Come and explore New Zealand’s seafaring history at the Maritime Museum on Auckland’s waterfront. Try your hand at yacht design, hear the cannon fire, and test your sea legs in the rocking cabin.
There’s plenty of opportunity to get out on the water too. Their heritage vessel Ted Ashby sets sail six days a week taking you on a one hour voyage. There are lots of activities for children with birthday party bookings available.
The Museum is open 10am – 5pm every day except Christmas Day. Last admission is at 4pm each day. Best of all, entry is free for Aucklanders.
This is a great rainy-day place to come with kids. It's also open on every public holiday - woohoo! My pre-school boys love it - especially dressed as pirates. There's a ship you can climb into, another you can steer, you can try your hand at being a grinder or trimmer on a yacht-race simulation, and there's a cool recreated 50s bach. The sandpit (outside) is a great place to stop, play and eat lunch or a snack - BYO as there's no cafe. You can also get out onto the ocean on the Ted Ashby vessel but we haven't tried that yet!
The kids will love the spine tingling tales about triumphs and tragedies from the deep on Voyager’s ‘Dangerous Trail’. Head along with the family and be guided through stories of dramatic shipwrecks and give you invaluable tips on survival at sea. It’s a Trail that will ignite your imagination - not only will you be identifying the potential dangers of the sea but you will also be learning how to avoid or survive them!
My favourite part of this place is the yacht racing simulator. There's a huge table where you can tweak the variables for your yacht and pit it against another. The exhibits are extensive and it's right by the picturesque harbour. There are fascinating videos about racing, amazing stories of shipwrecks and sailors, massive boats. It's really worth the trip - you could easily spend a full day there.
Voyager AKA the Maritime Museum occupies some of Auckland’s most impressive real estate snack bang on Viaduct Harbour, making it a great place to take visitors from out of town. It is also the ideal way to waste a few school holiday hours learning about our city’s seafaring history, and kids love the interactive displays in particular as much as adults love the heritage element. A very cool, much underrated attraction for sure.
We went to the Maritime Museum recently during the holidays for their kids programme. It's a relaxed programme with some simple activities set out around the museum for kids to do. It worked well for my preschoolers, with a bit of help from Mum! The highlight for us was sailing on the Ted Ashby. Free for the preschoolers and only $12 for about an hour out in the harbour. A great deal, maybe one of Auckland's best bargains.