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Learn & Explore - find free courses, e-books and more

Published: 8 April 2020

Auckland’s most treasured destinations for learning and exploration, such as Motat, Auckland museum and our Libraries, have had to close their doors to the public during the COVID-19 lockdown.

But all of these places have plenty of intrepid activities to discover online. Here’s our rundown of Auckland’s most clickable courses, e-books and activities.

Auckland Libraries online

Available online anytime, anywhere, Auckland Libraries offers film streaming, online courses and the latest collections all for free.

Choose from thousands of eBooks, browse curated book lists, listen to your favourite eBook, learn a new language, browse more than 800 magazine titles, stream films, explore Auckland's heritage and much more.

Find out more on the Auckland Libraries website.

Take a look here for a full list of only library services.

Haven't got a library membership yet? Sign up online today - it's free, quick and easy and gives you instant access to Auckland Libraries online.

Auckland War Memorial Museum

While the doors of Auckland Museum are closed, you can still experience some of your favourite parts of Tāmaki Paenga Hira from home.

Watch how volcanoes are made, make an exotic bird come alive in a puzzle or see some never seen before photos of Sir Edmund Hillary and his expeditions.

Visit the museum website

Discover your family history

Have you always wanted to find out who your ancestors were and where they lived? Auckland Council Libraries offer free access to many online research guides and tools to help you to research your family history from the comfort of your home.

One of Libraries’ key family history research tools - Ancestry Library Edition – is now able to be accessed for the first time from home.

To get started, check out our how-to guide for researching your genealogy and family history and blog post on top picks for researching at home.

If you get stuck, get online assistance with research queries through 'Ask a Librarian'.

MOTAT collections

MOTAT has an impressive online collection of more than 300,000 items telling stories of technology, innovation, transport and social history in New Zealand.

The collection can be accessed online for free.

Learning in lockdown

Learn at your own pace from the comfort of your own home with 3500 online courses on - all completely free with your Auckland Libraries membership.

Become an Instagram marketer, discover the world of data analytics, take a self-help course, learn to write with flair, or master Excel all thanks to your Auckland Libraries membership.

Click here to sign in to Lynda with your Auckland Libraries account.

Auckland Libraries supporting connectivity

If you or someone you know cannot access the internet, Spark’s Skinny JUMP broadband service may be available to help.

JUMP is a low-cost, pre-pay internet service for people who don't have a broadband connection at home because cost is a barrier. JUMP is subsidised by the Spark Foundation, and Auckland Council Libraries, along with many other libraries around New Zealand, are providing support to help families to sign up.

Sign up or help someone you know to sign up at or contact our Library Connect team at 09 377 0209 for help.

NZ Maritime Museum

Explore the museum's Tākiri exhibition online, explore the work of seven contemporary artists and the national korero responding to the Tuia 250 commemoration. See the exhibition online here

Join the Mini Māui’s kids club

Sign up to the Maritime Museum’s free kids club and receive a quarterly activity pack in the post, plus kids sail for free on their birthdays!

Join the club and download activities here.

Tag us in your Mini Māui’s posts and use the hashtags #NZMaritimeMuseum and #MiniMāuis for spot prizes.

Sustainable Seas Breakfast Talk Series

Speakers from the Sustainable Seas challenge discuss their research and the future of our oceans in this series of Breakfast Talks hosted by the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Watch online here.

Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo is bringing the animals to you with regular live streams, keeper cams, stories, interactive activities and learning resources for families at home.

Visit for more information, or take a look at the links below:

Learn about self care

Self-care is about being good to yourself. It’s about making time to do things that you enjoy. It helps you feel good about yourself in mind, body and soul.

Visit the Comet Auckland website to learn more about taking care of yourself and the people around you.

Read more: At Home


Activities for kids

Occupying the kids during this period of self-isolation is no easy task, but we’re here to help.

Reach us - Ways to connect with Auckland Council

Our service centres have closed their doors for the duration of the level four COVID-19 lockdown but there are still plenty of ways you can connect with us by phone and online to get things done.

Keep moving, Auckland

Keeping active is an essential part of looking after our physical and mental wellbeing, and we're sharing ideas on how to keep moving.