Took the kids to Auckland museum today and had a good time, perhaps I should have kept it for a rainy day.
As we live out east getting there was really easy in the car. The signposts are small but if you have had a quick look at the map before setting off they’re enough so that you don’t get lost.
Got there about hall past ten on a Sunday and the underground car park was practically empty. We were able to park next to the lifts which with 2 little ones is really helpful. It is a bit strange that there are 2 lifts to get to the foyer but it’s not the end of the world and some kids love pushing the buttons.
As an Auckland resident it’s free for us and the staff are friendly and happy to help at the info desk. They didn’t have any cards to issue so we’ll have to pick them up next time but at least it means my wallet isn’t clogged up with more plastic.
There are 3 floors but we only did level one which is the Natural History section and where they have the weird and wonderful children’s gallery. This means we have to go back for the ground floor people and top floor war sections where apparently there are some planes hung up that the girls will love.
We spent most of our time in the weird and wonderful gallery which is clearly arranged to keep kids engaged. There are the modern computer and iPad sections but also some live animals such as stick insects and lizards and aquariums with fish and starfish. They currently are even asking for suggestions to name their 2 new rats. But in some ways the old tricks are the best such as little doors with pictures behind and the youngest just loved opening the draws with pinned insects displayed. As you can tell this area covers animals with obviously a focus on NZ species but also touches on others.
We did also walk round the rest of the floor, I didn’t realise how big albatrosses are! Some of the stuffed birds are amazing. Also saw the native geckos in the land section and was fun seeing the girls walking on a glass floor for the first time on the coast section. The underwater area is very brief but having been to Kelly Tarlton’s recently we had seen plenty of fish. The volcano area is really interesting but decided that the simulation of a house in and earth quake might be pushing my luck. But the stone gongs were a smash with the kids so if you’re not into loud continuous banging you might want to avoid this area. The Māori section has great carving and I’m sure other stuff but I didn’t get time to do any reading. Finally the origins area has some lovely dinosaur skeletons and a big penguin that the kids liked. That’s your whistle-stop tour of the first floor and obviously we didn’t have time or patience to do it justice.
We had morning tea and lunch at the café, it’s a Columbus Coffee which is the same chain as at Mitre 10 which I wrote about. Again the food was good, we had a fruit muffin for morning team which interestingly had cream cheese in it. For lunch I had a pulled pork pie with a good tangy chutney and the girls shared a fish and chips that they devoured. The only worry was that the fish came out in perfect triangles and nature just isn’t like that, but it tasted ok. Also there were plenty of spare tables, only thing was that they only had 1 high chair.
Over all good place to visit with the kids and you can happily grab lunch there as well in a place that is surprisingly not packed at weekends.
The Auckland Domain