Gardens and Parks
Some of the BEST gardens, parks and regional parks for families to enjoy in Auckland, New Zealand. Take a picnic rug, balls, cricket gear, togs, towels and of course some food and drink to enjoy a family day outside at one of Auckland’s FREE outdoor spaces.
If you are looking for playgrounds, then please see our section on Auckland Playgrounds here.
Central Auckland Gardens and Parks
Princes Street, Auckland Central
Open hours: Pedestrian access 24 hours.
Albert Park is a favourite Auckland park in the heart of the city to enjoy a spot of lunch with the kids. It borders Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland University and the city centre. The Park is also host to festivals and events throughout the year.
Park Road, Grafton, Central Auckland
Auckland Domain is one of Auckland’s oldest and most loved parks. The Domain has formal gardens, duck ponds, a kiosk, band rotunda, winter gardens, bush walks, open spaces, sports fields and more. It’s a great spot to visit all year round with your family. The Auckland Museum is also on the edge of the park and is free for Aucklanders to visit.
Dove-Myer Robinson Park – Parnell Rose Gardens
85 to 87 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Central Auckland, New Zealand
Open hours: Pedestrian access 24 hours.
Rose garden with 5,000 rose bushes. The park is named after the longest serving Auckland Mayor Dove-Myer. Judges Bay is at the bottom of the rose gardens. Parnell Baths outdoor swimming pool which is open in summer is nearby.
24 Omana Ave, Epsom, Central Auckland
Discover this wonderfully peaceful sanctuary in the heart of Auckland. Wander through the 5.5 acre award-winning garden on the side of Mt Eden. Explore the plant collections including perennials, vireyas, camellias, bromeliads and native New Zealand plants. There’s always something in bloom. Enjoy the waterfalls, rock formations, resident native birds and fabulous city and harbour views.
Cost: Kids under 12 FREE; Students and Seniors $6, Adults $8
Michael Joseph Savage Memorial
19 Hapimana Street (next to Bastion Point), Orakei, Auckland
49 hectares of land above Takami Drive. Plenty of grassed areas for a picnic area, near the formal gardens with a pond. Superb views back to the city or out to Rangitoto. Their is a memorial to Michael Joseph Savage, the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. It is adjacent to the Ngai Whatua papakainga. It is a popular venue for flying kites. There is always a walkway down to Mission Bay from the summit too.Open: 6:30am to 8:30pm
Cost: FREE admission
Mount Eden – Mangawhau
250 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland
Mount Eden is the highest volcano in Auckland city at 196 metres high. Enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of Auckland and its harbours from the summit.
Mount Wellington – Maungarei
Maungarei Memorial Drive, Mount Wellington, Auckland
Mount Wellington is 135 metres high and is the youngest’s volcano in Auckland.
It is a perfect spot to watch the sun set over the city. There are few picnic tables by the parking area, and from there it is only a short walk up to the summit.
One Tree Hill Domain and Cornwall Park
670 Manukau Road, Epsom
One Tree Hill Domain and Cornwall Park is one of the largest areas of parkland in the central Auckland area. You can spot sheet and cattle grazing on the pastoral land. There is a cafe,creamery and bistro in Cornwall Park for your family to eat out at or you can bring your own picnic to enjoy.
You can also take the kids to see the exhibits or a planetarium show at Stardome Planetarium and Observatory which is next to the playground.
Western Springs Park
731 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland
In between Auckland and Zoo and MOTAT this is a park surrounding a natural spring fed lake. There is lots of grass areas for picnics, and there is also a playground there too. If you go at the right time of year you might event spot.
East Auckland Parks and Reserves
Ayrlies Garden and Wetlands
125 Potts Road, Whitford, South-East Auckland
Open Monday to Friday: 9am to 4pm and Saturday by appointment. Closed on public holidays and Sundays.
The Westlands links the garden to the waters of the Hauraki Gulf and is a one hour loop walk where you can see pukekos, mallard ducks, shellducks, black swans, canada goose, grey teal ducks, New Zeaand Scaup ducks and New Zelaand Davchick birkds.
The Ayrlies Gardens are a beautiful informal country garden only open to adults and children 12 years old and over to visit. The New Zealand Gardens Trust has ranked Ayrlies as a Garden of International Significance.
Entry to the Wetlands is FREE.
Entry to the gardens is $20 per visitor.
Clevedon Scenic Reserve
Thorps Quarry Road, Clevedon, East Auckland
100 hectare reserve containing one of the few intact areas of native forest left in Manukau. Please note that some of the park is closed to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
Families can enjoy exploring the wetland and native birds. There is is a picnic area and public toilets.
Cost: FREE entry.
Duder Regional Park
933R North Road, Clevedon, Whakakaiwhara Peninsula, East Auckland
Visit the stunning Duder Regional Park on Whakakaiwhara Peninula which looks out to the Huanua Ranges and Hauraki Gulf islands. The kids can enjoy watching the cattle and sheep. Remember to bring a blanket to find your own picnic spot and your togs to go for a swim. The park has some beautiful easy walks for families of all ages to enjoy. There is a farm loop track for mountain bikers.
Pedestrian access to the park is open 24 hours a day and there is vehicle access 6am to 9pm during summer and more limited hours in winter. Also, if you want to go for more than a day you can book to stay at Auckland Council’s campsite or baches.
Cost: FREE entry.
North Auckland Parks and Reserves
Highfield Garden Reserve & Donkeys
Mahurangi Garden Reserve, Mahurangi East Road, Algies Bay, North Auckland
Kids will love watching the small herd of donkeys at Highfield Garden Reserve. The Reserve has an easy walk to a look out poin over Snells Beach and towards Scandrett Regional Park. Remember to bring some carrots, apples and silverbeat for the kids to feed the donkeys too.
Long Bay Regional Park
2000 Beach Road, Long Bay, North Shore, Auckland
Long Bay has 1 km of sandy beach a short walk across the parkland from all of the main car parks. Further north along the Coastal Walk there are two more bays which are suitable for swimming. The protected Okura Marine Reserve which runs along the eastern coastline of the park is great for diving.
Facilities at Long Bay Regional Park include: toilets, playground, bookable picnic sites and bbqs, picnic tables, boat ramps, good cellphone coverage for most of the park, and the historic Vaughan Homestead.
Te Arai Regional Park
Te Arai Point Road, Te Arai, North Auckland
A stunning regional park on the coast with views of Mangawhai Heads, Sandspit, Pakiri Beach and Tomarata Lakes. The park has beaches, wetlands, dunes, lakes and forests. Te Arai is a beautiful white sand beach that is popular for swimming and surfing.
Te Arai Regional Park is always open to pedestrians and there is vehicle access year round from 12am to 12 am.
South Auckland Gardens and Parks
Ambury Regional Park
43 Ambury Road, Mangere Bridge, South Auckland
See the farm animals on the working farm at Ambury Regional Park. Kids will enjoy watching the animals as they stroll around the farm and spotting the shorebirds on the coastline. The park has BBQ’s and picnic sites for families to enjoy. There is a campground at Ambury Park which you can book up to 6 months in advance.
Pedestrian access: 24 hours a day
Gate access: 6am to 9pm in summer and 6am to 7pm during winter.
Cost: FREE Entry.
Auckland Botanic Gardens
102 Hill Road, Manurewa, South Auckland
Enjoy a day out in the 64 hectares of beautiful gardens and native forest at the Auckland Botanic Gardens with your family and kids.
Garden opening hours:
Winter: April to September 8am to 6pm
Summer: October to March 8am to 8pm
Visitor Centre is open on weekdays from 8am to 4:30pm
Cost: FREE Entry.
Barry Curtis Park
201-203 Chapel Road, Flat Bush, South Auckland
94 hectare park with sculptures, playground, basketball court, skatepark, picnic facilities, sports fields and wetlands with ponds and boardwalks.
Cost: FREE entry.
17 Domain Road, Mangere, South Auckland
One of the best preserved of Auckland’s many volcanic cones. There are picnic tables, playground, skate parks, sports field and walking paths. You can also visit Mangere Mountain Education Centre to learn about Mangere Mountain’s rich volcanic and ancient Maori history.
Otuataua Stonefields Reserve
56 Ihumatao Quarry Road, Mangere, South Auckland
This 100 hectare area was established to protect and perserve the archaeological remains of communites who lived here. You can see large scale stonework and earthwork remains that shows how people once lived. The Tangata whenua have requested that food is NOT consumed on the reserve as it is a sacred place. For more information about Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve see here.
108 Prices Road, Manukau, South Auckland
Best for bird watching, walking and mountain biking in the 199 hectare rural landscape in the Puhinui Peninsula. Puhinui Reserve is part of the Mataukuturua volanco field.
Wrights Water Gardens
128 Mauku Road, Patumahoe, Auckland
Open on Thursdays to Sundays from 1 October to 31 July.
Ponds, colourful gardens and winding pathways surround the iconic Mauku Waterfall. The gardens are a great place for a family day out. Kids especially love our turtles, tadpoles and the eel pond. There are peacocks, turkeys, chickens, alpacas, and even toy poodles roaming around the gardens.
Cost: Kids under 5 are FREE; Kids aged 5 to 15 years old are $4; Students $6 Adults $8, Seniors $6
West Auckland Gardens and Parks
Portage Road, New Lynn, Waitakere, West Auckland
Seven hectare park with a playground, sports field, Avondale Spider sanctuary, stream, local art work, community garden and toilets.
West Lynn Garden and Butterfly House
73 Parker Avenue, New Lynn, Waitakere, West Auckland
West Lynn Garden is a public garden covering 4.5 acres with a butterfly house created and run by volunteers
Cost: $3 entry