Traveling in Auckland with the kids? Then you need to line up some activities that’ll occupy all the members of the family – once you’ve arranged your Auckland airport car hire, that is. Here’s a range of fun attractions to keep your youngest ones entertained.
The ultimate family day out consists of a trip to New Zealand’s premier adventure theme park. Adrenaline junkies can get their thrill on by defying gravity on the Fear Fall, Invader, Power Surge or the perennially popular Corkscrew Coaster. For a more sedate and leisurely itinerary, there’s the bumper boats, go karts and log flume. For those under 8, check out the fully enclosed, all-weather Kidz Kingdom. The Small Talk cafe offers a respite for tired parents.
It may not snow in Auckland, but just north of the city the white stuff can be found all year round – indoors, that is. The terrain park keeps things fresh with a mix of environments to test even experienced daredevils. For kids, there are a number of daytime party packages available including gear hire and meal with drink. The 365 Snowsports academy also offers visitors the chance to sharpen their skills on the powder.
An outing to Kelly Tarlton’s has something to offer visitors of all ages. Set along the city’s waterfront, a stone’s throw from the famous Mission Bay beach, this massive aquarium is sure to enchant with over 30 live animal exhibits, more than 80 different marine life species on display, and amazing views from the underwater tunnels. A highlight of the habitat displays is the world’s largest Antarctic penguin colony exhibit. Don’t miss the seahorses, sharks, or the giant stingrays. And why not brave the shark cage or dive with sharks – if you dare.
Despite the name, Butterfly Creek is home to New Zealand’s only giant saltwater crocodiles – alongside a spectacular tropical butterfly house, that is. You’ll also find a range of reptiles, insects and birds here, including the giant wetapunga, one of the world’s largest insects, and tarantula. Buttermilk Farm and the aquarium (resplendent with both fish and coral) are also sure to delight. It’s a one stop shop for viewing of a lush variety of tropical species, and perfect all year around as it’s almost all under cover. The playground and cafe offer a time out for breaks throughout the day.
Spanning 40 acres in the foothills of Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges, Crystal Mountain is a quiet paradise just 20km from the city. It caters to visitors of all ages and ability. Take the elevator to the heart of Crystal Mountain to visit the museum, boasting the country’s biggest range of rare crystals and minerals from around the world. Other options include panning for crystals, feeding the animals on the miniature farm, taking a pony ride, whizzing through the animal park on the express train, or a rollercoaster ride. Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir on your way out.