Kia Ora! Welcome to Tamaki Makaurau, the Isthmus or One Thousand Lovers, more recently known as Auckland, City of Sails. Auckland sits atop more than 50 volcanoes, each one a landmark and unique with a story to tell. Be enchanted by the history, myths and beauty and make sure the view from the top of at least one volcano is one of your great travel moments.
For families traveling to my city, I recommend the following five adventures:
1. Auckland Zoo – see the Kiwi and Tuatara in the Te Wao Nui area dedicated to New Zealand wildlife. The zoo has won lots of environmental awards and has 138 species, 860 happy animals with lots of trees and shade.
2. Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter – lots of sharks and sting rays as you travel through the acrylic tunnel built in the city's old sewers. Ride the Snowmobile to get up close to penguins and discover how Scott and his men lived in the Antarctic. Get there at feeding times. Swimming with the sharks is an option for the brave.
3. Mission Bay – Auckland’s most popular city beach. Fish and Chips on the beach is a Kiwi tradition. There's a lovely big green so bring some games and a picnic. Swim in the sea or kids can swim in the beautiful fountain. This is a great place to try a Hokey Pokey ice cream!
4. Ambury Farm Regional Park – this is a working farm about 20 minutes from downtown. Cow milking in the mornings, pet animals, lots of sheep, chickens, goats, pigs. Good place for a picnic and a run around. Free entry.
5. The Maritime Museum – interactive displays all about boats and navigation. Lots of fun and lots of space for kids to stretch their legs. The Ted Ashby offers fun sailing trips on the harbour which are hands-on and last about an hour.
Thank you Louise! Parents are always looking for fun, family-friendly activities to do on their travels, so this is great information to pass around. I'm looking forward to sharing all your other tips in the coming weeks!