Everyone deserves a treat now and then, and enjoying a family day out can create memories of fun to cherish for years to come. Here are four options for a whānau outing to remember for $100 and under.
We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo
A must-visit for everyone who loves wildlife and connecting in nature, Auckland Zoo is home to more than 3000 animals from 145 different species.
From its Aotearoa New Zealand track - Te Wao Nui, to Africa, South America, and the award-winning South East Asia Jungle Track (home to Sumatran tigers, orangutans, otters, crocodiles and more!) – there’s so much to explore and feel awe-inspired by.
Check out the map for a schedule of free daily keeper talks. Try a range of kai from its choice of cafes and kiosks or bring a picnic to enjoy in the beautifully landscaped grounds.
Admission is $24 for students and senior citizens, $29 for adults, $16.50 for children aged four to 14, and free for those aged three and under. If the kids still have energy to burn, let them go wild in the playground at neighbouring Western Springs Lakeside Park.
Sail the seas
For $74 a family of four can go for a one-hour cruise on board the historic ketch-rigged scow Ted Ashby. Sit back and enjoy the breeze whipping through your hair, or have a go at hoisting the sails.
Or cruise around the harbour on the motor launch Nautilus. This sweet-looking 110-year-old boat only takes six people (it’s also $74 for a family of four) and was carried by the hospital ship Marama in World War I.
Once you’re back on land, explore the museum – entry is free for Aucklanders with proof of address. Walk through the replica cabin (it rocks like a boat at sea!) and study the intricate details on beautiful model boats. If you want to avoid parking, throw a train ride into the mix and catch the train to Waitematā Station (Britomart), which is just a short walk from the museum at Viaduct Harbour.
Get the picture
Another great central city destination that will cost you next to nothing is Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. There’s always a wide range of exhibitions to check out, but just walking through the award-winning building is a pleasure. Admission is free to most of the exhibitions and under 12s are free to touring shows.
Get hands on at Te Aka Matua / the Creative Learning Centre, a family-friendly space with activities, comfy cushions and picture books. The gallery also has an excellent cafe where you can grab a coffee and a bite to eat while looking out over Albert Park.
Step back in time
Explore over 30 heritage buildings, including schoolhouses, a blacksmith's forge, a grand homestead, and more! Play old-fashioned games, stroll the picturesque streets and picnic in the gardens. Time your visit with one of the Village’s many events and Live Days and have a go at making butter or a beeswax candle. For the ultimate sugary treat, buy a giant handmade multicoloured lollipop in the sweet shop (open on Live Days and events only).
A family pass for two adults and two children costs $38, single adult admission is $15, children between five to 15 are $7, and under fives are free. Please note that prices vary for Live Days and special events.