News and Views

Posted by Website Admin on May 23, 2024

If you’re coming to Auckland with your family then we’re the best place to start. Our Hello Auckland tour reveals the legends of Auckland, the local lanes, best spots to eat and the kid-friendly parks -  all at a relaxed pace.  We’ve shown heaps of kids around town on our boredom-free and laugh-filled tours.

We’re parents too so here’s a handful of suggestions for the best things to do Auckland-wide,  both free and paid, which we enjoy doing with our children.   
Disclaimer:  The author is not responsible for any whinging of “I’m bored” or “can we go now?” at any of the following activities.   

Picnic in Myers Park, Auckland’s CBD
If Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had a playground it would look like this. Nestled in the green valley of Myers Park, this funky-coloured kids’ space features fantail sculptures, climbing frames and a giant basket swing.  Hard to believe it’s in the heart of Auckland’s business district. Avoid the park during lunch hour if you want the place to yourself as the nearby school uses it on sunny days and you’ll have to stand in line for a swing. Grab a pizza or kebabs from Queen Street and picnic in the park while the kids play. 

Picnic supplies from Scarecrow Cafe, Auckland  CBD 
With lunchtime queues out the door and a counter cabinet groaning with wraps, salads to go and home-style baking, this popular cafe is a must-visit.  The bonus is its park  side location. Grab your picnic supplies and head up the hill to picturesque Albert Park, the highest point in the city centre. Spread a rug out under one of the stunning Jurassic-like trees and enjoy a relaxing lunch alfresco.  

The Escape Masters on Queen Street, Auckland CBD.
Looking for one of the best wet weather activities in Auckland?  No problem. Unless you get into a heated argument over indecipherable clues with your teenager.  The Escape Masters offer a range of fun-themed cells like the Gangsters or Alien Abduction rooms to break out of.  In order to ‘escape’, you are required to problem solve and crack a series of puzzles as well as logical mind games while utilizing a wide array of technology to decipher codes and locks, all the while racing against the clock!  Whew, who knew family game time could be so challenging?

The Volcano House at the Auckland Museum
If your kids are interested in volcanoes, shakes and quakes then head for the excellent exhibit at the Auckland Museum. Sit in the living room of a purpose- built house as a TV newsreader reports the imminent build-up to a volcanic eruption. Watch the action unfold across the harbour as the ash and debris heads towards your home. Feel the impact of the earth shaking below your feet. This simulation will captivate budding geologists and anyone interested in New Zealand’s unique landscapes.

Rangitoto Island
If you are feeling bit more adventurous, take a day trip over to Auckland’s iconic Rangitoto Island. New Zealand’s youngest volcano offers incredible 360-degree views. Walk the one-hour summit track through forest and lava fields while taking in natures beauty. Or if you have little ones in tow, hop on the guided 4WD road train to the top. 
Fishing under the Harbour Bridge
To view fish, penguins and sharks in spectacular underwater viewing tanks, you could visit Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium along the waterfront, east of the city. Or you could head 10 minutes west, pick up a couple of cheap handlines and bait at a local marine store and try catching a fish or two for yourself.  Park up under the Harbour Bridge alongside the local recreational fisherman and cast a line while admiring the channel views and listening to the terrified yells of the Bridge bungy jumpers.  And yes, there’s a good chance you’ll catch a good-sized keeper, although it needs to be longer than 27cm under New Zealand fishing regulations.

Rainbow’s End
Auckland’s not known for its theme parks, but Rainbows End is popular with families and kids aged under 15.  Based down the Southern Motorway, you can race, swoop, crash and splash on rides like the Log Fume, Stratosphere and the Corkscrew Coaster. Afterwards if your stomach can handle it, pop across the road to the Manukau mall to eat at the local food court.    

Wynyard Quarter
This re-energised space provides something for the whole family. Filled will salvaged materials, a basketball court and a great sand floor, the kids will love the funky maritime-themed play space. Or feed the family by dining at one of the many sea-side restaurants or grab a budget fishy bite from the local Auckland Fish Market. 
On summer weekends, Silo Park is bustling at night with its outdoor cinema (a must-do experience in Auckland). The night markets are filled with an array of nibbles for the kids, along with cool vintage clothing and contemporary art from local Aucklanders - a great pit stop on route to the outdoor cinemas. 

Western Springs Park
With Auckland Zoo and the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) as its neighbour,  Western Springs is the ideal place to unwind with it's serene lake, gliding swans and popular playground. 

Auckland Zoo
After strolling through Western Springs, take a visit to Auckland’s premier zoo. With everything from brown kiwis to elephants to the fur seal, this sanctuary has the largest number of native and exotic animals in New Zealand. The zoo s sprawled across 17 hectares of parkland - providing plenty of space for its fauna to roam in attractive habitats. 

Auckland Zoo is the best place to spot our local and famous flightless bird, the Kiwi. A proud supporter of the Department of Conservations Kiwi recovery programme - Operation Nest Egg. Witness the programme in full operation as rescued eggs from the endangered brown kiwi are able to hatch and grow in a predator-free environment. Once they have grown and are strong enough they are released back into the wild.
Every visit helps secure a future for wildlife in the zoo, New Zealand and abroad.

City Swimming Pools
The Tepid Baths - 100 Customs Street West
An iconic part of Auckland history for over 100 years, ‘The Teps’  is now a sleek, modern swimming complex better suited to families with older kids.
The Parnell Baths - 25 Judges Bay Road
Aucklanders have been enjoying The Parnell Baths each summer for over a century. The big pool at 60 metres, is the largest saltwater pool in the country.  The interactive aqua playground makes it a great day out for the kids. 

Still looking for ideas? Contact us for a custom private tour covering all the things kids love. An ice cream stop, tree-climbing, bookstores or water features - the choice is yours!  Or check out specialist website Auckland for Kids or send us an email with questions.