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? We have to say that you are wrong, Auckland doesn’t shut down in the winter everyone just heads indoors so why not try some of these warm and cosy indoor Auckland activities!!
Looking to scare yourself into next week without spending a fortune or risking your life doing so? Spookers Haunted Attraction Theme 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, filled with crazy actors that never drop their character. The other haunted attractions are the Corn Evil Corn Maze, Freaky Forest (closed over Winter) and the 3D Vortex Maze, an unusual trip through an endless maze of colours, swirls, frightening creatures, turning floors and frights that come out of nowhere. Not to mention artwork done by Disruptive the 2006 and 2008 World Champion graffiti crew.
Located only 25 minutes from Auckland’s CBD, Snow Planet is an indoor snow field open year round with perfect conditions every day regardless of the forecast. A number of chemical free snow machines keep the snow in mint condition while three lifts are constantly running people to the top of the slope. There is a small terrain park set up with a number of jumps and rails as well as 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 for those without gear.
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 and has 5 different heated slides, a movie pool, kids pool, day and medi spa area with luxury spa and sauna as well as acupuncture and a fitness center. Open 7 days a week, Waiwera is the perfect way to relax, unwind or get out some beans on that chilly winters day, whether it be in the movie pool, adult spa or gunning it down the warm water hydroslide.
Auckland Zoo has been attracting crowds, both local and international, to see a variety of different rare and endangered animals for close to 100 years. These include Giraffes, Elephants, Limas, Meerkat, Morepork, Leopard Tortoise, Cheetahs, loads of different monkeys and of course the Kiwi Bird and many many more. The Zoo is open 7 days a week, year round and 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.
Comedy Club Bar:
The Classic Comedy Bar, centrally located on Queen St in Auckland’s 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, it is suitable of fitting over 140 people, and with an upstairs studio capable of holding a further 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 throughout. Each night has a different theme such as 10 comedians for $10 Wednesday, Pro Night on Thursday and Raw Comedy Open Mic Night on Monday.
Freddys Ice House (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 explore. Drinks are limited, mainly just Vodka mixes but all the gear (jackets, gloves, ugg boots) is provided and with a constant temperature of negative 5 degrees Celsius, you can be sure your drink won’t get warm.
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.
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. It’s not only an extremely fun activity but it’s a healthy dose if fitness as well.
Open since 1985, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater Aquatic Center offers visitors a deep insight into the wildlife and sealife of the Pacific and Southern Oceans. It is home to New Zealand’s only sub-Antartic penguins and a real life walk through of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic hut, complete with authentic memorabilia. Sting Ray Bay offers an in depth look into Giant Stingrays before coming face to face with sharks, turtles, giant rays and other incredible sea life on the moving walkway. Kelly Tarltons also has a number of diving and adventure options including Shark Cage Diving, Sting Ray Splash Experience, Fish Face Off, Snorkel Safari and a PADI recognised diver training course.
Sky City Cinemas:
Located in 8 different places around Auckland, with the biggest and most centrally located being on Queen St in the central city, Skycity Cinemas offer all your normal cinema experiences as well as an IMAX, IMAX 3D, Digital 3D and Gold Class seating which includes your own reclining Lazy Boy and a waiter. (I can highly recommend the Gold Class Lounge if you’re watching a long film, the food is really good and it’s so comfy!) They also have a large indoor gaming level for all those gamers out there.
Sky City Casino:
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 (including Black Jack, Poker and Baccarat) being played at over 100 different tables as well as 1600 poker machines. There’s also fantastic live entertainment and great food and bar offerings.
Hyper Race Car Simulator:
Hyper Race Simulator’s are the original developers of Race Car Simulation in New Zealand and offer some of the best simulation available today. As a testament to the quality of the machines, many top race drivers in New Zealand (such as Russell Ingill) use or own their own their own Hyper Simulator. The price is right too with $30 for 30mins all the way up to $60 for 3 hours. No need to despair then, Auckland has plenty going on check out one of these awesome Auckland winter activities to get you started on your New Zealand adventure.