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Being the first place that so many families land in New Zealand after a long flight – I know it’s really important that you are able to help the kids through the jet-lag by finding the right accommodation and activities. In this article, I’m going to give you my personal tips of what’s good to do in Auckland for families.
My Top 6 Family Activities in Auckland
One of my all-time favourite family activities in Auckland, Kelly Tarlton’s offers all the fun of an aquarium and has a brilliant Antarctic section too. As well as all the normal tank-style exhibits that you’d expect at an aquarium, Kelly Tarlton’s also boasts being the first underwater tunnel experience in the world with an opportunity for the kids to come face to face with turtles, octopus and sharks.
The best part of the experience for my kids was the opportunity to see King Penguins in a realistic snow filled enclosure from the Antarctic ride experience. It’s always good when family attractions have something good for mum & dad too, something Kelly Tarlton’s has done well with brilliant realistic displays on Scott’s Antarctic journey’s.
2. Elephants & Tigers at Auckland Zoo
We all know that kids love the zoo – mine certainly do. Undoubtedly the best zoo in New Zealand, Auckland’s home to 138 species - some of my girl’s favourites were the Tigers, Elephants, Lions & Giraffes, whilst we enjoyed the opportunity to get to see some of New Zealand’s rarest species like the Kiwi.
If you don’t have your own car, you could do what we did and do the SkyTower & Auckland Zoo as part of this Great Sights half day trip – just the right pace & length to make sure the kids don’t get board.
3. A Trip into the 'Jungle' with the Rain Forest Express
If you don’t mind a little bit of a drive, the Rain Forest express is about 40-45 minutes North of Auckland. It’s a cool little train that takes you through native New Zealand forest to look outs as well as through a tunnel with glow worms. Well worth a trip, if you’ve got older one’s – it’ll help them to understand New Zealand’s relationship with our native forests.
4. Take the Ferry to Devonport for Ice Cream
An option that doesn’t cost the earth is taking a trip on the Fullers Ferry over to Devonport, where I’m sure the kids will revel in the chance for a play on the beach and an ice-cream. There’s also a great little chocolate factory there too – well worth a visit!
5. Whale & Dolphin Safari
I’d recommend the Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari for families with older children, just because you are out at sea for a good 4hrs+. But if it is something that your kids would be in to, then it’s a brilliant trip – with dolphins & whales viewed on most trips.
6. Fun at Treasure Island Adventure Mini-Golf
Located just near the airport, Treasure Island Mini-Golf is the perfect activity when waiting to leave Auckland Airport - with a brilliant pirate theme, kids love the interfamily competition!
Apartment style Auckland accommodation perfect for families
If you’re travelling with a family, hotels can be an expensive option and often meaning splitting the family up, not to forget the hassle of finding somewhere to eat. We’ve got three really good options for multi-room apartments that have full kitchen facilities, a lounge area and in-room laundry facilities. All things that are a god send when travelling with the family, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate.
Chifley Suites - Located right in the centre of the city, not far from Queen Street or SkyCity, the Chifley Suites are modern in character with views over the city or harbour.
Proximity Apartments - Close to Auckland Airport, Rainbow End Theme Park & ideal for heading South. Cot's & highchairs available.
Chatham Apartments - This brand new apartment complex is the perfect option for families with older children being located near Ponsonby with its many restaurants and cafes.
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