Keeping the family occupied during weekends and holidays is always a challenge. Getting through the weekend and to Monday morning can be exhausting.
But thankfully the Auckland Botanic Gardens has got you covered with bunches of ideas to stop the weeds of boredom and discontent from appearing.
“The Botanic Gardens is for everyone. It’s a great place to get the family out into nature, whether it is exploring new gardens, discovering a new walk, observing the spring blossoms or simply sitting and reading a book in a meadow or having a picnic on the lakeside,” says Julia Watson, Education and Partnerships Co-ordinator, Auckland Botanic Gardens.
Here are a few of the numerous options for families keen to branch out into new adventures.
It’s Springtime and that means the cherry blossoms are exploding in vibrant colours. The Spring Blossom Valley isn’t just about the trees though. The whole colour palette is represented with daffodils, rhododendrons, our native kōwhai and more.
Keep an eye for tūī, and kererū who love to feast on the spring blossoms. If you are lucky you might even catch sight of a few kākā who love to visit.
Starting just outside the Huakaiwaka Visitor Centre is a fun way for the whole family to learn about biosecurity as you walk the 2km trail. Twelve checkpoints will allow you to study different invasive species and learn how to protect our natural environment.
Potter Children’s Garden
This is one for the kid of every age. Get lost in Maui’s maze, explore the misty rainforest, swelter in the desert, or learn about how to collect rainwater. Complete with secret paths, the Children’s Garden is also a place where kids are encouraged to dig for bugs. Plenty of hands on fun for everyone.
Toyota Kiwi Guardians adventure walk
Auckland Botanic Gardens has partnered with Toyota and the Department of Conservation to provide the self-guided adventure walk. Part of a nation-wide activity programme, it is designed for kids to learn about nature.
Explore the walk and find wētā in their own hotel, wander paths through native ngahere (forest), search for tuna (eel) in the stream the trail crosses and then find the guardian post, note down the code word and claim your own Kiwi Guardians medal.
Did you know that there are 28 species of ngaro huruhuru (native bee) in Aotearoa New Zealand?
Take your visit to the next level with the discovery activities that the Auckland Botanic Gardens’ staff have created. Use the activity sheets to guide you on your journey through the Gardens.
There are plenty of sheets to try out but two have been created especially for these school holidays: Celebrate Spring and Native Bees. Both have challenges for everyone to try and if you don’t finish them in the Gardens, take the sheet home and complete it there.
For the adult family members, at the end of all the exploring, grab a coffee at Café Miko before heading home. Don’t forget that if anything inspires you, check out the Auckland Botanic Gardens website to find out how you can create your own piece of gardening paradise.