From the thrilling Bledisloe Cup rugby championship to close encounters with dolphins, rotating restaurants and interactive exhibits, 2022 delivers a buzzing combination of things to do in Auckland this spring.
Make the most of the atmosphere surrounding one of rugby union’s most anticipated showdowns this September by kicking off your own winning three-day stay in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland, where you can enjoy some of New Zealand’s best experiences first-hand. Our itinerary will get you started with a captain’s toss of options for your next family holiday.
Start your stay by fuelling the family for an action-packed day or three. New Zealand’s only revolving restaurant, SkyCity Tower’s Orbit serves great food (and generous kids meals) alongside spectacular views of the surrounding Hauraki Gulf. For fish and chips, or a range of other options, the vibrant Auckland Fish Market is another great place to relax. The colourful Food Truck Garage will also keep the gang active with healthy fast food options including burgers and burrito bowls.
In the afternoon we recommend getting the team into the Bledisloe spirit with an immersive rugby experience. No matter which side of the Tasman you’re barracking for, the All Blacks Experience is a fascinating state-of-the-art exhibition that explores the heritage and culture of New Zealand’s rugby union. You’ll find five interactive zones as well as a 90-minute guided experience that will take you on an exhilarating ride.
No Auckland adventure would be complete without meeting some of its marine residents. Only 30kms from central Auckland, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is packed with unforgettable experiences including a dolphin and whale watching tour. Jump aboard for a four-and-a-half-hour cruise to meet these majestic creatures – you’ll enjoy views of famous Auckland landmarks such as the volcanic Rangitoto Island while you’re at it.
There are also find plenty of natural wonders right on the city’s doorstep. One of the many fun things to do in Auckland for families is a walk up the dormant volcano Maungawhau (Mount Eden). Explore the grassy terraces of this culturally significant landmark, once a strategic Māori stronghold. At the highest point you’ll enjoy sweeping views of Manukau and Waitematā harbours and Rangitoto Island.
Spend a day exploring some of Auckland’s famed treasures. The Auckland Museum houses an awe-inspiring collection of local and natural history. Tāmaki Herenga Waka Stories steps you through Auckland’s origins and the Maori heritage, while the Imaginarium displays some fascinating curiosities, including the jawbone of Rehua – an enormous whale that washed ashore in the north.
For the family’s resident Lord of the Rings fan – and other movie-buffs – a visit to Auckland’s Wētā Workshop Unleashed is a must-do. Step into the imagination of the Academy Award-winning company behind a wealth of iconic movie magic and come face-to-face with original set pieces and monsters. You’ll also learn about Wētā’s cinematic wizadry.
Toi o Tāmaki Auckland Art Gallery is also home to over 17,000 historic and contemporary artworks. Operating since 1888, the Gallery displays a comprehensive history of New Zealand, with artwork that details contact between Māori and European explorers as far back as the 1600s. It’s also home to a sandstone figure from an Indian temple, dated from the 10th century.
Where to stay in Auckland
There’s plenty of family friendly accommodation in Auckland to choose from. Surrounded by the vibrant restaurants and cafes of Newmarket, Quality Suites Alexander Inn is close to the heart of town. Quality Hotel Lincoln Green is near to the beautiful west coast beaches and serves great food and drink at The Good Home Gastro Pub. Econo Lodge City Central is another great option for basing yourself right in the heart of the action.