Kids' Day Out
Start off the day with a trip to New Zealand's premier theme park, Rainbow's End. Ambury Regional Farm Park is more relaxing fun for the kids (and mum and dad), and if the kids still want more then Kelly Tarlton's is well worth the visit.
1 hide detailTheme park located in South Auckland
Rainbow's End is a favourite with local families, school groups and teenagers. Something akin to Alton Towers in the U.K. or the Six Flags parks in North America, you could easily spend a whole day in this 8 hectare, entertainment-filled park taking in the rides at a relaxed pace. The main feature you will notice, even before you get off the motorway, is the giant rainbow coloured drop tower. Really, you can't miss it!There are also the old favourites like log flumes and rollercoasters and a good thing to keep in mind is that it is not just for older kids. The Cadbury Land Castle area caters to the smallest in the group with rides and attractions in mini size. The whole family can enjoy a day out including meals but bear in mind that there are also a lot of nearby restaurants and fast food outlets for when you've had enough.
From the city, take the Southern Motorway and get off at the Manukau City off ramp. Turn right and you will be able to see the giant tower. There is plenty of free parking.
2 hide detailCity farm
Ambury has been farmed for hundreds of years, first by Maori and then by Europeans. Today Ambury Farm (133 hectares) is a working farm, stocked primarily with horses, sheep and cattle. Its location on Manukau Harbour also makes it a popular destination with bird watchers who look for godwit and knot as well as pied oystercatchers and wrybill. Feed the baby farm animals, see demonstrations of sheep shearing and wood chopping, ride a pony or a tractor! Admission is free.
3 hide detailTunnel through an aquarium and see the sharks hand-fed by divers
Kelly Tarlton's is an aquarium that opened in 1986 on the site of old sewage storage tanks. It's curved tunnels (there are more than 110 meters of them) provide a very unique viewing experience (think underwater experience while you are underground). It also has an escalator system to move visitors through the park that was believed to be a world first. Besides the aquarium, there is a replica of Captain Scott's Antarctica Hut as well as a colony of sub-Antarctic Penguins. For an extra fee, you can get in the water with the Stingrays and Sharks in a special area with guides. This is like jumping into an aquarium of your own.
4 hide detailFamilies love Valentines
This family oriented buffet restaurant is one in a very popular and successful chain. Valentines is great for group celebrations—the place always has a buzz and a friendly, welcoming feel. Children are extremely welcome. Valentines has wonderful seafood, a good variety of general buffet food and offers a full bar service.