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Auckland, New Zealand With Kids

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As you all know, our travel plans are highly based on error fares, airline miles and hotel points. I get error fare notifications to my phone as soon as they come through [How To Find The Best Travel Flight Deals & Error Fares]. As soon as I got the notification for a cheap round trip to Auckland, New Zealand it was a done deal. I immediately purchased four tickets for Aiden’s 5th birthday.

Auckland, New Zealand With Kids

Instead of staying in Auckland for the duration of our trip, I decided that we should visit a few different places to make our experience worthwhile. We visited Auckland, Waiheke Island, Coromandel and Rotorua. We had a total of 9 days and stayed 2/3 days in each place. It took me quite a while to build our itinerary for some reason. You know what, I know why, because I am not a planner at all, and we usually just go with the flow. But because it was high season (summer in New Zealand), I had to. I mapped out each day of our trip including accommodations, restaurants and activities, and booked what I could right away.

When Did We Travel To Auckland New Zealand With Kids?

We traveled to Auckland the first week of February 2018. Aiden’s birthday is 06 February, so this was his birthday trip! He turned 5 while we were on our trip as my goal every year is for him to celebrate his birthday someplace new!

What Is The Weather Like In Auckland, New Zealand

February is still considered summer time in New Zealand. The weather is so interesting though; one minute it’s raining, the next it’s sunny. The weather was a mix between rain and sun. And even when it rained, it was still quite warm. So good thing I packed a mix of shorts and pants for us all. Don’t forget your packing cubes!!

How To Travel To Auckland, New Zealand With Kids

We flew United Airlines from Burbank to Auckland with a short layover in San Francisco. I purchased these tickets when an error fare came through for $330 flights to New Zealand. It was too good of a deal to pass up.

Don’t forget to get your kids Pilot Hats for a chance to be invited into the cockpit for piloting 101!! It works like a charm each time we fly with the boys. Click link to purchase: Aiden’s Hat / Ethan’s Hat

       

The boys slept 11 hours of the 12.5hr flight. I made sure to feed them well and then tire them out in San Francisco prior to boarding our flight to Auckland. They slept with the help of the “1st Class Kids Travel Pillow

How To Get Around Auckland, New Zealand With Kids

We rented a car from National Car Rental. We got a Toyota Camry which was perfect as it was able to fit all our stuff with no issues. Remember that in New Zealand, driving is on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side.

I didn’t want to lug too much stuff around, so for the first time ever in my traveling life, I decided to rent car seats for the boys. They had such a hard time buckling themselves in for some odd reason, so I decided I’d never make that mistake again. Lol. For ease of use, I highly recommend taking your kids car seat. Having to buckle them both every single time was quite a hassle to be honest especially as they do it perfectly well by themselves when we are home.


Where To Stay In Auckland, New Zealand With Kids

We spent 3 nights in Auckland, one night in each of these places.

Hilton Auckland

We stayed here on 60K points for one night. In my opinion, wayyyyyyy too many points. Not excited about Hilton point redemption lately. I was also not happy to find out they didn’t have a lounge. They did offer us a bottle of wine for not being able to upgrade us due to full capacity.

AirBnB

Homestay

Out host was sweet enough to let us use her kitchen for our little celebration of Aiden’s 5th birthday!!

Things To Do In Auckland, New Zealand With Kids

We didn’t do much in Auckland. We planned too, but then we realized that there just so many other fun things to do out of the city. So we spent our time in Rotorua and Coromandel (posts coming up soon).

Auckland City Beach

This place was recommended by our Airbnb host. A great beach with beautiful views, as well as a play area for kids and a restaurant nearby. The kids loved it.

Auckland Zoo

This zoo is great, with lots of animals that were new to the kids. So I am glad we went there. They also have a kidzone kids area and the boys loved playing there after exploring the zoo.

Okahu Bay Wharf

We saw the beautiful downtown Auckland city skyline as we were driving by and decided to stop for a photo. This Wharf is a fishing wharf, so nothing exciting here, however, there is an aquarium across the street that was highly recommended to us.. The boys enjoyed running up and down giving me heart attack and were curious to see what types of fish people caught. They then started asking over and over that they wanted to fish also and that was our cue to leave lol.

Other Things To Do With Kids In Auckland, New Zealand

  • Sky Tower – for amazing views of the city.
  • Rangitoto Island – island and an easy ferry ride from Auckland.
  • Waitemata Harbour – you can go sailing, swimming, bungee jumping etc
  • Butterfly Creek – if your kids love butterflies, they’ll have fun here.
  • Waitakere Ranges – a national park your kids will enjoy to explore.
  • Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium –  your kids will enjoy stingrays, sharks and penguins.
  • Auckland Botanic Gardens – beautiful grounds and great for photo ops also.

Where To Eat In Auckland, New Zealand With Kids

Can I just say this, the food in New Zealand is AHHHH-Mazing !!!! I was not dissapointed by any of the places we ate at. Each place had a play area for kids which made it even more perfect. Wish this was the norm in LA.

The Coffee Club

Mission Bay Pavillion

The Postmans Leg

Little King

Charlie & George

Coffee Lab

Tips For Visiting Auckland, New Zealand With Kids

  • Book your accommodation (hotel/airbnb etc) ahead of time. We moved around quite a bit because I waited until last minute to book and had a hard time finding a nice place that was decently priced.
  • A car is a must, there’s just no other way about it. Auckland is a big city, and the North Island of New Zealand is pretty big too. If you’re renting a car, don’t forget that driving is on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side of the road, so be Careful!!! Thanks to my husband because I would have been too scared to drive, lol.
  • To avoid fees from your provider, get a sim card from Spark at the airport when you land. They have good rates and really good 4g reception all over the North Island. We got the 8gb plan and had to add some more later as we use a lot of data.
  • There are plenty of restaurants with play areas for kids. This is a great list: “Kid Friendly Cafes and Restaurants in Auckland”  so take advantage of the, The kids can play and eat and everyone is happy.
  • There are plenty of things to do in Auckland, but we didn’t do as many because we had so much more fun exploring other cities. “Things To Do In Auckland for Kids, Teens and Families” is a great list if you plan to spend the majority of your holiday in Auckland.

Read my other posts on New Zealand below:

Booking Your Trip – Tips & Tricks

How To Book Cheap Flights When You Travel

If you are looking to book the cheapest flights you can possibly find on the internet, then make sure to use Skyscanner when searching for flights. Don’t forget to download the Skyscanner App also which is very handy. This is how I was able to get $12.40 airfare from Los Angeles to London, as well as $9.40 airfare from London to Italy.

How To Book Affordable Accommodation When You Travel

When booking accommodation, TripAdvisor is the way to go because you can read reviews and see photos from other travelers to get a feel of where you will be staying. Other great sites to book hotels are HotelsCombined, Booking.com and Hotels.com. Don’t forget to check HomeAway and VRBO for house and villa rentals too. Perfect for when you travel with a large family, and also to save money when hotels are expensive. Another favorite of mine is BookVIP – they offer huge resort savings.

How To Book Activities When You Travel

My favorite website to search for activities, tours and especially skip the line tickets is Viator and Get Your Guide. This makes trip planning so much easier because you don’t have to search several sites as both websites have several options to choose from. Same also goes with TripAdvisor Attractions – you can search and book activities as well as read reviews.

How To Book Rental Cars When You Travel

Instead of checking every single website, I use RentalCars.com, Car Rental 8 and Skyscanner Car Rentals to find car rentals all over the world with just one click. If you plan to park at the airport, visit Airport Parking and make a reservation.

Why Travel Insurance Is a Must When You Travel

People book trips and forget the most important part, purchasing travel insurance. Because we travel often, I purchase our travel insurance through Allianz for a year at a time which means that we are covered for all trips within that year. Travel insurance will protect you and your family against theft, injury illness, flight cancellations and so much more. It is a MUST!

Looking to save even more money when you travel?

Visit my Travel Resources page to see all the reliable and trustworthy brands that I use to book my travel with. I only recommend brands that I’ve used and can vouch for, so you’re in good hands! ? Also check out these posts below:

Top Travel With Kids Tips

Traveling with kids and have a few questions you need answers too, these posts below will help your trip run smooth.

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6 Comments

  1. Deb
    February 15, 2018 / 6:39 pm

    looks like an amazing time! thank you for sharing!

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