Every year people come to Auckland, New Zealand to see the sites the area has become famous for. Many visitors go to the Auckland Zoo and Star Dome Observatory, but there are a number of lesser known attractions that are just as interesting. Five of the best, hidden attractions in Auckland include the Odyssey Sensory Maze, The Huia Settlers Museum, Crystal Mountain, Spookers Haunted Attraction Theme Park and the Rain Forest Express. Even though there are plenty of deals on flights to Auckland (I was quoted less than £800 for a return flight on DealChecker), you may need just a little extra to convince you to get booked. Well, luckily for you, that’s exactly what this article is all about!
One of the more offbeat sites to visit while in Auckland is the Odyssey Sensory Maze. The maze features 13 different areas that use special effects, like sound and illusions, to delight visitors. The Odyssey Sensory Maze is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Prices are $19 for Adults, $17 for Seniors/Students (aged 13-18) and $15 for Children (5-12). Family Passes (for 2 adults & 2 children) can be purchased for $60.
Another unique destination in Auckland is The Huia Settlers Museum. This museum contains many artifacts that tell the rich history of the area. In addition, there is a room dedicated to the HMS Orpheus maritime disaster. The hours for this museum are limited so visitors will want to plan their trip accordingly. The museum is open Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and though there are no fees for admission, donations are welcome.
Another fun destination for people looking for something different to do on their Auckland vacation is Crystal Mountain. This attraction has a Gallery, Museum and Cafe (which offers breakfast and lunch) that are open Tuesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a Theme Park open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum fees are $8 for adults and $5 for children and an all day pass for the park can be purchased for $35. If the individual isn’t interested in staying all day, they can purchase tickets for individual activities, like panning for crystals for $5.
Spookers Haunted Attraction Theme Park is another fabulous, less traditional Auckland attraction. During the day, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., the park is perfect for kids 8 and up, but during the night (Friday and Saturday) it is adults only. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for children, with an option to purchase a Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children) for $40. There is another attraction suited for those 3 and up as part of Spookers, the Amazing Maze ‘n Maize. This maze is open December through May and prices are the same as those for the other sites (with children under 3 getting in for free).
Last, but not least on the list of lesser known attractions is the Rain Forest Express. This ride takes individuals on a fun trip through New Zealand’s stunning countryside up to the breathtaking Upper Nihotupu Dam. The trip takes 2 and a half hours (3 hours with a picnic stop). Prices are $25 for adults, $20 for Seniors and $5 for ages 5-12 (under 5 gets in free). The ride goes year round, but it is recommended to book in advance as spaces are limited.
A visitor to Auckland, New Zealand truly can’t go wrong with a stop to at least one of these fun and different holiday stops.