The Best Things to do in Auckland With Kids

Children can go on a night safari and become junior zookeepers at Auckland Zoo
Children can go on a night safari and become junior zookeepers at Auckland Zoo | © Ian Townsley / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Bianca Ackroyd
6 August 2020

Auckland has many activities to entertain children, including experiencing the magic of movie-making at Whoa! Studios, learning history at The Auckland War Memorial Museum and feeding a giraffe at Auckland Zoo. Here’s a list of the best things to do in the North Island city.

Take a dip at Parnell Baths

Swimming Pool
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Deckchairs beside the pool at Parnell Baths, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
Auckland’s historic Parnell Baths have been open for more than 100 years and is home to New Zealand’s biggest saltwater pool, at 60m long. Smaller kids can also splash and play in the toddler pool. On colder days head to the heated lido and interactive aqua playground. Parnell Baths are located in Parnell, east of Auckland city centre and are free for children up to 16 years old.

Explore a marine life wonderland at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s

Aquarium
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Children can see penguins up close or walk through a shark tunnel at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s in Auckland. The aquarium has several zones for children to explore and learn more about conserving the marine environment, such as the Seahorse Kingdom and Shipwreck Shores. The facility is situated in Orakei, east of Auckland city centre and is open from Thursday to Monday, 9:30am to 5pm during school term time, and every day during school holidays.

Hop on a ferry to Tiritiri Matangi Island

Natural Feature
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Tiritiri matangi island, north island, new zealand
© JONATHAN AYRES / Alamy Stock Photo
Catch a Fullers360 ferry from Auckland city or Gulf Harbour in Whangaparaoa for a day trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island. Enjoy a guided walk around the nature sanctuary and explore the lighthouse in this spectacular coastal environment. Don’t forget to bring a packed lunch and swimming gear as there is no food for sale on the island. The ferry runs from Wednesday to Sunday during the year, but over the peak summer season it runs every day.

Be entertained at Whoa! Studios

Theater, Theatre, Amusement Park, Museum
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Children can watch a live performance, scramble up a climbing net or run through an obstacle course at Whoa! Studios in West Auckland’s Studio District. This entertainment destination is all about fun for kids, with workshops on costume making, character performance and movement. Whoa! Studios are open from Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Make sure you book for shows in advance online.

Discover the weird and wonderful at the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Museum
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Maori Cultural Performance, Auckland Museum (Auckland War Memorial Museum), Auckland, New Zealand
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
The Auckland War Memorial Museum in Parnell is home to several engaging exhibits on three different floors, all of which are suitable for children and are changed regularly, making it a great place to visit more than once. Kids will love to discover a world of dinosaur fossils, navigate through New Zealand’s unique natural history and learn about how volcanoes are formed. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm and entry is free to Auckland residents with proof of address, or by a small donation for other New Zealand residents. International visitors are required to purchase a general admission ticket which can be booked online.

Atmosphere:

Family Friendly, Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Blind)

Get up close to wildlife at Auckland Zoo

Zoo
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Auckland Zoo, west of Downtown, is a wildlife conservation centre. It’s a great place to get close to wildlife and learn more about what is needed to protect future environments in which animals can survive and thrive. Children can go on a night safari, become a junior zookeeper and feed the zoo’s resident giraffe and red panda.

These recommendations were updated on August 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.