Sitting 23 kilometres south of Auckland, Manukau is home to the largest Polynesian community in the world. It’s anchored by an upbeat town centre, lined with shops, cafes and island-inspired restaurants. If you’re travelling with little ones in tow, Manukau is surrounded by a great selection of family-friendly attractions.
Things to do
Thanks to its Polynesian roots, Manukau has a colourful cultural scene. For a taste of the Pacific, head to the bustling Otara Flea Market held on Saturday mornings. From fresh produce to local handicrafts, it’s one of New Zealand’s best outdoor markets.
With rollercoasters, thrill rides and splash zones, Rainbow’s End theme park is an easy walk from the Manukau town centre. You can also find a handful of other friendly attractions in the area, including mini golf, paintball, go karting, bike riding and a high ropes course.
For a breath of fresh air head to the Auckland Botanic Gardens, located just south of the town. Nearby Butterfly Creek is another top attraction, with a butterfly house and a chance to interact with huge saltwater crocs and cuddly farm animals.
If you love wine, the Clevedon Valley is dotted with a handful of boutique vineyards. Don’t miss a stop at Clevedon village, known for its cosy cafes, independent galleries and bustling Sunday market. Mangere Mountain is the perfect place to stretch your legs, with sweeping views of Auckland and fascinating ruins of Māori settlements.
Auckland is powered by an efficient public transport network, which spans all the way to Manukau. The main train station is located within the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) campus, with local buses also running in the area. You can drive to the Auckland CBD in just 40 minutes, or take the bus or train in just under one hour.
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