Six family-friendly Auckland adventures

If you're heading to Auckland with kids in tow, you won't want to miss these fun-filled family-friendly activities that will keep everyone entertained.

  • Author

    Discover Auckland
  • Last updated

    Jun 2024
  • Time to read

    5 mins
Beautiful Auckland – New Zealand’s multicultural urban oasis with its fantastic food scene and heavenly harbour, hills and beaches – is the perfect destination for a fun family getaway. From whale watching and immersive movie set experiences, to volcanoes and burger-serving robots, you won’t be short on things to do to keep you and the kids entertained!

1. Go wild at Auckland Zoo

A day trip to the world-leading and stunning Auckland Zoo will give your whānau a chance to see interesting animals they might never have encountered before. There’s our adorable national bird, the kiwi, our little dinosaurs, tuatara – the only surviving member of the reptile order Rhynchocephalia – and a whole enclosure containing more than 100 native plant and 30 native animal species, including New Zealand’s unique kororā (little penguins), cheeky kea and longfin eels. 

There are over 2800 individual animals in total, so you can still see all your favourite international friends – lions, giraffes, monkeys, rhinos and zebras. And don’t miss the lush South East Asia Jungle Track with otters, crocodiles and tigers, as well as orangutans swinging overhead in their new high-canopy playground.

2. See the city from above at the Sky Tower

Soaring over the city in all its 328-metre glory, the iconic Sky Tower is a must-do for the family. There are loads of ways to experience New Zealand’s tallest tower with its epic views, so definitely don’t miss it out.

If your children are 10 years or older, they can brave the daring SkyWalk around the top perimeter, way up 192 metres above ground level. Or they can take a leap with an adrenaline-inducing SkyJump for a truly unforgettable experience. If you’re less adventurous, you can still have a blast - enjoy panoramic vistas of the city from the observation deck and check out the virtual reality experience SkySlide.

If your kids are little foodies, you’ll find restaurants for all taste buds by New Zealand’s top chefs in and around the Sky Tower, but if they are more hot dog, burgers and fries type, they’ll love the Federal Delicatessen or Andy's Burgers & Bar where they’ll be served by robots!

3. Sail away at New Zealand Maritime Museum

Auckland is surrounded by sparkling waters and its seafaring history is a huge part of its personality. The New Zealand Maritime Museum covers everything from ancient Polynesian voyaging traditions to modern maritime innovation, but not in a dry and dusty kind of way.

There are several interactive, hands-on exhibits for kids to learn about boat design and sailing in the America's Cup yacht race, and you can even book a ride on a traditional sailing ship, scow, or a cute little steam tug.

4. Chill out with penguins at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium

Love the thought of getting up close and personal with sharks and stingrays without getting wet? Or hanging out with penguins without stumping up for the fare to Antarctica? Well, you can do all that and more at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium.

Stroll through transparent tunnels and feel like you’re actually under the sea as creatures of the deep glide directly over you. The littlies will love the Antarctic Ice Adventure, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest display of Sub-Antarctic penguins (as well as one of the most successful breeding programs on the planet)

5. Make a splash with Tīkapa Moana Whale & Dolphin Wildlife Cruise
You don’t have to travel all the way to Kaikōura to see dolphins and whales – there are plenty of marine mammals right here in Tāmaki Makaurau. Explore Group’s Tīkapa Moana Whale & Dolphin Wildlife Cruise is a stunning 5.5 hour cruise on a purpose-built wildlife viewing vessel, and is a fantastic way for your family to explore the beautiful Hauraki Gulf.

While you enjoy the views and keep an eye out for marine creatures, you’ll be provided with informative commentary about the history and conservation efforts of the area. Every trip is different, but common sightings can include dolphins, whales, seals, birdlife and more. It’s a guaranteed great day out.

6. Take a ride through history at the Museum of Technology and Transport

Experience the fascinating world of technological and transport evolution at MOTAT, Auckland's gateway to past and future innovations. Situated in the heart of the Western Springs precinct, MOTAT offers a unique blend of educational and entertaining experiences for the perfect family outing.

Across its two sites, 805 Great North Rd and the Aviation Hall at 98 Motions Road, you'll enjoy interactive exhibitions, ride heritage trams, and discover New Zealand's rich history of ingenuity. With activities that cater to all ages, from hands-on exhibits to historic village tours, every visit promises new insights and fun discoveries for the whole family.
Written by Discover Auckland

Last updated 14 Jun 2024

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