10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland

© Shaun Jeffers – THL

Amazing Family Day Trips from Auckland (with Deals Included)

New Zealand’s largest city is the ideal base for exploring the North Island as a family. Within a three-hour drive of Auckland, you could be crouching in Hobbit Holes, cruising in the Bay of Islands, drifting on boat underneath glowworms, sailing on Lake Taupo and so much more! There’s plenty near Auckland to keep the whole family stimulated. What’s more, families hardly need to stress about paying the full admission for their whole tribe, as we’ve listed some unmissable deals for each day trip activity! So dive into this list of cheap family-friendly day trips from Auckland and plan your next family outing.

For more ideas for what to do in Auckland, check out The Guide to Auckland for Families and find somewhere to stay in the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Auckland.

1. Head to Hobbiton and the Waitomo Caves

Let someone else worry about the driving, as you and your family experience both the magic of Middle-earth and the glowworms on this small-group Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Tour from Auckland. With hotel transfers included in this full-day adventure, it couldn’t be easier to access New Zealand’s famous The Lord of the Rings movie set and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves all in one day. What’s more, combining these activities is one of the best ways to save on family admission, as explained in How to Get the Cheapest Activities for Hobbiton. In fact, Klook has a special¬† “Family Pack” deal of 26% off – it works out to be more than 50% off the kid price!

Location: Tours depart from Auckland.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

2. Encounter Whales, Dolphins and More!

Auckland might be New Zealand’s largest city but its surrounding waters are a marine life mecca! Discover it for yourselves on the Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari. The cruise of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf is run by marine biologists who are experts in finding huge whales, playful dolphins and sometimes even orca. No matter your age, it’s hard to contain the excitement as you watch dolphins leaping alongside the boat! As long as the little ones can handle a 4h30min cruise, they’ll have a “whale” of a time and you’ll enjoy it more knowing that you can find deals like “47% Off for Kids and Adults“.

Location: Cruises depart from the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland Central.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

3. Sail on New Zealand’s Largest Lake

If you have your own transport (or need to rent a car from Auckland using our advice in The Best Car Rental Companies in Auckland), then hit the road and enjoy a scenic trip to New Zealand’s largest lake! The journey will be worth it as you and your family jump aboard an eco-friendly sailing yacht with Sail Barbary. Cruise across the lake and see the 14m-high Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings up-close! With regular deals like “58% Off for Kids“, it’s often one of the best-value family activities from Auckland.

Location: Taupo, a 3h20min drive from central Auckland.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

4. Experience a Jet Boat Adventure at Huka Falls

Also easily squeezed in on a family trip to Taupo is the adrenaline experience with Hukafalls Jet. Blast down the mighty Waikato River on this 30-minute jet boat ride complete with 360-degree spins and speeds of up to 80kph! The highlight of the tour is riding into the spray of powerful Huka Falls. Keep an eye out for good family deals on Klook who offer 30% off for adults and kids.

Location: Taupo, a 3h20min drive from central Auckland.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

5. Catch Some Prawns at the Huka Prawn Park

Your final Taupo experience as a family awaits at the Huka Prawn Park! This unique theme park is unlike anywhere else in New Zealand, using the warm waters from the nearby geothermal power station to create the perfect environment for prawn farming. Take a quick tour of the nursery and hatchery before trying your luck at prawn fishing at one of the park’s large ponds. For anyone getting too impatient, the peddle boats, paddleboards and water triking are sure to keep them entertained. Check out the latest deals on Klook – one of their recent has been their “Family Pack” where you pay for two adults and one child and get up to four more child entries for free!

Location: Taupo, a 3h20min drive from central Auckland.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

6. Cruise the Bay of Islands

Swap the city for the sunny north on a road trip to the Bay of Islands. One of the best activities for families in this part of New Zealand is the Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise where you’ll cruise on a large comfortable catamaran seeing the many picturesque islands in “The Bay”. Between a stopover at Urupukapuka Island and cruising through a giant island arch known as “The Hole in the Rock”, you’re likely to spot bottlenose dolphins and even seals in the right season. Check out the latest Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise deals on Klook.

Location: Cruises depart from Paihia, a three-hour drive from central Auckland.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© Intercity Group - Tourism New Zealand

7. Discover Geothermal Wonders at Wai-O-Tapu

With kids’ entry often under NZ$10, you can hardly pass on the offer to check out New Zealand’s most famous geothermal park, Wai-O-Tapu. See the weird and wonderful geothermal elements of the park, such as the orange-lined Champagne Pool or the radioactive-green Devil’s Bath. Watch the Lady Knox Geyser erupting and be mesmerised by the largest bubbling mud pool in the country.

Location: Wai-O-Tapu, near Rotorua, is just a three-hour drive from central Auckland.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

8. Have Some Farming Fun at Sheepworld

One of Auckland’s top family attractions, Sheepworld is the place to learn about New Zealand’s sheep farming industry in a fun and interactive way. Meet the residents of the farm through feeding sessions, watch the sheepdogs in action, and learn about traditional shearing techniques in a sheep shearing demonstration. Once the adventure’s done and you’ve also found the Eco-Discovery Trail taking you through the bush, you can relax at the Farmer’s Wife Cafe with a children’s play area. And just a heads up, there’s a deal for 14% off kids and 31% off adults!

Location: Warkworth, just a one-hour drive from central Auckland.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

9. Take a Jet Boat Ride to Some Secret Hot Pools

This jet boat journey, located between Rotorua and Taupo, encompasses New Zealand adventure with New Zealand’s geothermal wonders. Join NZ RiverJet for a high-speed thrill ride down the Waikato River, where you and your family will be taken to a secret spot known as “The Squeeze”. Wade through a narrow canyon and feel the water getting warmer and warmer until you reach some natural hot pools complete with a waterfall! At 50% off for kids on Klook, you can hardly say no!

Location: Mihi, 3h15min from central Auckland.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

10. Delve into the Waitomo Glowworm Caves

And finally, back to where we started, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. If you have your own transport, enjoy the scenic drive to lush green hills of Waitomo where an incredible underworld awaits. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves tour is a 45-minute experience walking through caves with majestic limestone formations. The tour ends with an underground boat ride under New Zealand’s largest display of glowworms. Get 30% off your admission tickets for the whole family here.

10 Cheap Family-friendly Day Trips from Auckland© Shaun Jeffers - THL

Was this article useful?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on twitter
Twitter

Recommended For You