Celebrate the arrival of the sun


Mum, I’m bored. Mum, he hit me. Mum, why does she gets to do fun stuff and I don’t? Muuuuuuuuuuum …

It’s enough to send you back to bed for 12 years. But that’s not entirely practical. Swap never-ending slumber for cool things to do around Auckland to keep the whole family entertained this almost-summer.

Drive to Waiheke Island. Well, kind of. Take SeaLink’s big red car ferry to one of the loveliest islands in the Hauraki Gulf, then once you’re there, go where you want, whenever you want to. Relax at a winery, take a wander along the stunning Onetangi Bay, or unearth a dash of WWII history at Stony Batter.

Crossing the farm with the ark. Bring Old McDonald’s farm to life with a visit to Kiwi Valley Farm Park. Lambs, piglets, chicks, ducklings, rabbits, other cute things … It’s a plethora of cuteness the whole family will love.

Fore! Groom your teenagers to be the next Lydia Ko by letting them loose at Golf Warehouse’s driving range. The best bit? The flash automatic put-a-ball-on-the-tee machine means you don’t need to bend over. No, not lazy. Ingenious.

Public bathing is OK in this part of town. In Maori, Parakai means ‘scraps of food or leftovers.’ Huh. I’m pretty sure it also means ‘a ridiculous amount of fun just 40 minutes from Downtown.’ Relax in the spa at Aquatic Park Parakai Springs while the rest of the family goes crazy on the hydroslides. Enough said, really.

I’m on a boat. Forget about that silly sailing thing we didn’t win. Instead, hop on another red boat and discover a corner of the Waitemata Harbour you probably didn’t know existed. Red Boats will take you under the Harbour Bridge, past the Chelsea Sugar Refinery and into the Upper Harbour estuary, all the way down the river to the historic Riverhead Tavern for a well-deserved drink.