Winter is that time of year when the summer activities and festivities become faded memories, the shops are in full swing with winter attire and it is getting cold, raining more and we all feel more miserable! Think there is nothing to do in the cold and miserable Auckland winter? With many indoor activities Auckland is the perfect place to be on a rainy day. Auckland doesn’t shut down in the winter, everyone just heads indoors. Why not try some of these warm and cosy indoor Auckland activities!
1. Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery is open 7 days a week 10am until 5pm (except Christmas Day) and is located right in the centre of town. As they describe it, it’s ‘New Zealand’s largest and most inspiring visual arts experience.’ It has international and New Zealand art and is a great way to spend a few hours indoors. It used to be free to enter but now international visitors will have to pay an entrance fee.
2. Snow Planet
Located only 25 minutes from Auckland’s CBD, Snow Planet is an indoor snow field open year round with perfect conditions every day! A number of chemical free snow machines keep the snow in mint condition while three lifts constantly run you to the top of the slope. There’s a small terrain park set up with a number of jumps and rails. There’s also a beginners area with private and group lessons available from professional staff. The on-site rental shop also rent out snowboards, skis, boots and jackets if you don’t have gear.
3. The Classic Comedy Club
The Classic Comedy Club, centrally located in the CBD, feature a range of local and international acts up to 6 nights a week. With cabaret-style seating arrangement in the main venue room, for up to 140 people, and an upstairs studio capable for 40 people, the bar gives off a very up close and personal vibe. There is a small bar located towards the rear of the main venue room in case you get a little thirsty. Each night has something going on such as Big Wednesday (10 comedians for $15), and Raw Comedy Open Mic Nights. During the annual New Zealand International Comedy festival you’ll see some massive international acts here!
4. Freddys Ice House (Ice Bar)
Embrace the cold and visit an Ice bar! Tucked away in Princes Wharf on Auckland’s Quay St, Freddy’s Ice House, may well be the unique night out you have been hunting for. You do have to pay for entry so it won’t be for everyone, but it will be a drinking experience like no other. Everything from the walls, the seats and the glasses are all made from stone cold ice, there are also some amazing hand crafted ice sculptures to admire. Drinks are limited, mainly just Vodka mixes but all the gear (jackets, gloves, ugg boots) is provided. With a constant temperature of negative 5 degrees Celsius, you can be sure your drink won’t get warm.
5. Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium
One of the best indoor activities Auckland has to offer, in my opinion, is the excellent Kelly Tarlton’s. Open since 1985, Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium offers you a deep insight into the wildlife and sea life of the Pacific and Southern Oceans. It is home to New Zealand’s only sub-antartic penguins and a replica Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic hut, complete with authentic memorabilia. You can walk through the shark tunnel, chill out in Turtle Bay, visit seahorse kingdom and check out all the fish and other sea life. Kelly Tarlton’s also has some diving and adventure options including Shark Cage Diving and a chance for you to meet the penguins!
6. Extreme Indoor Karts
Located in East Tamaki, just a 10 minute drive from Auckland CBD, is a karting experience like no other! Inside you’ll find a go karting track on two levels and with a steep downhill. No more driving round in circles! They have BBQ facilities onsite if you want to spend a bit more time there (and discuss the race after it all ends) or order in some Hell Pizza. You can also bring your own food if you like. There are various ways you can enjoy the track from a 10 minute experience to group experiences called things like the Indy120 or the Le Man Enduro. Prices vary depending on what kind of race you decide to do. Extreme Karts is open for most of the day into the evening 7 days a week.
7. Rock Climbing
Auckland has a number of indoor rock climbing centres that are open year round and offer a variety of climbs for those of varying skill levels. Extreme Edge Rock climbing (located at Panmure and Glen Eden) and The Birkenhead Indoor Climbing Wall have some of the better facilities available in the country. Entry is also very generously priced, you won’t pay over $20 for casual entry, although equipment may cost you extra. It’s not only an extremely fun activity but it’s a healthy dose of fitness as well.
8. Sky City
Skycity Casino Auckland is a magnificent two level gaming venue open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Casino has the world’s most popular casino games at over 100 different tables as well as 1600 poker machines. There’s also fantastic live entertainment and great food and bar offerings.
If the weather’s really awful you might not fancy jumping off the Sky Tower, however you could still get up to the top and have a meal with a view in the restaurant, or visit the viewing area. The lift to the top is an adrenaline rush in itself!
Located in 8 different places around Auckland, Skycity Cinemas offer all your normal cinema experiences as well as an IMAX, IMAX 3D, Digital 3D and Gold Class seating. Gold Class includes your own reclining Lazy Boy and a waiter. (I highly recommend Gold Class if you’re watching a long film, it’s comfy and the food is really good!). They also have a large indoor gaming level for all those gamers out there. Top Tip – check out the cinemas on a Tuesday for cheaper tickets!
9. Cat Cafe
If you’re a cat lover then why not spend an hour sipping coffee whilst playing with some cats. They have 13 resident cats who are “hard to adopt”. Don’t worry they’re only hard to adopt because of their age or special needs, they’re all very friendly. Perfect for you if you’re missing your moggies back at home! BaristaCats is located on Queen Street.
MOTAT is the Museum Of Transport And Technology. It’s located a little out of town near Auckland Zoo. This is such a great museum and has a large indoor area to keep you nice and dry. Feel free to interact with the exhibitions!
11. Spookers Haunted House
Looking to scare yourself into next week without spending a fortune or risking your life doing so? Spookers Haunted House, the only haunted attraction theme park in New Zealand, takes you on a wild trip through the scariest and most stomach churning attractions outside of America. The main attraction, the Haunted House, is set in an actual abandoned mental institute, Kingseat Hospital. It’s filled with crazy actors that never drop their character (you will scream!) Other haunted attractions are the Corn Evil Corn Maze, Freaky Forest (closed over Winter) and the 3D Vortex Maze. The 3D Vortex Maze is an unusual trip through an endless maze of colours, swirls, frightening creatures, turning floors and frights that come out of nowhere.
12. Auckland War Memorial Museum
One of the best museums you’ll visit. It’s probably better to visit on a sunny day so that you can also explore the Auckland Domain and gardens where the museum is located. However this museum is easy to get lost in for several hours with many fascinating permanent and temporary exhibitions. It’s $25 entry (unless you can prove you’re an Auckland or New Zealand resident) but well worth it.
Outdoor Activities but still great on a rainy day…
13. Waiwera Hot Pools
Waiwera Thermal Resort is Auckland’s most visited water attraction with over 350,000 visitors passing through it’s gates annually. The naturally heated mineral waters are sheltered by the thick native bush of the Waiwera Valley. It has 5 different heated slides, a movie pool, kids pool, day spa area with luxury spa and sauna as well as acupuncture and a fitness centre. Open 7 days a week, Waiwera is the perfect way for you to relax and unwind on that chilly winters day.
14. Auckland Zoo
Auckland Zoo has been attracting crowds to see different rare and endangered animals for close to 100 years. These include giraffes, elephants, limas, meerkats, morepork, cheetahs, loads of different monkeys, the Kiwi Bird and many, many more. The Zoo is open 7 days a week. There are also a number of tours available from safari nights to everyday Zoo Encounters. Get in and lose yourself amongst these wonderful animal experiences no matter the weather. It’ll probably be less crowded on a rainy day anyway! There are cafes and some indoor exhibits so you can dry off and get warm.
There are many more things to do in Auckland on a rainy day such as go shopping. Explore large indoor malls, small indoor arcades and large department stores. Make sure you visit Ponsonby and K’Road during your time in Auckland. Why not have a beer or two? Do you really need a weather related excuse to visit the pub? There are loads of places to get cheap drinks in Auckland, so why not explore a few of them on a rainy day in Auckland? Or just do a classic rainy day activity like go ten-pin bowling. There are several places you can go bowling in Auckland.
No need to despair then, Auckland has plenty going on just check out one of these awesome Auckland winter activities.