- About Heritage
“I’m bored” are two words every parent dreads hearing. A stay at The CityLife Auckland, however, is guaranteed to keep boredom at bay, with plenty of family things to do within easy reach of your CBD hotel.
For action the CityLife Auckland is just down the hill from the Skytower, with its glass front elevators, glass floors, and soaring views, or if you want more (for the bigger kids ten and over) there’s the thrilling Sky Walk. The Harbour Bridge is also close by, and from age seven you can participate in a bridge climb.
It’s only a short stroll down to the waterfront, and at the new Wynyard quarter there’s now a tram for sightseeing and transport back to town, and an award winning playground. The Voyager NZ Maritime Museum celebrates New Zealanders’ love for the sea, from the migration of early Polynesian voyagers, to modern day yachting. Then if you want a real experience, enquire about a trip on a genuine America’s Cup Yacht –an encounter usually only available to billionaires and elite yachtsmen (but here no prior experience is needed). On the edge of the Viaduct, the Tepid Baths have also been entirely refurbished including a new learner’s pool with graduated depth and a slightly warmer temperature for little bodies.
Family holidays are all about getting out from behind the computer and TV to move, experience, see and learn. The Auckland Museum has interactive areas and holiday programs to help history come alive, and the Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki (reopened after a three year refurbishment) has drop-in sessions, holiday programmes, the creative learning centre and studio courses for children. Guided walks can also teach the history of Auckland, or a smart phone can turn a walk into a modern day orienteering style treasure hunt with geocaching.
Auckland sits in the heart of the Hauraki Gulf, so its attractions are easily accessed from the CBD hotels. The Ferry terminal just at the end of the street is your gateway to the islands, some featuring world class conservation programs. At Tiritiri Matangi the predator free environment houses some of the world’s rarest birds. Rangitoto is the newest island at just over 600 years old and there are tracks to the summit and lava tunnels to explore. Take lunch, refreshments, a torch (for tunnels) and good walking shoes to these islands. Waiheke on the other hand is more civilised. Ecozip adventures promise fun from age eight to eighty-eight with an eco-immersive forest experience. For on-water adventure there’s the Explore NZ Whale and Dolphin Safari; with the promise of an impressive range of marine mammals; a 90% chance of seeing dolphins, and a 75 % chance of spotting whales.
The Auckland Zoo remains a favourite for viewing native creatures and exotic, and has a continuously changing program of fun and educational activities for children; or you can just wander and enjoy. The recently opened “Te Wao Nui”, features an immersive experience of New Zealand's animals, plants and culture over six different habitats including Te Pō –the night, where the Kiwi can be seen. If you have your own vehicle there’s ample parking, otherwise there are regular buses from the city, or you can catch a Regency Cab from right outside the hotel.
For provisions like sunblock and snacks for these expeditions two supermarkets are located nearby. The City Link bus costs a mere 30c for kids, is wheel chair and pushchair friendly and a great help if small legs get a bit tired while the inner Link and outer Link Buses run through the city centre and loop around suburbs across Auckland city, making branching out a breeze. Ponsonby road is a short hop away and there’s something for every kid’s culinary taste at the Ponsonby Food Hall, while small girls will delight in a visit to the Fairy Shop.
There’s no doubt the activities within minutes of the hotel can keep a family more than occupied for the length of the average holiday. But should you wish to venture further afield then you could head to the tropical wonders of Butterfly Creek, the chilly action environment of Snow Planet, or visit a piece of Middle Earth: Hobbiton. There are always plenty of great seasonal activities on, especially during school holidays. Just ask at front-desk to find out what’s on, they are happy to help. The CityLife Auckland’s range of different rooms means you can have as much space and facilities as you would like, and remember: if the perfect family holiday includes a little “time out” for the adults, the front desk can also help arrange babysitting.