Learn about the country’s history
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The best way to get to know the unique culture and history of Tāmaki Makaurau (the Māori word for Auckland) is to visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum. This stately building in picturesque Auckland Domain has a serious collection of Māori taonga (treasures). Time your visit for the thrice-daily Māori cultural show.
Visit a playground like no other
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For something more whimsical that will keep the kids happy, head to Whoa! Studios, just west of the city. The brainchild of entrepreneur David Sutherland, it’s part film studio, part urban playground and part restaurant. As well as pantomime shows, there’s a park with an inflatable obstacle course and water slide and Australasia’s first crochet play net crafted by Japanese artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam. Image: Tez Mercer
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Further north-west, Tree Adventures is an aerial adventure park set in a 12,500-hectare pine forest. Based on a popular French concept, it has 10 different rope courses, 110 high-wire activities and 18 flying foxes suitable for kids aged five and older (and their parents).
Dessert with a difference
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After dinner, go to Giapo, a science-lab-meets-ice-cream-parlour in the CBD, where imaginative flavour creations include gyoza dumpling, Yorkshire pudding and poutine.