When it’s raining in Auckland, keep the kids entertained with a visit to some of the region’s fantastic family attractions, many of which are ideal for wet weather fun. Get up close to tropical butterflies, monkeys and reptiles at Butterfly Creek, or encounter sharks, penguins and seahorses at Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium. Families with older children can brave the Spookers haunted attraction theme park, and families of all ages will enjoy exploring the night sky at Stardome Observatory and Planetarium.
Take in a cultural performance and discover the largest Māori and Pacific collection in the world at Auckland Museum, or learn about some of New Zealand’s greatest seafaring adventurers at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Explore fascinating interactive exhibitions at MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology), and wander through the huge aviation hall, home to one of the largest aviation collections in the Southern Hemisphere. Sports fans will enjoy a tour of Auckland’s Eden Park stadium, guided behind the scenes of the famous ground by a passionate expert historian.
It doesn’t matter what the weather is doing, conditions are always perfect at Snowplanet, New Zealand’s only all-year indoor snow resort. From the snow tubing track and beginners’ slope to the world-class terrain park for more seasoned skiers and snowboarders, there’s fun for the whole family with no need to wait until winter to enjoy the snow.
Spend an afternoon sheltering from any wet weather in the architecturally-awarded Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Housing more than 15,000 artworks, world-class touring exhibitions, and a lovely café, it’s easy to lose yourself for a few hours here. You can also join one of the daily guided tours for an insightful commentary on selected works from the collection.
Enjoy a meal at one of Metro magazine’s top 50 Auckland restaurants, or taste local wines at boutique wineries in Matakana, Kumeu or Waiheke Island. Take a trip to the popular Puhoi Valley Cheese café for tastings, lunch platters and delicious ice creams. Develop your own culinary skills with a cooking class at Sachie’s Kitchen in Parnell or the seafood school at the Auckland Fish Market in Wynyard Quarter.
The Civic, on Auckland’s Queen Street, is one of the few remaining atmospheric theatres in the world, and regularly hosts major touring musical shows and entertainers. The beautiful domed ceiling inside the main hall twinkles with a recreation of the Southern Hemisphere night sky –no matter what the weather is doing outside
Treat yourself to a stress-busting massage or luxurious facial treatment at one of Auckland’s day spas and wet weather will be the last thing on your mind. Auckland also has plenty of beauty bars where you can try the latest products and update your look. Try the M.A.C flagship store or Dry & Tea blow wave and tea house, both in the stylish Britomart precinct.
Auckland is the country’s largest and most diverse shopping destination, offering everything from top international and local designer labels, to specialty stores and charming second-hand book shops. Check out one of Auckland’s vibrant shopping precincts and cosy up in a café afterwards for coffee or lunch with friends.
See the latest flicks at the boutique Matakana Cinemas. Sip on a glass of locally produced Matakana wine from The Vintry and admire the giant gold chandelier and beautiful domed ceiling in the Tivoli Theatre, or get cosy under the 32,000 paper flowers and native birds that frame the ceiling of the Paradiso Theatre. For an evening in the city, relax at the art-house Rialto cinema in Newmarket with a delectable Kapiti Cheese platter.
If wet weather has you stuck indoors, why not get properly stuck at one of Auckland’s escape game rooms? The internationally popular phenomenon tests your problem solving skills and teamwork as you solve puzzles in order to escape a themed locked room. Odyssey Sensory Maze brings another dimension to the indoors, challenging your perceptions as you journey through illusions, lighting effects and physical obstacles for a unique family-friendly experience.