Planning for a family vacation to New Zealand?
Looking for things to do in Auckland with kids?
How about a fun and easy 4-day itinerary for Auckland planned out for you?
My family just returned from an 11-day trip to New Zealand in August.
We visited Auckland, Rotorua, and Wellington.
There were a total of 7 of us including three young kids ages 6, 4, and 2, and my husband’s parents.
It is always a great joy being able to travel with our family.
So many new experiences created and beautiful memories built!
Even though my 2-year-old might not remember much of this trip as time goes by, I know she enjoyed herself thoroughly during the trip!
We do believe that our children learn and grow a lot when we travel even if they don’t remember those trips as they grow older.
We believe in experiential learning where our kids get a taste of culture and environment different from ours at home.
More importantly, the extended quality family time that we spend together during vacations are great for strengthening bonds with our kids!
Our family vacation itineraries are always kept rather loose and relaxed.
My kids enjoy sightseeing but they also want to spend time indoors. So our days are usually only filled with one major attraction to visit.
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Read on to check out our fun and easy 4 Day Itinerary Auckland for families with young kids!
Day 1: Auckland Domain, Mount Eden, Stardome Observatory and Planetarium
The cool winter weather made the early afternoon walk in Auckland domain a lovely experience.
The vast green fields brought a calming effect especially for tourists escaping the hustle and bustle of a busy city back home.
The air was fresh and the skies were clear. It was a wonderfully relaxing excursion with the kids.
The Winterland was absolutely stunning with colorful blooms. Even though I’m not exactly a plant lover, I was totally won over by the gorgeous blooms.
There were so many picture-perfect spots with brightly colored flowers In the background. In fact, these flowers totally deserve to be in the spotlight themselves!
Photo taken by my 6-year-old
It was also my first time seeing carnivorous plants up close! I was totally fascinated by them!
The Auckland Museum is found at the Auckland Domain but we didn’t think there were sufficient kid-friendly exhibitions that my children would enjoy so we gave it a miss.
Mount Eden is a dormant volcano and also the highest natural summit in Auckland. It was only a 15-minute drive from Auckland Domain.
There are limited parking spaces near the summit. The summit is only a 10 to 15 minutes hike from the parking area.
It is an easy hike, even for my four- and six-year-old boys. My 31-month-old daughter had fun walking initially but was a little shaken by the strong winds and decided it was a more comfortable hike being in mommy’s arms.
You can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Auckland city at the top of Mount Eden.
Being in high altitude with the world at your feet sure has a way of making someone feel a strong sense of freedom unless you are afraid of heights, that is.
It was also an interesting experience staring down at the grass-filled crater and imagined what used to be an outlet of spewing hot lava.
Stardome Observatory and Planetarium
We caught two evening shows with my 6-year-old.
“Mars 1001” is a fictional show documenting the first manned mission to Mars.
I must say the entire experience was very realistic. I had goosebumps all over when the historical moment came, and the six astronauts successfully landed on Mars against all odds.
These incredibly courageous men and women went on this extraordinary and incredibly dangerous mission even though they knew they might never see their families again.
After watching the show, I really hope I would have the honor of witnessing history made when mankind takes our first steps on Mars.
“Our Night Sky” is a live interactive show that displays the entire Auckland night sky right before your eyes.
It was absolutely dazzling and highly educational learning about the different constellations.
The best part of being able to look at the moon up close through the telescope at the Observatory’s courtyard at the end of the show.
In fact, on a clear night sky, we even saw Jupiter and Saturn through the telescopes!
My 6-year-old was so thrilled! He had read so many books about outer space and watching the shows and seeing the planets through the telescope really created a fascinating experience for him.
Day 2: Museum of Transport and Technology
To our surprise, we spent more than three hours at the MOTAT.
The place was huge and the exhibitions were highly interactive. The kids had so much fun trying their hands on various contraptions and interactive displays.
The MOTAT is actually made up of two locations. MOTAT 1 is at Great North Road and MOTAT 2 is Meola Road.
It is advisable to park at MOTAT 2 which has more parking space. The standard admission tickets also include unlimited team ride shutting between the two locations.
The vintage trams totally added to the entire experience.
It wasn’t just the kids who had fun, the adults were very entertained too.
In fact, I was so awed by sight of all the airplanes at MOTAT 2. It was an incredible sight to see the different models of planes from different times in the past.
The bulk of the time was spent at MOTAT 1 which has 5 different sections.
We saw exhibits on cars, learned about how technology has evolved, and space exploration in New Zealand.
We even had the chance to ride on a horse carriage and be treated like royals!
MOTAT is really a must-go for families with kids. It is highly educational and fun!
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium is really a great place for families to go to!
There are many activities for kids other than just viewing a wide variety of sea creatures.
Our family’s top favorite at the Aquarium was seeing the penguins!
There were so many penguins and we could have a really close-up look at them.
Some of the penguins were very active. It was a joy watching them swim about so swiftly!
Some of the penguins were looking at us as intently as we were at them!
There was an area where the children color pictures of sea creatures, scan them, and then their creations would appear on the big screen. My kids were really excited about spotting their fishes on the screen.
There was also a play area where the kids could expend their energy while the adults grab a coffee or a snack.
If you want to maximize your time at the Aquarium then it’s best to check out the various talk and feeding times before heading over.
Pin this on your family travel boards!
Day 4: Hobbiton
Needless to say, Hobbiton is a must-see for fans of the movies Lord Of The Ring and The Hobbit Trilogies.
However, I have to admit I’m a fan of neither and none of my kids have watched any of the shows.
Yet the place was still exceptionally enchanting, even to us!
There were so many photographic spots and my kids had lots of fun taking pictures.
The hike up and down the rolling hills was like a little adventure for my boys.
The green pastures and blue sky littered with white clouds provided a beautiful view no matter where you stand.
The colorful hobbit holes were built with so much detail. The entire place was whimsical and it really felt like we had stepped into another world.
The drinks provided at the Blue Dragon Inn at the end of the journey were a great treat.
Do grab an umbrella from the umbrella shed at the start of the journey. The umbrellas proved to be very useful for wet winter days and also great for support hiking up the steep paths.
It took us two hours to drive from Auckland to Shire’s Rest. We had some coffee and snacks at the cafe before the tour started.
If you are unable to drive to Shire’s Rest, the Hobbiton tours provide transport to and from several places, including Auckland, Taupo, and Rotorua.
These are 6 fun things to do in Auckland with kids for 4 days!
Which is your favorite?
Let me know in the comments below!
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