The region of Auckland is located in the North Island of New Zealand and shares its name with the largest city in the country. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, Auckland offers a wide variety of activities for kids, from joining a ballet class to climbing a volcano. Auckland is known for its vibrant diversity of cultures and landscapes, and is considered to be one of the most livable cities in the world.
Dubbed the “city of sails”, Auckland is home to more boats per capita than anywhere else around the world. There are over 135,000 vessels currently registered across two major harbours: the Waitematā Harbour and the Manukau Harbour.
Auckland is a city of 50 volcanoes, but not to worry – the possibility of eruptions is practically zero! Auckland’s most famous volcano is Rangitoto. It’s also the youngest and the largest of all of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones.
Auckland’s Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand. It stands 328 meters tall and has 222 floors. You can view the city from 220 metres above street level.
You can cross the width of the country in the Auckland region in around four hours. The Coast to Coast Walkway is a hike across the city from Waitemata to Manukau, which will take you through some of the historical areas, as well as some stunning natural sites along the way.
Apart from Auckland city, the other main centres for finding activities for kids are Helensville, Leigh, Muriwai, Piha, Puhoi, Warkworth and Wellsford.
Kids’ activities in Auckland are varied and diverse, whatever your children may be into. See below for some fresh ideas to get the nippers involved in things around Auckland!
Auckland was originally a settlement of indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, the Maori. The Maori came from eastern Polynesia between 1250 and 1300 AD in several waves of canoe voyages. They created fortified villages on the volcanic peaks. Auckland’s original name is Tamaki Makau Rau, which means ‘isthmus of one thousand lovers’.
Over many centuries, the Maori developed their own unique and rich culture, with their own language, mythology, performing arts and crafts. Two of the prominent aspects of their way of life were horticulture and their fierce warrior culture. Their extensive facial tattoos were symbols of rank, social status, power and prestige. Their traditional ceremonial dance called the Haka is still practiced up to this day.
In 1840, Captain James Hobson arrived in New Zealand to establish a British colony in the country. He met with Maori chiefs at Waitangi where they signed a treaty which became New Zealand’s founding document. The Maori chiefs relegated sovereignty to the colonisers and gave them exclusive right to buy lands they wished to sell and in return, the British Crown would uphold their rights as British subjects and they still have their full rights as owners of their lands and possessions.
Months after the signing of the treaty, Hobson selected the capital of the Northern Island which he named Auckland. By 1865 the capital was moved to Wellington.
Auckland is located at 36’ 51” South and 174’ 47” East and it lies between the Tasman Sea to the west and Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east. This distinct location paved a way for the urban center to have harbours on two separate bodies of water.
Auckland is said to be a Polynesian paradise because of its forested hills, rich volcanic soils, and beautiful beaches. There are several islands of the Hauraki Gulf that are considered part of Auckland.
The Auckland region enjoys a climate that has inspired a standard of living that’s frequently ranked in the world’s top ten. Auckland’s climate is primarily subtropical with warm and humid summers and mild, damp winters. The region is one of New Zealand’s sunniest centre, with an average of 2060 sunshine hours per year. The average daily maximum temperature is 23.7°C (74.7°F) while the absolute minimum is -2.5°C (27.5°F). Rainfall is typically abundant all year round, with sporadic heavy rainfalls.