NZ with kids - where to stay, what not to miss?
September 25, 2006 12:52 PM   Subscribe

Me, my wife, and our 2 sons (3 and 6) need a peaceful, pleasant, and somewhat inexpensive place to stay for 3 days or so near Auckland, NZ. We will have a rental car. Got any suggestions? (Bonus - what's not to be missed with kids, 'round Auckland, Wellington, and Nelson areas?)

We will be in New Zealand in December/January for 3 weeks for a big family reunion, plus some general vacationing. We're coming from the states, and my wife and I have been to NZ numerous times before.
posted by chr1sb0y to Travel & Transportation around New Zealand (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't have specific places to recommend to stay, but don't delay booking any further. Summer is approaching fast and a lot of places are largely booked already.

- Kelly Tarltons
- Auckland War Memorial Museum
- the seaside (Note that West Coast beaches in particular can be deceptively dangerous. Be careful.
- the Zoo

Keep an eye on this
page from the local council.

- Te Papa
- Karori Wildlife Sanctuary
- the Zoo

Keep on eye on this page from the WCC.

See if you can catch Whopper Chopper.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2006

Spend the night with a family on a sheep farm. We arranged this with our travel agent before our trip to NZ. I think your children would really like it.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 1:42 PM on September 25, 2006

Some more ideas when in Auckland:
- take the ferry and make day trips to Rangitoto Island, Kawau Island, Waiheke Island, or other places in the Hauraki gulf.
- take a short bushwalk in the Waitakere ranges (might want to park the two year old though unless you're prepared to carry him most of the way)

Whatever you do outside though, wear sunscreen. No shit, you will burn.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:37 PM on September 25, 2006

If you don't mind driving a little bit, your kids will get a kick of the Waitomo Caves. Bigtime.
posted by BorgLove at 4:50 PM on September 25, 2006

second Kelly Tarlton. Much fun - esp the aquarium where you walk in a tunner *inside* of the aquarium, surrounded by all kinds of deadly fishes (sharks too!)

and second taking the ferry and going to the islands. And remember the adults in your group - the lovely wineries will hold appeal.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:03 PM on September 25, 2006

I second Waitomo. I spent a couple of years in Hamilton as a kid, the most popular birthday parties were always the trips to waitomo.

If you want to do nature walks etc, my fave island in the Hauraki Gulf is Tiritiri Matangi. It's a wildlife reserve with lots of amazing native birds. Some of which might be scared away by noisy young children, but others are very friendly and cheeky and quite used to people. The last time I was there a Takahe followed me around for half the afternoon, very cute. :)

And i_am_joe's_spleen is right about sunscreen. Only part way into spring and our high burn warnings have started already. Scary.
posted by ancamp at 8:04 PM on September 25, 2006

As a father of an Auckland almost-3-year-old I can concur with Kelly Tarltons and the Zoo (full time members of both!).

But you're asking for a place to stay right? What do you rate as 'inexpensive', given one of your US dollars buys 1.5 of our pesos?

If you're truly looking inexpensive (and peaceful) then you'll want to be outside of the central city, maybe somewhere on the North Shore, or perhaps even a farmstay? If you're considering a farmstay, rural suburbs within 30-40 mins drive of the CBD include Alfriston, Clevedon, Whitford, Pukekohe, Silverdale, Orewa, Helensville, and others.
posted by pivotal at 9:34 PM on September 25, 2006

O yeah, MOTAT (Auckland). Southward Car Museum (Wellington). Both likely to be good for small boys if they like old vehicles.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:44 PM on September 25, 2006

As for where to stay in Auckland, I've stayed in three different Bribanc Apartments for various lengths of time, and found them all to be comfortable.

Bribanc has units scattered throughout the city, just in regular apartment buildings. You can specify the number of bedrooms you need, and they've got a range of pricing.

Having a kitchen is a huge advantage for us, since we don't spend as much on restaurants.
posted by nadise at 12:15 AM on September 26, 2006

I've taken kids to the Skytower before with positive results - they loved standing 100m over the streets on glass. It's pretty cool the first time you try it (if not afraid of heights!)

I reccomend the museum too. If they get bored there, I'm sure they'll have a good time in the Wintergardens (in the domain the museum is) exploring the hothouses with exotic plants or chasing the ducks outside.
posted by teststrip at 2:37 AM on September 26, 2006

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