Three outdoor activities for Easter family fun in Auckland

Last Updated : 21 Mar 2023
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Time travel at Howick Historical Village this Easter

If you’re after a fun family outing this Easter weekend, these activities are sure to satisfy any cravings for chocolate, historical fun, and time spent outdoors.

Befriend farm animals at Ambury Regional Park

What’s Easter without chickens and bunnies, right? Get up close and personal with them at Ambury Regional Park. This working farm in Māngere Bridge is only 20 minutes from the central city and is free to visit. There are also sheep, cows, goats, turkeys and pigs, and you’re even allowed to get into some of the paddocks to mingle with them (except during lambing season from mid-July and early August).

Situated along the coast of Manukau Harbour, the farm park is also a perfect spot for birdwatching – 86 species of birds have been identified here, including native shorebirds such as kuaka (godwits), kawaupaka (little shags) and matuku moana (white-face herons). After you’ve experienced this menagerie of delights, settle down for an al fresco lunch at one of the picnic tables or make use of the barbecue facilities.

Get up close with the animals at Ambury

Get up close with the animals at Ambury

Take the coastal walk for fresh air and birdspotting

Take the coastal walk for fresh air and birdspotting

Time travel and eat chocolate at Howick Historical Village

Head back to the mid-1800s and pretend you’re the hero of your own period drama at this replica of early Howick. Children will delight in finding out what it was like in the olden days and can take part in lots of hands-on activities including pumping water, feeding hens, learning their alphabet in the school house, churning butter and watching the blacksmiths working at the forge. You can even make your own lollipop in the old-fashioned sweet shop.

If you like your history with a bit of chocolate, make sure you book a ticket to the village’s Easter Extravaganza on Sunday 9 April. It’s $20 per adult and $10 per child. Visitors can have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny, hunt for chocolate eggs, play outdoor games and get their face painted.

Explore the Wintergardens and crunch through leaves at the Auckland Domain

Wherever there are deciduous trees, autumn leaves are falling – and there are plenty to crunch through at Pukekawa / Auckland Domain

Just up from the duck pond you’ll find the historic Wintergardens. The two Victorian-style glasshouses are a delight to explore throughout the year. One has colourful displays of cottage plants that change according to season, and the other houses tropical plants and is a warm retreat on a cold day. Children will enjoy looking at the goldfish in the pond here, as well as in the open-air courtyard that joins the two buildings. Be sure to look out for the curious statue of the courtyard cat, which was erected in 1927. Just below it is the doorway to the fernery, a garden of New Zealand natives that was developed on the site of an old quarry. Its shady, leafy nooks and crannies might be the perfect spot for playing hide and seek or having an Easter adventure.

The Wintergarden glasshouses were recently reopened following two years of repair and rennovation. Restored and strengthened to last long into the future, the glasshouses are now ready to visit and packed with plants to discover.

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