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20+ Unmissable Best Things To Do In Auckland With Kids

Author: Daria Osipova | Updated Jan 16, 2024

Spending the NZ school holidays in Auckland and wondering what to do? Luckily, there are many amazing things to do with kids in Auckland, New Zealand!

Known as the City of Sails, Auckland is a beautiful place where the ocean meets the city. Below, you’ll find 20+ of the best fun family attractions and activities for all ages and interests. Let’s explore!

20+ best things to do in Auckland with kids.
Discover 20+ of the best things to do in Auckland with kids

🌟 Discover even more in beautiful Auckland:

Navigate to the 20 best things to do in Auckland with kids include:

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Waitomo Caves are a spectacular network of caves that are home to thousands of glowworms, plus unique stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves. The guided tour is suitable for all ages

The best way to experience this incredible natural wonder is with a Waitomo Caves Guided tour, which is led by an expert guide and involves a boat trip through the beautiful Glowworm Grotto.

For a longer, more insightful tour, the Waitomo Caves Eco Tour takes you on a journey through the surrounding New Zealand rainforest plus allows you to explore the caves at your own pace for 2 hours. This tour is recommended for 12+ year olds.

View Glow Worm Caves of New Zealand in 360° by National Geographic

Worried about how to travel to and from the caves?

Make it easy with a Waitomo Caves Day Tour package, which includes both a fascinating tour of the glowworm caves, and comfortable travel to and from Auckland City.

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove is a beautiful coastal destination with gorgeous beaches, towering pinnacles, sea caves and more. It is a 3.5-hour drive from Auckland, perfect for a road trip during these NZ school holidays.

Cathedral Cove.
The Cathedral Cove is a fantastic experience for 5+ year olds

There is a picturesque and free Cathedral Cove Walk that will open in summer 2023-24 (as of November 2023, it's under construction). It goes through a pine forest and along the beach, also letting you get close up to the cliffs and rock arches. 

In the meantime, enjoy the stunning views and experience the natural grandeur of the area with an informative Cathedral Cove boat tour or an exciting jet boat ride.

And if you're looking for more dynamic activity, try the Cathedral Cove kayaking tour

View Cathedral Cove in New Zealand by 81 Productions

Mt Eden (Mount Eden)

Mt Eden is one of the most stunning locations to visit in Auckland, New Zealand. It's a dormant volcano with a deep crater covered with grass, from the top of which you can enjoy gorgeous views of Auckland and its surroundings. 

Mount Eden in Auckland.
Mount Eden in Auckland. Source: Tripadvisor.com

The walk-up is not too long or difficult, and kids will love to discover the volcano and city views. Plus, there's a playground at the base called Tahaki Reserve. 

View Mt Eden in Auckland, New Zealand by geoffmackley

Hobbiton Movie Set

The Hobbiton Movie Set is an iconic family-friendly attraction, especially for fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films and/or books.

Hobbiton Movie Set.
Hobbiton Movie Set is suitable for 3+ year olds

All members of the family will love discovering The Hobbit Village, Hobbit Holes, Double Arched Bridge, Green Dragon Inn and more unique locations.

So during the next school holidays, visit this magical place with a guided Hobbiton tour, departing from Auckland City.

Please note that travel is included, plus free drinks and snacks. 

View Hobbiton Movie Set in New Zealand by See New Zealand

Skyline Rotorua

Skyline Rotorua is about a 3-hour drive from Auckland, and it's totally worth the fun day trip for the best family activities for kids, teens and adults you'll find there.

Skyline Gondola Ride by Skyline Rotorua.
Skyline Gondola Ride. Photo by Skyline Rotorua

Enjoy a scenic gondola ride, an exhilarating zipline adventure or a thrilling race on one of the world's largest luge tracks (the longest being 1.7km), all through the stunning redwood forest.

And if that's not enough, test your limits with New Zealand’s first Skyswing. 

Skyline Rotorua is a family fun attraction in Rotorua, NZ by Skyline Rotorua

🌟 Rotorua Multi Choice Attraction Pass: Enjoy the best family activities in Auckland, including Skyline Gondola Ride, Paradise Valley Springs, Velocity Valley Agrojet, Polynesian Spa, all in one pass suitable for 5+ year olds. Claim the package today for the best savings on these activities!

Polynesian Spa

The Polynesian Spa is one of the most relaxing family holiday destinations in New Zealand, and it is perfect for adults, teens and kids of all ages.

Polynesian Spa experience.
Polynesian Spa is suitable for all ages

The spa has 28 different pools, including mineral, freshwater, and kid-friendly pools, with no time limit on any of the public pools. 

Learn more about Polynesian Spa and book your visit in advance.

A 3-hour drive from Auckland City, it's a great place for a family day trip. It's also close to Skyline Rotorua, so why not visit both while you're in the area? Check out this Skyline Gondola, Te Puia and Polynesian Spa Pass value package.

View Jo Keefe talks to us about her visits and how her daughter enjoys every moment at Polynesian Spa

Waimangu Volcanic Valley

A 3.5-hour drive from Auckland, just past the Skyline Rotorua and Polynesian Spa, is the stunning Waimangu Volcanic Valley, full of natural wonders. It includes the world's youngest geothermal system and the world’s largest hot springs. 

Waimangu Volcanic Valley.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley experience is suitable for all ages

The best way to discover the area is with a full Waimangu Volcanic Valley experience. It includes a boat cruise, access to scenic walking and hiking trails, gorgeous views of volcanic craters, colourful lakes, native wildlife and more. 

Waimangu Volcanic Valley in Rotorua, New Zealand by Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Auckland Zoo

The Auckland Zoo is home to 135 different species and is one of the most iconic attractions in Auckland to visit with kids.

Auckland Zoo.
Auckland Zoo promises a great family fun for all ages

There are 1,400 animals to encounter, including elephants, giraffes, red pandas, crocodiles, meerkats, penguins, kiwi birds, lions, tigers and many more. 

Auckland Zoo by Family of Three

🌟 Discover New Zealand's largest collection of animals, from mammals and birds, to reptiles and marine life, with the great value Auckland Zoo and SEA LIFE Kelly Tarltons package.

Auckland Museum (Auckland War Memorial Museum)

Auckland's namesake museum (also known as Auckland War Memorial Museum) tells the story of New Zealand and the city, including its Maori, Pacific Islander and European historical influences, plus its natural history and unique wildlife. 

Auckland Museum is free for 0-4 year old kids.

Tāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland is now open at Auckland Museum.
Tāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland at Auckland Museum (Auckland War Memorial Museum). Photo by Auckland Museum, Facebook

If you'd like to be guided through the museum and learn from experts about the European, Pacific Island, and Maori culture exhibits on display, sign up for the Auckland Museum Highlights tour.

Alternatively, secure your general admission Auckland Museum tickets online before your visit to avoid queues. 

View what's inside Auckland Museum by Family Side Trip

Black Water Rafting

Black water rafting or 'tubing' is one of the most thrilling activities, especially for entertaining teenagers and adults who love adventure and seek an adrenaline rush!

Black Water Rafting.
Black Water Rafting experience for teenagers and adults

Black water rafting at Waitomo Caves is a 3-hour, beginner-friendly, hands-on adventure great for kids aged 12 and over. It involves caving, climbing, small waterfall jumping and more. 

If you're looking for more of a challenge, try the 5-hour-long black water rafting at Ruakuri Cave activity for adults and teenagers aged 16 years and over. It involves climbing, cave tubing, abseiling, a flying fox and more. 

Black Water Rafting in Waitomo, New Zealand by NZ Pocket Guide

Muriwai Beach

Muriwai Beach is a popular coastal destination for stunning ocean views. It is also home to a nesting site for a large colony of gannet seabirds. 

Gannet Colony at Muriwai Beach, NZ.
Gannet Colony at Muriwai Beach, NZ

Check out this amazing Muriwai Beach and Gannet Colony tour. It's suitable for all ages and is free for babies and toddlers (0-2 year olds).

Please note that it is possible to swim at Muriwai Beach, although it's recommended only for experienced swimmers due to frequent strong waves, currents, and surrounding rocks and cliffs. 

View Muriwai Beach by Adian Van Der Walt

Auckland Art Gallery

The Auckland Art Gallery is home to several centuries of visual art spanning four floors within its beautiful historical building.

Entry is free, except for occasional paid exhibitions and events, so it's the perfect budget-friendly activity for the whole family. 

Whānau drop-ins: Free school holiday activities for kids at Auckland Art Gallery.
Whānau drop-ins: Free school holiday activities for kids at Auckland Art Gallery. Image: Auckland Art Gallery

During the kids' school holidays, there are free daily drop-in creative sessions where kids can try their hand at drawing, craft-making and more. Parents are welcome and encouraged to join in!

View Auckland Art Gallery, one of the most iconic buildings in Auckland by Travels With Phillip

Puzzling World Wanaka

Puzzling World is a fantastic family-friendly museum in Auckland all about puzzles, optical illusions and mega mazes. 

Puzzling World Wanaka is a fantastic and budget-friendly activity near Auckland.
Puzzling World Wanaka is a fantastic and budget-friendly activity near Auckland

Explore a 3D Mega Maze Labyrinth, walk through the thrilling Hologram Hall and the Hall of Following Faces, check out the Tilted House, Leaning and Tumbling Towers and the Sculptillusion Gallery, and much more!

Being an affordable activity, it's free for 0-4 years old kids.

Grab your Puzzling World tickets online today to save time and avoid the queue!

View The Puzzling World Wanaka by Lewis Embark

Auckland Hop On Hop Off Bus

Explore the stunning Auckland via the popular hop-on hop-off bus. The trip includes 14 must-see scenic and adventurous stops around Auckland, plus informative commentary on board the bus and free WiFi.

The Auckland Hop On Hop Off Bus pass is valid for up to 2 days. And kids under 4 years of age travel for free.

Auckland Hop On Hop Off Bus.
Auckland Hop On Hop Off Bus is an affordable family-friendly activity, offering free travel for kids under 4 years

Waiheke Island Adventure

If you ever dreamt of exploring the beautiful Waiheke Island without hiring a car or going on a tour, it can be done with ease and fun! The Waiheke Hop On Hop Off Bus & Ferry Pass makes your adventure convenient.

Waiheke Hop On Hop Off Explorer Bus.
Waiheke Island With Hop on Hop Off Bus

Along a scenic ferry ride from Auckland, get ready to explore 16 scenic and adventurous stops on the island.

The stunning Waiheke Island offers many family-friendly scenic walks, perfect for little explorers aged 3 and up.

Book the unforgettable Waiheke Island adventure today!

Explore Waiheke Island Hop-on Hop-off Explorer Bus by Fullers360

Taupo Bungy Jumping

Experience an exhilarating Auckland adventure with the Taupo Bungy Jumping experience, a 47-meter drop into the scenic Waikato River Valley. 

This adrenaline-rush-inducing jump is suitable for kids aged 10 and above and is a popular activity with teenagers and young adults. 

Taupo Bungy Jumping for adventurous teenagers, young people and adults

Cornwall Park

Cornwall Park is a free place to visit with children in Auckland, with many fun activities for all ages and interests. 

Check out the farm animals, enjoy some relaxing bird-watching, visit some historical sights, or simply walk around more than 350 species and 8000 trees and enjoy nature.

The tree trail map at Cornwall Park.
The tree trail map at Cornwall Park. Image: cornwallpark.co.nz

There are also open grass fields where you can play some sports or have a family picnic or BBQ. 

View One Tree Hill, Cornwall Park, Auckland by Up&Up Photography & Film

Auckland Botanic Gardens

Visit Auckland Botanic Gardens to enjoy over 10,000 plants from around the world, from flowers, fruits and vegetables to various trees, conifers and much more. 

Free school holiday activities at Auckland Botanic Gardens.
The Botanic Gardens in Auckland offers free school holiday activities for kids. Image: aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz

The gardens span over 64 hectares, including 10 hectares of native forest. There are 23 sections to explore, including a large Potter Children's Garden for kids to play in nature. 

View The Potter Children's Garden - an amazing review by Mika!

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarltons Aquarium

SEA LIFE Aquarium is a popular destination to bring the whole family along to while in Auckland. 

Uncover stingrays, sub-Antarctic penguins, the world's only Spiny Sea Dragon, the largest collection of sharks in New Zealand, and much more and entertain the kids for hours.

SEA LIFE Aquarium offers free entry for younger family members (0-2 year olds).

Secure your SEA LIFE Aquarium tickets online before your visit to skip the queue! 

See the world's largest sub-Antarctic penguins colony at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarltons Aquarium.
See the world's largest sub-Antarctic penguins colony at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarltons Aquarium

North Wharf

If you prefer to stay near downtown Auckland rather than travelling out and around the city, check out the North Wharf Precinct. There are many cafes and restaurants, fantastic waterfront views and even an exciting play area nearby.

Parents can grab a coffee while the youngest family members enjoy a yummy ice cream, and the whole family can enjoy a nice walk along the esplanade. 

The esplanade at North Wharf Precinct, Auckland, NZ.
The esplanade at North Wharf Precinct, Auckland, NZ. The stunning photo by Evin Kallacheril

The Lightpath (a.k.a. The Pink Bridge in Auckland)

Auckland’s “Pink Bridge”, called “The Lightpath” is a bridge with a bright pink floor, on which you can walk, jog, or ride a bike or scooter.

The Lightpath, the Pink Bridge in Auckland. The view from the drone.
The Lightpath, the Pink Bridge in Auckland. Drone view by Dee Sharma

After sunset, in the evening and night time, colourful neon lights are switched on to illuminate the bridge. You can also see the iconic Sky Tower from this bridge. 

The Lightpath is a fantastic place for a photo opportunity, plus the kids will have a blast running around or riding a scooter on the pink pathway!

Explore The Lightpath by Louise Poppy

And there you have it– the top 20 things to do with kids in Auckland! From exploring the spectacular Waitomo Glowworm Caves to having a fun time at the Auckland Zoo, each destination offers affordable family fun.

Start planning today, and let's make your NZ school holidays the best ones yet!

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