The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand

Kids in Auckland, New Zealand

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Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World

Auckland

Aquariums

Come as close as you dare to a broad-nosed seven-gill shark, proudly displaying (behind 7cm of glass) some of the most powerful jaws on the planet. Plunge under Auckland’s waterfront and travel through the clear viewing tunnel and meet other fascinating creatures of the deep, like giant stingray, dainty sea-horses, huge crayfish and feisty piranha. In the Antarctic Encounter, you can travel in a snowcat through snow and ice and get a fish-eye view of the penguins as they swim under water. Or put your fears to the test among the stingrays and sharks, and enter the realm of other exciting fish with their 'personal underwater encounters' – Shark Survival, Stingray Splash and Snorkel Safari. Bookings essential. Phone 0800-805050.

Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World
  • Prices: Adult $29.50, children (over 15) and seniors $22, children (4 - 14 yrs) $14, under 3s are free. Discounts if you book online. Family passes available as well.
  • Contact: 23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei, Auckland
  • Tel: 09-528-0603
  • Fax: 09-528-5175
  • Email: info@kellytarltons.co.nz
  • Web: www.kellytarltons.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Nikau Cave

Waikaretu

Cave tours

Nikau Cave’s formations are dazzling. The only crowds you find in this tiny family-run operation are the tightly-packed and twinkling glow-worms that map the contours of the rock in luminescent dots. A wonderful and mildly challenging trip that will convert even the most adamant of surface dwellers. Extensive gardens, farm and bush walks also on site. New café planned for summer 2007.

Nikau Cave
  • Prices: Adult $25 - $30, child $15 - $20.
  • Contact: 1779 Waikaretu Valley Road, Waikaretu
  • Tel: 09-233-3199
  • Fax: 09-233-3131
  • Email: info@nikaucave.co.nz
  • Web: www.nikaucave.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Auckland Museum

Auckland

Museums

Housed in one of the nation's finest heritage buildings and with spectacular views of Auckland City and the harbour, Auckland Museum tells the story of New Zealand. Three expansive levels follow the emergence of a nation through the loss and suffering of war, explain its uniquely ancient natural history, and showcase a collection of priceless Maori and Pacific treasures. Definitely worth seeing is a performance of the story of Aotearoa through traditional song and dance by the Maori cultural group, Manaia. They perform three times every day (four times a day from January to March). For kids there’s a fantastic hands-on discovery centre - touch real fossils, discover drawers full of creepy-crawlies, go face to face with enormous cockroaches and watch frogs catch their breakfast!

Auckland Museum
  • Prices: Open daily 10am - 5pm. Admission free but $5 donation per adult greatly appreciated.
  • Contact: Domain Drive, Parnell, Auckland
  • Tel: 09-309-0443
  • Fax: 09-379-9956
  • Email: info@aucklandmuseum.com
  • Web: www.aucklandmuseum.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Auckland Zoo

Auckland

Nature & wildlife

Come and see the two ‘icons’ of New Zealand, the kiwi and the tuatara, relaxing at home in their special public viewing nocturnal shelters, the only ones of their kind in town. Watch the kiwis forage for small bugs and worms in the moonlight dimness and peer through glass into a replica den to spot the closest living relative to the dinosaurs hiding in the leafy undergrowth. You’ll see the usual zoological suspects here from tarantulas, hippos, NZ songbirds and Oz, their dashing new Sumatran tiger.

  • Prices: Adults $18, children (4 - 15 yrs) $9, students $14. Family concessions are available.
  • Contact: Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland
  • Tel: 09-360-3800
  • Fax: 09-360-3818
  • Email: aucklandzoo@aucklandcity.govt.nz
  • Web: www.aucklandzoo.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Auckland Highlights

  • Get sailing on the Waitemata Harbour in this the 'City of Sails'; even better if you can bag a space on one of the America's Cup yachts that operate here.
  • Learn about the history, geology and wildlife of New Zealand at the Auckland Museum. Do this on a Sunday morning and spend the afternoon (during summer months) picnicking at the Domain, watching a free jazz concert.
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