7 Family-Friendly Things To Do In Auckland

16 December 2014
Read Time: 2.1 mins

Auckland is a prime location for a family holiday with activities to suit all ages, interests and budgets. Most activities in Auckland are also quite affordable, so you can focus entirely on having a great time. Here are seven experiences every family should add to their to-do list when visiting New Zealand’s largest city.

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1. Auckland War Memorial Museum

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The Auckland Museum is New Zealand’s first Museum. It is home to the world’s most extensive Maori artifact collection of carvings, buildings, canoes and treasures as well as daily Maori cultural performances which include welcome dances, weaponry display and a high-energy version of the world-famous haka.  Here visiting families can learn the history of the Maori culture in its purest form without leaving the city centre.

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2. Sheepworld

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If it’s one thing New Zealand is famous for it’s for its sheep and no family holiday to the land of the long white cloud would be complete without a visit to Sheepworld.

Suitable for all ages visitors will enjoy the petting zoo and live demonstrations which include farm dogs mustering the sheep, shearing shows and lamb feeding.

There is also a “Wonderful Wool” exhibition which details the process behind the farming sheep, harvesting their wool and then the development of New Zealand’s quality sheepskin and woolen goods which are available for purchase.

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3. Devonport

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 Devonport from Mount Victoria Reserve

Take the Fullers ferry (which departs every thirty minutes) across Auckland Harbour to the historical suburb of Devonport where you’ll step back in time as you wander down streets flanked with wooden colonial homes and explore the museum at the naval base.

Adventurous families can climb to the top of the distinct volcanic cones of Mount Victoria or walk around Torpedo Bay along the harbour's edge to North Head to explore the torch-lit WWII tunnels and old gun emplacements.

Those who like a bit of retail therapy will love the main street, Victoria Road which is lined with art galleries, cafes and craft and antique stores. There is a small chocolate factory and ice-cream store which will please sweet tooth.

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4. Rainbows End Adventure Park

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With over 20 rides and attractions Rainbows End Adventure Park is New Zealand’s premier theme park. Guaranteed to deliver a high-voltage family day out that’ll have all family members on the edge of their seat as they ride the roller coaster and the 54-metre Fear Fall.

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5. Tiritiri Matangi Island

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 Boats perched by the shores of Tiritiri Matangi Island

The island of Tiritiri Matangi or Tiri as its known locally is one of the most successful conservation projects in New Zealand.

For a decade from 1984 volunteers planted 300,000 native trees on the island. Gradually, eleven species of threatened native birds were released on the island.

Today, the island is home to many endangered birds, including the rare Takahe, kokako, brown teal and little spotted kiwi. Families can trek through forested areas and along wave-pounded cliffs to quiet sheltered beaches and past the nesting boxes of the little blue penguins that breed at the top of the beach.

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6. Mount Eden

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 The view from Mt Eden

Auckland’s CBD sits on top of 48 extinct volcano cones. One of the most prominent is Mount Eden which at 196 metres tall and located less than ten minutes from the heart of the city centre is the highest natural point in Auckland.

Its summit delivers 360 views of the city – the perfect spot for a family picnic with the best views in town.

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7. Visit A Black-Sand Beach

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 Unspoiled Karekare

Auckland’s West Coast beaches Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Bethells and Muriwai are located less than an hour from the city centre making them a pain-free (travelling long distances with young children is not always ideal) day trip destination for families who want to catch a glimpse of their famous rugged beauty and black sand.

Donna Kramer

Donna Kramer is a passionate traveller and a mother of four which means she can often be found hitting the road, plane, train or boat with her large family in tow as she explores another destination to fuel her passion and travel writing profession. Whilst she loves long walks on the beach, she’d swap them for a gin and a laugh with friends any day of the week.