Manukau is the heart of Auckland’s south, a vibrant cosmopolitan centre and home to the largest Polynesian community in the world. For a taste of the Pacific, visit Otara Market, New Zealand’s largest street market bursting with life and flavour.
Hit the rides and rollercoasters at Rainbow’s End, New Zealand’s largest theme park, or visit some of the many other family attractions and activities nearby, including mini golf, paintball, go karting, bike riding and a rope courses.
For something more relaxing, take a stroll through the stunning Auckland Botanic Gardens – picnic on the grass, enjoy a bite in the café and find the fantastic sculptures spread through the gardens. Take the kids to Butterfly Creek to walk through the tropical butterfly house full of hundreds of colourful, free-flying butterflies, plus huge saltwater crocodiles and cute farm animals.
And if you’re an aircraft aficionado, see restored classics at the New Zealand Warbirds Visitor Centre at Ardmore Airport.
Discover some of Auckland’s significant historical sites. Follow the trail up Mangere Mountain and explore the remains of former Māori settlements. Take the time to soak in the fantastic views from the summit. Visit the Otuataua Stonefields to see the archaeological remains of Māori and European stone structures dating back over 800 years.
Little ones in tow? Get up close to the cute animals at the working farm in Ambury Regional Park; kids love seeing the goats, cows, rabbits and peacocks and you can even feed the pet lambs in spring.
After all that fresh air, explore the Mangere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku, which was designed to enhance and reflect the diverse culture of the vibrant Mangere community.