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Auckland in Winter: 12 Things to Do in the Chilly Weather

Auckland in Winter 12 Things to Do in the Chilly Weather

Sunny skies, sandy beaches and lovely harbours—these are the typical things that most people would associate Auckland with. But don’t let this fool you into thinking that the city isn’t a great winter destination because it offers a handful of fun activities during the chilly weather as well!

With average temperatures playing between 13°C (55°F) and 7°C (44°F), and overall rainy weather, it may seem hard to have fun during winter in Auckland—until now. 

With our curated list, you can now look forward to the best things to do in Auckland during winter!

Zip through slopes in Snowplanet


Address: 91 Small Road, Silverdale 0932, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 427 0044

Operating hours: 

  • Saturday – Tuesday, Thursday: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Since it doesn’t really snow in Auckland except for that “once-in-a-lifetime” phenomenon in 2011, the closest thing you can get to experiencing it is by visiting Snowplanet! Don’t worry though, as it’s just as good as the real thing, some might even argue that it’s better.

This spot houses one of the largest indoor slopes in the world, and the best part is that it’s more controlled, which means that there are fewer chances of avalanches occurring. Plus, there’s also a chairlift on the premises so you won’t have to worry about climbing to the top.

The massive slope is the main highlight of the indoor park, and it’s where you’ll find ski enthusiasts pulling off the sickest moves. Everyone is welcome to try it out though so don’t be shy to start your skiing journey here.

Pro tip:
If you prefer a less intense winter experience in Snowplanet, check out the ice skating rink indoors or the ice slide, which are both perfect for children as well!

Take a tour of Butterfly Creek


Address: 10 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport, Auckland 2022, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 275 8880

Operating hours:

  • Wednesday to Friday: 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Butterfly Creek, one of New Zealand’s most famous zoos, is open all year long, making it a great winter destination. This zoo doesn’t run out of interesting things to see, from cute animals to majestic butterflies, colourful plants and everything in between.

Speaking of butterflies, one of this zoo’s biggest highlights is its butterfly sanctuary, which houses over 700 species of these beautiful creatures.

Other animals that you can admire while you’re here include piglets, crocodiles, meerkats, otters and more. The best part is that you can even interact with some of them by feeding them their favourite snacks—pretty cool!

Pro tip:
If golfing isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry! There are also some arcade machines you can try with your date that are equally fun and exciting—plus, these neon-lit machines make for a great backdrop for your photos!

Pamper yourself in one of Auckland’s best day spas

Media credit: endota

The winter season is often associated with the holidays, and the holidays are often associated with relaxation. This being said, one of the best ways to spend a cold winter day is by being pampered with different treatments and massages in one of Auckland’s day spas.

The cosy interior of these spas, paired with their premium services and facilities, is perfect for those times when stress is getting too overwhelming. 

After you’ve spent an afternoon in one of these premium spas, you’ll feel like a whole different person! Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but they will make you feel much more relaxed than how you initially went into their doors.

Pro tip:
If you don’t know which day spas to check out, you can start with the highest-rated ones like Endota, Sofitel Spa and Luxe Spa.

Plunge into a freezing ice bath

If you’re one of those crazy people who can’t get enough of the cold, plunging into an ice bath is a trend that should be right up your alley. This activity isn’t just for fun though, as these kinds of baths have several benefits like improving alertness, reducing inflammation and more.

What’s great about this activity is that you can do it inside your house! All you have to do is fill a tub with cold water and of course, lots of ice, and you’re golden.

Alternatively, you can visit an ice bath spa like O-Studio Auckland if you want to enjoy a more premium experience. 

Pro tip:
If it’s your first time plunging into an ice bath, make sure to go easy in the beginning to avoid your body going into shock. Additionally, we discourage anyone from staying in these baths too long to avoid hypothermia.

Glide gracefully at Paradice Ice Skating


Address: 150 Lansford Crescent, Avondale, Auckland 0600, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 828 3800

Operating hours:

  • Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM, 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Saturday: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

There’s no other activity that quite puts you in the winter mood like ice skating, and fortunately, Auckland is home to several rinks! Among them, the best one is Paradice Ice Skating, as it features a massive area where skaters with different levels of expertise can have fun.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner because they offer comprehensive beginner lessons that will leave you gliding through the ice in no time. Plus, they have all the necessary equipment to help you learn—pretty neat!

If you’re one to enjoy ice sports, this is also the place for you! The rink holds events such as ice hockey, curling and figure skating.

Pro tip:
After shredding the ice rink with your sick skating moves, we recommend capping off the day with an exciting game of laser tag in Paradice Ice’s own neon-lit arena! This is also a great alternative if you’re not too keen on ice skating but don’t want to be left out on all the fun.

Solve puzzles and work as a team at Escapade


Address: Level 1/23 Victoria Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 303 3570

Operating hours:

  • Monday and Tuesday: 12:30 PM to 8:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:30 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Thursday and Friday: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:30 AM to 9:30 PM

Given that the weather during Auckland’s winter season mostly consists of rainfall, it’s great to keep the fun indoors—case in point, escape rooms! Escapade is a great example of this, as it puts you and your friends inside creatively-themed rooms where you’re forced to work as a team.

You’ll have to showcase your mental prowess in these rooms because they’re filled with mind-boggling puzzles.

If you have a big group, Escape has certain rooms like Old School 1 and Old School 2 that you can book at the same time and have a fun head-to-head competition with your mates!

Pro tip:
If you don’t want to head outside your house but still want to experience Escapades’ escape rooms, you’re in luck! They also offer escape rooms online, which you can access at any time of the day.

Hop on one of the horses at Waiheke Horse Tours


Address: Woodside Bay Road, Woodside Bay, Waiheke Island 1971, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 21 438 549

Operating hours: Daily from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

If you prefer a more peaceful winter day to spend with your friends and family, you can’t go wrong with visiting Waiheke Island and its horses. Down the beach of this island, you’ll find these majestic animals and you can ride them into the sunset!

Moreover, if you’re coming with children, they can ride the cute little ponies so they won’t have to miss out on the experience. Trust us, there’s nothing quite like riding a horse by the seaside while being surrounded by panoramic views. 

Pro tip:
While you’re on the island, don’t miss out on one of the adventures offered in Whakanewha Regional Park. This park offers tons of hiking trails that feature stunning views that will make your jaws drop!

Learn movie magic at Wētā Workshop Unleashed


Address: Convention Centre Level 5/88 Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 4 909 4035

Operating hours:

  • Friday to Monday: 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday and Thursday: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Wētā Workshop Unleashed is another solid destination if the rain ruined all your outdoor plans for the day. Here, you’ll learn a thing or two about what goes on behind the scenes of movie-making by touring some jaw-dropping movie sets.

These movie sets belong to genres like sci-fi, horror and fantasy, all of which feature gigantic animatronics, backdrops, realistic miniature figures and other movie props. They’re not real movie sets but the attention to detail poured into each one of them is incredible!

Pro tip:
Make sure to book your tickets online! The prices posted on their website are significantly cheaper compared to walk-in rates.

Sample some wine


If your idea of a fun winter is drinking a bunch of booze, then you should consider attending the Boutique Wine Festival. Here, you can become a wine connoisseur by sampling over 300 variations of this fermented drink.

Not only that but you’ll also learn a thing or two about these drinks, from how they’re made to how the fermentation process works, their notes and more. Our favourite thing to learn here, however, is which food pairs best with different kinds of wine!

Make sure to check the New Zealand Wine Directory’s website regularly to see when and where the next wine festival will occur!

Pro tip:
If you have a low tolerance for alcohol, we recommend only taking a reasonable amount when tasting the different kinds of wine. This way, you’ll have room to sample as many variations as possible.

Scream your lungs out at Rainbow’s End


Address: 2 Clist Crescent, Manukau City Centre, Auckland 2104, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 262 2030

Operating hours:

  • Weekends: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday and Monday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

A little rain never stopped anyone from having fun at the theme park, right? So, if you want to treat yourself to adrenaline-inducing rides during the winter season, then Rainbow’s End should be on your itinerary!

It’s the biggest park in the city, housing over 20 rides that can provide you with countless hours of fun! These rides range from kid-friendly to over-the-top crazy, which makes the park a great family-friendly destination in Auckland.

Want our advice? Ride the Fearfall, Invader, Corkscrew Coaster, Power Surge, and Stratosphere, as they’re the most famous attractions here!

Pro tip:
Try scheduling your visit on Fridays to save money on admission fees if you’re coming with kids! They have a promo called ½ Fridays, which slashes the entrance fee for Kidz Kingdom in half (only through online booking).

Admire sea creatures at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium 


Address: 23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei, Auckland 1071, New Zealand

Contact details: [email protected]

Operating hours: Daily from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Since the harsh rainfall of Auckland’s winter makes diving impossible, the best way you can admire the city’s marine life is by visiting Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium. You’ll find all sorts of marine life here, from fish to sharks, rays and even bustling coral reefs!

You can admire these beautiful creatures as you walk through the various tunnels that have aquariums for walls. The bonus? You can also interact with the breathtaking creatures! 

For instance, the aquarium allows you to safely swim with the sharks, which is a fancy way of saying being trapped in a cage while sharks surround you—still cool though!

Pro tip:
Be sure to book your ticket in advance to guarantee your slot! We highly recommend buying tickets online, as their website offers far cheaper rates compared to when you walk in.

Explore the 100-year-old Domain Wintergardens 

Address: Wintergarden Road, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 301 0101

Operating hours: Daily from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

A visit to the Domain Wintergardens is a great way to spend one of those rare sunny winter days in Auckland. 

This 100-year-old attraction is home to beautiful green plants and colourful flowers. Its longevity is also the reason why it’s been registered as a Category I historic place.

The biggest highlight, however, is the glass house, which we can’t get enough of whenever we explore it! 

Pro tip:
While you’re here, make sure to stop by the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It features both temporary exhibits and permanent collections that tell the story of New Zealand’s days during the war.