Things to do in Auckland on a Rainy Day

HostelBookers and guest blogger Craig Martin from the Indie Travel Podcast are supporting Blog4NZ. The worldwide blogging event is to remind travellers of the wonder of New Zealand following the Christchurch earthquake a month ago.

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Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is famous for many things. One of them is its changeable weather. Even if you visit during the summer, you’re likely to experience one of its four-seasons-in-one-day moments. If you visit during winter, you might be unlucky enough to catch a Pacific storm creating a deluge. That’s OK, we’ve got your back with 8 things to do in Auckland on a rainy day.

Kelly Tarltons

One of the world’s first aquariums to be built in this style, Kelly Tarltons allows you to be transported under the seas as fish swim around you and overhead. The bus from the Britomart Bus Station to the aquarium should take less than 10 minutes, and there’s a shuttle service too – ask your hostel staff about how to get onto that.

As well as sharks, giant rays and countless fish there is the Antarctic experience, dive opportunities and a shark cage to get into.

Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum

Handily located at the Viaduct Harbour, near the bottom of Queen St, the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum is a great place to duck into and escape the rain. Tracing New Zealand’s strong connections with the seas, this will help you see why Auckland is called the City of Sails.


Break up your viewing with buying things! Queen St is impossible to get around without getting wet, but a journey out to Dressmart, a huge factory store complex, or a modern mall like Silvia Park or Botany Town Centre can help beat the rainy day blues with a healthy dose of retail therapy.

The Town Centre also has a great movie theatre with a lounge experience worth splurging on: the latest releases on the big screen while you’re in an armchair drinking wine? Yes please!

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Despite the name, this isn’t a war museum. The Auckland Museum is a giant building sitting in a large park in central Auckland and houses some amazing permanent exhibitions. While visitors will get a lot from it, the large collection of Maori and Pacific treasures and live Maori arts performancesare a special and unique experience.

Make sure you time your visit for those, and also have enough time to explore New Zealand’s strange flora and fauna. With no mammalian predators, birds and lizards took up a dominant role in pre-human Aotearoa.

The Civic, or around Aotea Square

As evening closes in, try to catch a show at the Civic Theatre. No matter what’s playing, the entry cost will likely be worth it for the intricate, hand-designed facades, painted ceilings and other artworks. It’s a simply stunning venue for live theatre and concerts.

If that doesn’t float your boat, the complexes around Aotea Square have cinemas and other theatres. You’ll find something you love and can stop in at Giappo’s for excellent gelato on the way there or back to your hostel.

As night closes in…

As the night begins, the Viaduct area is the most accessible for bars and clubs, but more interesting finds are in Karangahape Road, known by all as K Road – home to niche bars, underground music venues and other strange and wonderful things happening from time to time.

For the tired, hassle your hostel staff for a New Zealand-made board game, like Stonewall, Linwood or the award-winning Endeavor. Or watch a classic Kiwi movie like Boy, Eagle vs Shark, Heavenly Creatures or The World’s Fastest Indian, or settle down to a bit of Flight of the Conchords.

Check out Craig’s previous articles for HostelBookers, New Zealand in Four Weeks Part 1 and Part 2.

There are lots of Auckland hostels to choose from in New Zealand. Oaklands Lodge is one of Auckland’s top-rated hostels, the beautiful ranch is in near all the action but on a tree-lined street on the slopes of Mt. Eden.

Dorms start at €13.05

Thanks to eguidetravel, xurizaemon, brewbooks, Sky City and Stereographic for the images!

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