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Motions Road, Western Springs

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Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Less than 4 miles southwest of downtown Auckland is one of Auckland's premier animal attractions: the Auckland Zoo. This sprawling animal sanctuary, which boasts the largest number of exotic and native animals in New Zealand, features everything from fur seals to lions to brown kiwis.

Locals and tourists alike rave about the Auckland Zoo. In addition to offering an array of people-friendly facilities, the zoo provides plenty of roaming space for animals. Many past visitors, in fact, praised the zoo's conscious efforts to take care of the animals. Families especially loved the attraction, noting that it's easy to spend a full day here with kids.

From Sept. 1 through April 30, you can explore the Auckland Zoo's grounds daily between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Once wintertime rolls around, the zoo closes at 5 p.m. Keep in mind, though, that admissions stop after 4:15 p.m. Ticket prices start at 12 New Zealand dollars (about $9) for children between 4 and 14, NZ$23 (around $16.50) for senior citizens and students, and NZ$28 (approximately $20) for adults. Reduced rates are available for families with more than one child, and kids 4 and younger get in for free. Family passes for two children and one or two adults are available as well.

Zoo tickets include access to free on-site parking, four eateries, a gift shop, the KidZone farm area and two playgrounds. Free animal encounters with Sumatran tigers, otters, rhinos and more are also covered by entrance fees. Though select city buses stop near the zoo, none fall within the Link bus network. Check out the Auckland Zoo's website for more information about exhibits, zoo facilities, conservation efforts and special events.

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#1 Rangitoto Island

Situated just off the coast of central Auckland across from Devonport is Rangitoto Island, a volcanic island known for its superb hiking trails and panoramic views. Multiple trails are available for island exploration, including the popular Summit Track, which takes hikers through lava fields and the world's largest pohutukawa forest to the island's summit.

Prepare for stunning vistas and a steep, yet doable hike when visiting Rangitoto Island. If you're not keen on hiking, travelers recommend opting for Fullers' Volcanic Explorer Tour, which includes round-trip ferry transfers to and from downtown Auckland and a four-wheel drive road train tour of the island.

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