Zoos, Museums & Art Galleries
The BEST Zoos, Museums and Art Galleries to take the kids for a fun family day out in Auckland, New Zealand. Due to COVID some of the Zoos, museums and art galleries may have reduced operating hours please check with the venue before heading out.
Motions Road, Western Springs, Central Auckland, New Zealand
Explore 17 hectares of naturally inspiring and award winning habitats, home to New Zealand’s largest collection of native and exotic species.
The Auckland Zoo has venues serving food and drink, two children’s playgrounds, nappy change stations and lots of drinking fountains.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 5:30pm. Last entry at 4:30pm. Plan your day.
Day Pass prices: Infants under 4 are FREE; Children 4 to 14 years $13; Students $19; Adults $24; Senior citizens $19; Family passes: 1 adult + 2 children $45; 2 adults + 2 children $65. Book here.
Wallace Arts Trust at the Pah Homestead
72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough, Central Auckland, New Zealand
The Arts Centre hosts a changing programme of exhibitions curated from the James Wallace Arts Trust Collection of over 7000 works as well as regional touring exhibitions. There is a cafe onsite where you can have coffee on a covered veranda overlooking the sculpture garden.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 9am to 3pm, Saturday and Sundays: 8am to 5pm. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Plan your visit .
Entry fee: Entry is by koha (donation).
The Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland, NZ
Housed in one of New Zealand’s finest heritage buildings, the Museum’s three floors tell the story of New Zealand. There is a Weird and Wonderful Discovery Centre that is great for the kids.
Family events are regularly held on weekends and during the school holidays. All galleries are accessible by pushchairs and there is a parenting room for feeding young babies.
Opening hours: 10am to 5pm daily
Cost: FREE for Auckland residents kids and adults; Donation invited for NZ residents;
10 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport 2022, South Auckland
Immerse yourself in the tropical butterfly house. See New Zealand’s only salt water crocodiles, kiwis farm animals, alligators, otters, eels, reptiles and a beautiful bird aviary. Ride the train, relax in the free playground or enjoy the cafe.
Opening hours: Daily 9:30am to 4pm on weekdays and to 5pm on weekends and public holidays
MOTAT Museum of Transport and Technology
MOTAT is New Zealand’s largest Museum of Transport and Technology. There are hands-on exhibitions and activities for kids of all ages to engage with and a multi-sensory play area for Under 5s. There is also a parent’s room with change table, a café, picnic tables and a play area.
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 5pm
Admission: Kids under 5 are FREE; Kids aged 5 to 16 years $10; Students $10; Adults $19; Super Gold Card Holders with ID FREE; Overseas senior citizens $10; Family Pass (2 adults and up to 4 children) $45. Plan your visit to MOTAT.
Howick Historical Village
Bells Road, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, East Auckland
Explore the early settlement of Howick as it was in the mid to late 1800s. Open the doors of real homes and experience living history for yourself. See how the early settlers would have lived as they went about their daily activities.
Opening hours: 10am to 4pm daily (last admission at 3pm). Closed on Christmas Day.
Cost: Under 5’s are FREE; Children (5 to 14 years) $8; Adults $16; Family (2 adults + 2 children) $40. Plan your visit.
Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery
420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi, Waitakere, West Auckland
Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery is a regional gallery locally rooted in West Auckland but globally minded. The gallery has a distinctive West Auckland focus but a national and international perspective. Te Uru presents a diverse programme of contemporary exhibitions, events and activities, including art, craft and design, to reflect and strengthen the full diversity of cultural identities, interests and potential of our community.
Opening hours: Seven days a week 10am to 4:30pm
Cost: FREE entry. Pan your visit to Te Uru
Torpedo Bay Navy Museum
64 King Edward Parade, Torpedo Bay, Devonport, North Shore, Auckland
The museum tells the story of the Navy’s contribution to the development of New Zealand’s identity through the lens of the Navy’s values – commitment, courage and comradeship. Relax by the sea at the Torpedo Bay Cafe with stunning habour views , while you can watch the kids playing on the Navy themed playground.
Opening hours: 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week. Closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
New Zealand Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is a place of stories, ambition, courage and exploration. It’s a place of amazing journeys where you can discover how our relationship with the sea has shaped the New Zealand identity. Through seven different galleries, find out how the first Polynesian people made the epic migration to Aotearoa, the early European exploration and settlement of New Zealand, right through to our modern-day yachting success.
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 5pm (final entry at 4pm) Closed on Christmas Day.
Admission: Auckland residents are FREE with proof of address;
Visitors to Auckland: Children $10; Adults $20; Seniors $17, Family Pass 2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children $40
Sailing charges are additional for Aucklanders and visitors to Auckland.
Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the home of the visual arts in New Zealand. Explore their collection of more than 15,000 artworks. There is a Creative Learning Centre for the kids and drop in family sessions on Saturday afternoons. There is an onsite cafe, cloakroom, drinking fountains and change tables.
Daily 10am to 5pm, Fri 10am to 9pm. Except Christmas Day.
FREE for New Zealand residents (Charges may apply to special exhibitions)
Children 12 and under are FREE.
International adults $20; International students and seniors are $17.
All you need to know to plan your visit.
Stardome Observatory and Planetarium
670 Manukau Road, One Tree Hill Domain, Royal Oak, Auckland
Observatory Planetarium with planetarium shows, telescope viewing and gallery & exhibits.
Stardome’s gallery and exhibits are open every day and night, except Monday night. Please be aware that Monday to Friday during school hours, Stardome has no public planetarium shows.
Monday: 10am to 5pm
Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 5pm and 6pm to 9:30pm
Friday: 10am to 5pm and 6pm to 11pm
Saturday: 11am to 11pm
Sunday: 11am to 10pm
Last entry to Stardome is 15 minutes before closing time.
Prices: Space Gallery & Exhibits – $2 per adult and $1 per child.
Planetarium Shows – Kids aged 3 to 15 years $10 to $12; Adults $12 to $15; Senior citizens $10 to $12; Family pass $40 to $50 (2 adults and 3 children).
Silverdale Pioneer Village Museum and Gardens
15 Wainui Road, Silverdale, Auckland
Time Trail of buildings from the 1860s to the 1930s.
Opening hours: Saturday and Sundays: 10am to 3pm
Cost: FREE entry. Gold coin donation is appreciate.