Auckland Museum Te Papa Whakahiku
Daily 10am-5pm Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday
Bus 635 from Downtown Bus Terminal; Explorer Bus stops every 30 min. past the hour at museum door; Link Bus every 10 min. weekdays, every 20 min. weekends with a 5-min. walk from its Parnell Rd. stop to museum.
Admission Permanent Collection by donation
Maori Concert and Discovery Center : Admission charged.
Auckland's imposing museum building stands in the Auckland Domain on the rim of an ancient volcano surrounded by parks and gardens. This Greek Revival-style museum is known for its Maori artifacts, the largest collection of its kind, including Portraits of Maori chiefs by C. F. Goldie. Other exhibits in the museum are dedicated to natural history, geology, and local history, including a reconstructed streetscape of early Auckland.
Also on site is Discovery Center, an interactive children's activity center that is a perennial favorite.
Maori Treasures Gallery has a new look. Key attractions in this area are the impressive 82-foot war canoe chiseled from one enormous totara trunk and covered with intricate, symbolic carvings. That same artistry is reflected in the 85-foot meetinghouse with its carved and painted walls and rafters, also greenstone weapons, tools, and feather cloaks.
Twice daily at 11am and 1:30pm, Maori concerts by the world-traveled Pounamu Maori Performance Group bring this history and culture to life.
By car, take Karangahape Road (which turns into Great North Road west out of the city, past Western Springs. Take a right onto Motions Road.
Motions Rd., Western Springs,
Daily 9:30am-5:30pm (last admission 4:15pm Closed Christmas Day
Explorer Bus. Free parking
Admission charged. children 5-15; under 5 free; family tickets.
Sumatran tigers snarl, lions roar, and monkeys chatter. Over 900 birds and animals from every continent make their home in this outstanding parkland, recognized as one of Australasia's leading zoos with an international reputation for its animal management programs. Visit the McDonald's South American Rainforest, where troops of spider monkeys, bonnet macaques, squirrel monkeys, and siamangs swing from branch to branch. Discover New Zealand's unique wildlife, including the kiwi and tuatara, or check out Pridelands for giraffe, zebra, lions, and rhino. And visit the zoo's two most famous residents, Kashin and Burma, in their state-of-the-art elephant house. Children will also love the Adventure Playland, which features fun educational activities.
Kelly Tarlton's Antartic Encounter & Underwater World
23 Tamaki Dr., Orakei Wharf
09/528-0603 Fax 09/528-5175.
Daily summer (Nov 1-Mar 31 9am-9pm; winter (Apr 1-Oct 31 9am-6pm. Christmas Day 10am-5pm.)
Take Mission Bay city bus, Explorer Bus, or Fuller's Harbour Explorer.
Admission charged. free for children under 4. Special rates for families and seniors
The creation of New Zealand's most celebrated undersea explorer and treasure hunter, this harborside marine park offers a unioque view of the sea. A submerged transparent tunnel, 120 yards long, makes a circuit past moray eels, lobsters, sharks, and stingrays. In Antarctic Encounter, you enter a replica of explorer Robert Falcon Scott's 1911 Antarctic hut at McMurdo Sound, then circle around a deep-freeze environment aboard a heated Sno-Cat (snowmobile) that winds through a penguin colony and an aquarium exhibiting marine life of the polar sea. You emerge at Scott Base 2000 for a glimpse of this century's anticipated Antarctic research and exploration.
Rainbow's End Theme Park
Great South and Wiri Station Rds., Manukau City
09/ 262-2044 ;09/262-2030
Take the Manukau motorway exit 15 min. south of Auckland City and drive 1,312 ft. to the end of the Rainbow
Daily 10am-5pm; during Jan, 10am-10pm closed Christmas Day All-day Super Pass (includes unlimited rides all day:; Mini Pass (includes any 3 rides):
This is Auckland's premier adventure playground, with 23 acres devoted to rides and attractions for children. For those under 10, there's a Dream Castle with its own mini rollercoaster, a mini carousel, and Ferris wheel. Older children will love New Zealand's only double-loop rollercoaster, and then there is the log flume, the pirate ship, the Enchanted Forest, and a replica of an abandoned mine. Add go karts, dodgems, bumper boats, virtual theatre, and a special section for the toddlers, and the whole family will be glad you came.
Stardome and the Auckland Observatory
Located on the lower slopes of One Tree Hill
Telephone for schedule
Buses 302,305,and 312
The best place to learn about the southern sky, there is a changing program throughout the year with occasional musical programs and a special program for pre-schoolers.