking in Warkworth

Saddle up and embark on a horse trekking adventure in the picturesque countryside around Warkworth. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, there are options for everyone to explore the rolling hills and forests on horseback.

Tours can vary in length from a few hours to full-day adventures, catering to different preferences.

Enjoy a leisurely ride through enchanting landscapes, including native bush and farmland. Many tours provide opportunities for riders to take in breathtaking views and even learn about the local history and culture.

Explore More of the City on an Electric Bike Tour

Discover Auckland from a whole new perspective by joining an electric bike tour. These tours provide a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city’s iconic landmarks and hidden gems with ease.

Electric bike tours typically range from a few hours to half-day excursions, ensuring there’s plenty of time to see the sights.

Cruise effortlessly through Auckland’s vibrant neighborhoods, waterfront, and scenic parks while soaking up the rich history and cultural diversity of the city. Electric bikes make exploring hilly terrain a breeze.

Discover Auckland’s Hidden Gems on a Guided Walking Tour

Auckland is full of hidden treasures, and a guided walking tour is the perfect way to uncover them. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through charming streets and lesser-known sites, providing insights into Auckland’s history and culture.

Walking tours can vary in length, from a couple of hours to half-day adventures.

Delve into the heart of Auckland with expert guides who will take you to places you might not discover on your own. Explore quaint alleyways, historical districts, and vibrant markets while hearing intriguing stories about the city’s past.

Kayak or SUP Among Bioluminescent Plankton or to One of the Outer Islands

Experience the magic of Auckland’s waters by kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) to witness bioluminescent plankton in action. Alternatively, you can embark on an island-hopping adventure to one of Auckland’s stunning outer islands.

Tours can vary from a few hours to full-day expeditions, depending on your chosen activity.

Paddle through crystal-clear waters while marvelling at the mesmerising natural light show created by bioluminescent plankton. Alternatively, explore the pristine beaches, wildlife, and unique landscapes of Auckland’s beautiful outer islands, including Rangitoto and Waiheke.

15 Top Tips for Travelling with Toddlers in Auckland

Auckland Zoo

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KF Tip # 1 – Auckland Zoo has stroller hire right at the entrance to the zoo. Such a great idea! So if you’re travelling up from Hamilton or Tauranga for the day, or transiting from the airport, and don’t have a vehicle, you needn’t worry about packing the stroller.

KF Tip # 2 – The zoo is no place for Dora the Explore sheepskin boots. Make sure your kids have proper footwear. Although we got lucky with the awesome cafe staff, we really should have a small first aid kit with plasters and antiseptic cream as part of our travel kit. Toddlers are very accident-prone.

KF Tip # 3 – No matter what time of year, no matter the weather, a sunhat/sunscreen combo is a must in Auckland.

Butterfly Creek

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KF Tip # 4 – Leave the strollers in the car, unless you have very little ones. Butterfly Creek is very easy to get around, and there’s lots of places to sit down for a break as you go.

KF Tip # 5 – The train goes round more than once, and picks up more passengers. If it’s full, don’t just leave like we did, just wait in line for it to come around again.

 

We were all lucky enough to have the butterflies sit on us, and this was definitely a highlight for our toddler.

KF Tip # 6 – The butterflies only sit on you when you’re very still. This is really tough for a toddler though. Apparently they like bright colours too, so wear something with a bit of colour. We were all lucky enough to have the butterflies sit on us, and this was definitely a highlight for our toddler.

Snowplanet

KF Tip # 7 Tubing releases a lot of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, for little ones, and that’s got to go somewhere. Lot’s of snacks, water and downtime should sort them out though. Make the most of the great après-ski area for downtime, it’s warm and chilled out, and has great food.

KF Tip # 8 – The snow at Snowplanet is real snow… and really cold. Toddlers just love to experience things and like ours will probably take off their mittens to feel the snow. And, just like ours, will probably totally freak out when that icy-cold, burning sensation doesn’t immediately go away. Luckily, the warm indoors is only metres away, and the hot chocolates not far from there!

KF Tip # 9 – Something that we talked a lot about (over a coffee and nachos) is how great Snowplanet is for kids learning to ski or snowboard. The environment is so much less frantic than the mountain, making it great for learning. Also the runs are simpler and much less crowded. And the prices are really competitive compared with the mountain too.

Planning, patience and packing well

Traveling with kids is an exercise in planning, patience and packing well! Now that you’ve got some great ideas for things to do in Auckland with toddlers, here’s a couple of quick toddler traveling tips that you might find helpful:

  • Snacks are a must. But plan ahead and pack snacks like trail mixes, fruit and nuts, cooked corn, sandwiches, etc. Anything that releases energy slowly and avoids angry sugar-crashes.
  • If you’re traveling overnight pack a few home comforts like favourite toys, games, books, teddy’s, blanky’s and food and snacks. Even a simple motel room can be a home away from home with our creature-comforts close to hand.
  • Make a checklist to make sure you remember all of those crucial little things like nappies, first aid kits, sippy cups, etc, etc. Taking 5 minutes to sit down and think about all of things you use at home, will safe you a lot of grief and stress on the road. Some of these things you may never even take out of the car. But if you do need them, and don’t have them, you’ll really wish you had made that list!
  • Expect car grizzles. All the activity, fresh air and exercise will really tire out your little ones. And if there’s a big car ride back to homebase, then you should plan for protests from the back seat. You can’t really prevent this one. Just go in with a gameplan, always put yourself in your kid’s shoes before you react and always think safety first in the car.
  • If you’re not from Auckland then get a GPS. It’s going to save some serious road angst. We ended up just using Google maps, which actually works really well, until your phone goes flat.
  • This is a bonus tip. Fluffy’s and roadtrips just don’t mix. Basically all that milk and sugar turns into a curdled milkshake inside their little tummies once you hit the corners. And, yes, we leant this one the hard way…
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Jarrod is a quintessential Kiwi Dad. He lives in the sunny Horowhenua, and works from a home office, overlooking his chickens and the sea. His inspiration and motivation in life come from his wife and two kids.

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