You have to love a place that brings butterflies, dinosaurs, playgrounds and train sets into a single location. Butterfly Creek really takes things to a whole different level: along with the aforementioned attractions, visiting families will get a glimpse of crocodiles, alligators, monkeys, and various farm animals too.
Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium
Families and marine wildlife enthusiasts will absolutely adore the Sea Life Aquarium’s live animal exhibits. Auckland‘s aquatic paradise boasts 30 different species and habitat displays. Penguins, fish, sharks, tortoises, stingrays, and seahorses are among the incredible sea life you’ll get to see on a single visit.
Thrills are guaranteed when exploring the incredibly diverse Auckland Zoo. With more than 875 animals, from 138 different species, the premises are sure to keep you entertained for hours on end. The zoo even has a regular timetable of animal encounters, plus other events and activities for visitors of all ages.
Auckland Zoo, Motions Rd, Auckland, New Zealand, +64 9 360 3805
Auckland’s main amusement park, Rainbow’s End, packs a punch with its 20 rides and attractions. Little ones aged eight and under will have an epic time discovering the Kidz Kingdom. Older, more adventurous kids could try their hand at the thrilling Stratosfear, and the entire family will enjoy rocking along the Log Flume and Pirate Ship.
Rainbow’s End, 2 Clist Cres, Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand, +64 9 262 2030
For something with an educational flair, make sure to stop by the Museum of Transport and Technology (aka MOTAT). Most of their exhibitions and events are centred around engaging younger crowds, through their extensive collection of machinery and technologies, as well as special classes and activities. There’s also an interactive creative hub on site, designed to capture the imagination of kids both young and old.
Kiwi Valley Farm Park and Maze
Who doesn’t like a good petting zoo? True to its name, the Kiwi Valley Farm Park and Maze adds a distinctly local flavour to the standard conventions. The whole family will be able to revel in the fresh countryside environment as they interact with sheep, horses, ducks, goats, piglets, and many other animals you’d find on a typical Kiwi farm.
Want to chill out by the pool? There are various indoor and outdoor swimming facilities around Auckland, but the Parnell Baths are truly unique. A 60-metre (196-foot) salt-water pool is the area’s main attraction. Families can also take a plunge into the surrounding hot-water pools, or simply settle down at one of the adjoining grassy areas for a scenic picnic.
Parnell Baths, 25 Judges Bay Rd, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand, +64 9 373 3561
Here’s something unique for nature-lovers and adrenaline junkies. Tree Adventures comprises 10 high rope courses, for children aged five and up. Heights range from three to 14 metres (10 to 45 feet), so even the least experienced little monkeys can take part in this cool rope-climbing and swinging adventure.
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
The Auckland Art Gallery seamlessly caters to all members of the family. Art-loving adults will marvel at the interesting exhibitions and expansive artwork collection, while the kids will be greatly entertained by the Creative Family Centre. There are also regular, free events running year-round – so do keep an eye out for something that might pique everyone’s interest.