Family-Friendly Activities in Auckland

New Zealand is the perfect place for a family holiday, consistently voted the second safest country on earth (behind Japan). Its many cities, rural areas and travel hot spots have something to offer everyone. One of the most picturesque and action-packed cities in New Zealand is Auckland. The city of Auckland is located close to the top of the North Island, situated between two bays and surrounded by forests, regional parks and smaller islands. There is so much to do and with your rental car, you will be spoilt for choice and never short on activities. It doesn't matter if you have a day, a week or a fortnight in the city; there is something to do at the last minute or to plan ahead for. 

Penguins at the Auckland Zoo.
The Auckland Zoo

As with most major cities in New Zealand, Auckland is home to a world-class zoo. The Auckland Zoo is home to over 135 different species of native and exotic animals and is a not-for-profit conservation centre as well. The zoo is home to a range of different activities, from animal feedings to keeper talks, and the on-site vet hospital gives visitors the opportunity to witness the talented veterinary team take care of the animals. With over 1,400 individual animals being cared for at the zoo, you could spend the majority of the day wandering the 16-hectare site. Make sure you book your tickets online before you arrive. 

The Museum of Transport and Technology

While in the area, walk across the road from the southern side of the zoo, and you'll find one of the most interesting and engaging museums in New Zealand, the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). With unique events and experiences covering the history of transport and technology, it's both enlightening and fun. With exhibitions and play centres for children, parents can have a bit of breathing room as the kids enjoy the fun. With a free vintage tram ride between the two sites, covering 40 acres, plenty of parking and an ideal location, it's easy to slot MOTAT into a day's adventuring around Auckland. 

The Auckland Museum & Auckland Art Gallery

There are many fantastic museums and art galleries spread across Auckland, celebrating Māori art and culture, what New Zealand stands for, as well as international artworks and travelling exhibitions. Learning about a nation's culture while you're visiting is always a great idea. If you’re short on time, make sure to fit in the big two - the Auckland Museum and Auckland Art Gallery, both the largest and most extensive of the museums and galleries in New Zealand. 

The Auckland Museum is a stand-out, not just in New Zealand, but internationally too. With an incredible collection of Māori and Pacific artefacts (over 2,000 in total). A highlight is the last great Māori war canoe that was carved from a giant totara tree. See award-winning exhibits, rare carvings and beautiful artworks in the stunning historical building. 

Located just down the road from the Sky Tower, Auckland Art Gallery displays a large range of works from local, national and international artists. The exhibitions are spread over four floors and house the largest permanent collection of New Zealand art in the world. With free tours departing from the information desk, see a mixture of old and new, from paintings, fashion, sculptures, illustrations and more. Check out the gallery website to see what current exhibitions are on, with a mixture of free and occasionally paid exhibitions.

Overhead image of Auckland gardens close to the ocean.
Parks and gardens

If you're feeling the need for some green  but also don't want to travel too far from the city, then take a day trip to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, located just to the west of Auckland, bordering the city. Full of stunning lookout spots, coastal views and well-maintained walking trails, it is a lush forest right on the city's doorstep. With views of the forest, harbour and city, you can spend the day amongst the lush coastal forests and return to the city in time for more activities in the day. 

Auckland is a city that has the best of both worlds, with fun city attractions such as museums, galleries, zoos, aquariums and parks, and lush nature right on its doorstep with regional forests and two bays to enjoy. Start planning your ideal Auckland trip today with a car rental!

To see the best family friendly activities in Auckland, hire a car from Auckland Airport or Auckland Downtown today!

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