How to Make the Most of a Rainy Day in Auckland
Bossing a rainy day is a pretty easy task in a city like Auckland where so much is happening. In fact, we think that having a couple of rainy days when visiting Auckland is a blessing in disguise. It may force you to try one of the pretty awesome things to do on the list below and may just add stuff onto your itinerary that you would not have thought about otherwise.
The list below will accommodate all budgets, from free activities to paid ones and all kinds of cheap ones in between. But if the weather clears up, don’t forget about all the natural attractions that Auckland has to offer and the obvious Auckland Must-Dos.
1. Grab a Great Coffee
Auckland is the place to be for fancy and cosy cafes. With unique coffee shops around almost every corner, it is not the opportunities that are missing, so you are bound to find a great place to sit down and let the storm pass with a good book and a yummy hot drink. Some cafes even have blankets and board games to keep you extra snug. For more food-related stuff to do, see the 8 Things to Do in Auckland for Foodies.
2. Visit the Auckland Art Gallery
Located right in the city centre of Auckland, the Art Gallery is FREE for locals and around NZ$20 for international visitors. It offers a wide range of collections from early European settles art to modern pieces. It is a great way to spend a couple of hours away from the rain.
3. Visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum
Probably one of the most impressive museums in New Zealand, the Auckland War Memorial Museum has exhibitions for all: WWII, WWI, colonisation, geology, wildlife, marine life, Antarctic, World Of Wearable Art, Maori history… The museum is huge and can easily help you kill one or even two rainy days in Auckland. Find out more about the museum, as well as get admission tickets on Viator and Tripadvisor. If you feel like other museums consider the Auckland Maritime Museum as well.
4. Play Indoor Mini-golf (or Trampoline)
If you really need to compete with your mates on a rainy day and kill a whole afternoon, Auckland has the right thing for you! What about indoor mini-golf? And what about glow-in-the-dark indoor mini-golf? If mini-golf is not your thing, consider indoor trampoline parks as well where you’ll be able to safely practice the best snowboard tricks.
5. Do Some Indoor Snowboarding
Speaking of snowboarding, Auckland is home to the country’s only indoor ski and snowboarding slope. So strap on those snowboarding boots that you brought in hope to master the wild Southern Alps and get yourself a good training day in Snowplanet.
6. Go Grab a Bite
Everybody loves eating. It’s yummy, it’s social, it’s out of the rain, and it can even be pretty cheap. We have a great guide of the cheap eats in Auckland for you so you know where to grab a bite in Auckland without breaking the bank. See where you can grab some cheap eats in Auckland here.
7. Play Pool
Should it be in a bar or a dedicated pool bar like the Ponsonby Pool Hall, gather one or three mates and compete over who’s the best at working that cue. In bars and pubs, you’ll pay per game while in pool halls you’ll pay per hour, so consider how competitive you are before picking your championship venue.
8. Go to the Pub
Even if you are not into pool, there is always a good reason to go to the pub. Make new friends, watch a game, drink to forget, and more! There are a ton of great pubs and backpacker bars in Auckland and you are bound to find one very close to your hostel. Turn that grumpiness into drunkenness in one of these 11 Awesome Bars in Auckland.
9. Play a VR Game
That’s right, Auckland has its very own virtual reality (VR) gaming centre! The indoor VR complex uses the latest VR technology to transport gamers to a new immersive world, whether it’s a zombie universe, travelling through time, fighting aliens or some other adventure. Find VR Voom at 393 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket.
10. Get an Ice Cream Masterpiece
We know that art galleries are a great rainy day activity, but how about art that you can eat?! Get yourself to Giapo for their creative and delicious ice creams that you can taste out of the rain in their kitchen/cafe. These are ice creams that definitely deserve to grace your Instagram page!
11. Do Some Indoor Go-karting
If you have the budget and are super competitive, get yourself in the wheels of a go-kart and race strangers and mates alike. Getting the fastest speed run is not that easy and negotiating tight corners of e-karts requires skills. Are you up for it?
12. Challenge Your Group to an Escape Room
Try to escape a wacky-themed room within an hour. But wait, it’s not that easy. Between your group and opening the door stands puzzle-after-puzzle, locks with hidden keys and sometimes even hidden side rooms! There are three escape room venues in Auckland Central alone and much more popping up in and around the city.
13. Play Some Bowling
Auckland is home to multiple bowling venues, including one right in the city centre. Convenient: yes, expensive: yes, as well… If you can get yourself to one of the outer suburb bowling lanes you may pay about half the price. Another solution to save money on bowling is to time it right. Bowling venues are famous for having specials at specific time slots and on specific days. Make the most of it!
14. Watch a Movie at the Cinema
Hopefully, it rains on a Tuesday and you’ll get a great deal on your ticket or even better on a Wednesday when you can get NZ$5 movie tickets right in the city centre. Check out our 14 Free And Cheap Things to Do in Auckland to find out more.
15. Visit the MOTAT
The Museum of Technology and Transport has a huge indoor section that is incredibly educative and hands-on. Far from your traditional museum, you’ll get to touch exhibitions and play with them. This is the best way to learn, isn’t it?
16. Visit a Sky Observatory
The Auckland Stardome Observatory is both an observatory and a planetarium. Amateurs of night skies will love a visit of the observatory and a show at the star dome where you will gain a greater understanding of the Southern Hemisphere skies. If your brain is better dazzled underwater than in the stars, another great indoor option is the Auckland Aquarium.
17. See Auckland Under the Rain from the Sky Tower
As the tallest manmade tower in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sky Tower sure classes as an indoor activity and a fun thing to do while it’s raining in Auckland. Head up to the viewing floor of the 328m (1,076ft) tower and marvel at panoramic views of Auckland’s city centre all the way out to the Hauraki Gulf. You can even go at night to see the amazing city lights. Tickets are available to purchase from Klook.
18. Spend Time in Your Hostel
Living in a hostel is an experience in itself and many travellers overlook it as just a convenient cheap sleep. There is so much to do in a hostel, especially on a rainy day that the bad weather may just be a blessing in disguise. Start with this list of 12 Things To Do in a Hostel On a Rainy Day and make the most of the hostel life!
19. Watch New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year on YouTube
Who doesn’t like a good binge-watching session? Get some inspiration for your travels in New Zealand by watching New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year. This intrepid pair challenge themselves to 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure you subscribe!
20. Travel to Somewhere Else
Ok we get it, it is raining, you are grumpy, there is nothing to do here, it sucks… Well, have you read the list above? Get yourself off the couch and go explore. You only have one shot at visiting New Zealand, a bit of rain won’t kill you. But if there is no way to convince you that you can still have fun in Auckland when it is raining, hop on a bus, hit the road, and get yourself to somewhere else. Auckland is a great hub for you to start exploring New Zealand. An hour drive may just bring you the most wonderful weather and the most stunning wonders to explore.
[CLOSED] Relax at Some Hot pools
[Update: Waiwera Hot Pools is now closed]. North of Auckland city is the Waiwera Hot Pools, a great place to unwind and relax with the weather is raging outside. With a bit of luck, you’ll get there during a weekday and feel like you have the whole place to yourself.