What to do in Auckland with kids? mini travel guide!
For most families, Auckland will be the starting and ending point of a New Zealand tour. We stayed in Auckland for two days at the beginning of our trip and two days at the end of our trip, which was more than enough.
Table of contents
Although there are not many attractions for kids in the city itself, it is nice to take a break from jet lag (in New Zealand it is ten hours later than in the Netherlands). In this mini travel guide, we will tell you what to do, where to eat good food and where to stay with your kids.
What to do in Auckland with kids?
Auckland with kids#1 Sky Tower
is the most famous building in Auckland and gives you a great view of the city. From above, you can only see how beautifully situated the city is by the water. Do this only on a clear day, otherwise it is a waste of money. You pay around 16 euros for an adult. For kids under 6, the tower is free. Tickets can be purchased
Our daughter took a look around at the top of the platform and especially liked that you can walk across the transparent glass bottom in some places and thus see all the way down. There is also a children’s corner upstairs, where she has been busy drawing. This allowed us to enjoy the view at leisure.
For parents who like adrenaline, there is an opportunity to jump off the 192-foot tower
and to walk over the edge without fences. At the bottom of the Sky Tower, it’s fun to watch all these tourists come tumbling down with your kids.
Auckland with kids#2 Public parks and playgrounds
Auckland has a lot of playgrounds and coincidentally, our daughter loves playgrounds. So we spent a whole day passing by the various public parks and playgrounds in the city, entertaining ourselves for a whole day.
The two best-known parks in the city are Albert Park and Victoria Park. Albert Park is a very nice park with all kinds of fountains and benches and especially on a sunny day this park is a must. In Victoria Park, you have many grassy areas located where you can have an ideal picnic with your kids. In addition, there is a small playground.
If we start looking at the different playgrounds in the city, there are some great ones that are worth checking out. We will name two here that are also located in the city center:
- Western Park Playground
This playground has huge slides built against a hill. The playground is located in a fine downtown neighborhood and is certainly a great place to have fun for an hour or two.
- Myers Park playground
This playground is really in a kind of valley in the center and there are quite a few pieces of playground equipment here. The giant swing was our daughter’s favorite here. You can also have quite an hour or two of fun here if the weather is nice.
Auckland with kids#3 Rainbow’s End amusement park
This amusement park is located south of the city, and from downtown it is about 20 minutes away by car. In this amusement park you have attractions for different ages. For example, the park operates length restrictions at several attractions. They have spectacular rides for older children, but also many attractions for kids up to 8 years old. For kids up to 8 years old, a lot of attractions are also inside, so it could be an option with rain. Check out this website for more information about the amusement park.
Auckland with kids# 4 Visiting islands around Auckland
From Auckland Harbor, you can visit several islands in a day trip. We have not done this ourselves with our daughter, so it is difficult to pass judgment on this. Beforehand, we did have the following islands written down:
- Rangitoto island
On this island with lots of nature, you can be driven around by a tractor and have a beautiful viewpoint. You do need to bring food and drink in advance, as there is no store on the island.
- Waiheke Island
Here you have several beaches and apparently you can eat good food as well. This island is a 40-minute boat ride from Auckland Harbor. Retrieved from
contains all the information about this island and what there is to do.
Auckland with kids#5 Climbing volcano Mt. Eden
For a stunning view of the city, you can visit the dormant volcano Mt. Climbing Eden. From the center it is about a four-kilometer walk to the volcano, but you can of course take the bus (numbers 274 and 277) with small kids that stops at Mount Eden Road at the foot of the volcano. To climb the volcano you don’t need to have great fitness and you can certainly do this with small kids. In the village around the volcano you also have great restaurants and cafes to have a drink afterwards.
Auckland with kids#6 In bad weather: Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World
It often rains in New Zealand, so if you are looking for an indoor activity, this is a good option. If you and your kids enjoy admiring the sharks, penguins, turtles and dozens of other fish, you’ll have a fun day here. There is a free bus (in the shape of a shark) that picks you up at the center. For more information about this aquarium click on the
. Tickets for the Aquarium can be purchased
book online here!
For more information on fun activities for kids in the city of Auckland check out
. Here you can also find the current schedule of activities for kids in town. We always make a whole list of activities to do in advance and then we can always choose what we want to do from a large list on the spot! This website has certainly helped us to make that list.
Tip: A 15-minute walk from the airport is Butterfly Creek. This zoo with large playground can be an ideal activity if you have to wait a few hours at the airport with kids. For more information click
Eating in Auckland with kids
For breakfast every day we went to the large Countdown supermarket (Countdown Auckland Victoria Street West Supermarket) right in the center. Here they sell delicious rolls, fresh juice and even fresh sushi. When you walk from the supermarket toward the Sky Tower, there are several benches, where you can enjoy your breakfast in the sunshine. There are also some food trucks and small restaurants here, including a Mexican restaurant, where you can eat delicious food.
Throughout the city you have the big fast food chains and if you want to eat at a specific restaurant, check tripadvisor for advice. Here you can specify what type of restaurant you are looking for. You also have many Asian restaurants, where you can eat good food for little money. Our hotel room on Hobson street was spacious enough that we also picked up Asian food several times and ate it in our room.
And if you want to spend an evening with your kids enjoying typical Dutch dishes like poffertjes, kroketten and patatje oorlog, you can visit
only Dutch restaurant in Auckland.
The Parnell neighborhood
The Parnell neighborhood is described as hip, with many nice restaurants. We visited this area and definitely think you can have great food here with the family. We did not eat there ourselves, as it often takes too long for our daughter, but if you have some older kids this is a nice option. It is actually nothing more than one long street with all the restaurants and it is easily reached by bus.
Transportation in Auckland with kids
Most attractions are within walking distance of the center. Auckland does not have a subway line and so you will have to use the bus or a cab for destinations a little further from the city center. We took the bus several times and this is an excellent means of transportation in the city to further destinations.
Tip: Keep in mind that the city is built on several volcanoes and is very hilly. This can sometimes make it exhausting for kids to walk around town.
Sleeping in Auckland with kids
In Auckland, we slept at the
VR Auckland City hotel
. We had a room here with two bedrooms and a living room. This room is right in the center and we found this location ideal. Around the corner are several restaurants where you can get something to eat, and the large supermarket Countdown we mentioned above is within walking distance.
The only downside we found was the breakfast which we did not like. This is delivered the night before and we did not like it. Fortunately, we were able to get a delicious breakfast from the supermarket, so this was not a problem for us.
If you want an accommodation right in the center with two bedrooms and a kitchen, then this aparthotel a very good option.
If you want an apartment with harbor and pool views, then the
Avani Metropolis Auckland Residences
is a very nice option.
Tip: Book accommodations well in advance. Booking.com still allows you to cancel most accommodations free of charge until shortly before your stay. That way you are sure of a room at a fine hotel but are not tied to anything.