The school holidays are upon us once again, and you know what that means – Operation Keep the Kids Occupied has commenced. If you’re falling short of ideas, why not head over to Hobsonville Point? Let the kids roam free and tick a few things off your school holiday bucket list.
1. Get out on the water with the Fullers ferry
The Fullers Ferry runs between Hobsonville Point and Auckland City seven days a week from downtown Quay Street ferry terminal and Hobsonville Point Wharf. Make a day of it and enjoy a boat trip with the kids to take in the picturesque Waitemata Harbour in all its glory. Even better: Under-15’s now travel free on weekends with an AT HOP card. Plus, you can bring your dog. How cool is that? Find out more about taking the ferry to Hobsonville Point here.
2. Find yourself a feast at the Catalina Bay Farmers Market
The Catalina Bay Farmers Market is the ultimate vice for fussy eaters and ravenous teens alike. Tuck into a mussel fritter or devour a donut; the market is brimming with delicious food options to please everyone’s taste buds.
Got budding Sugar Rush contestants in the family? At 11am on Friday the 11th of October, there’ll be a free cake decorating demo, with the cakes - one unicorn, one spiderman - being raffled off afterwards. Yum!
The Catalina Bay Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-7pm, and Saturday and Sunday 8.30am-4pm.
3. Fly through Harrier Park and enjoy the scenery
From Catalina Bay, head up the hill to the gorgeous Harrier Point park. It’s surrounded by beautiful established trees and has water views to die for. It features a huge, 360-degree bucket swing, BBQs, a separate exercise area - and a most excellent flying fox.
It also has a large grassed area – the ideal setup for a late afternoon picnic. Pick up some produce from the farmers market, slap some saussies on the barbie and relax in the sun while the kids play.
4. Explore the Te Ara Manawa Hobsonville Point (Coastal Walkway)
If you’re a stickler for the scenic route, the Coastal Walkway should be top of your school holiday list. The 5km loop traces the picturesque peninsula, taking in parks, playgrounds and cafes along the way.
The walkway is designed to be family friendly. For the most part, it’s flat, off-road, and sealed – perfect for all ages. And despite its name, it’s not just for walking either: bikes, scooters, prams or skates are welcome too, as are our four-legged friends (but don’t forget the leash).
Find out more and download an Explorer Map here.
5. Make a splash at the Catalina Water Park
It’s springtime, and that means it’s getting warmer. Luckily Hobsonville Point has no shortage of water, even away from the coastal fringes. Located on the corner of Onekiritea and Tuatua Road is the Catalina Water Park. Here you’ll find an array of water features which move the water from A to B in mesmerizing fashion – through moats, over and under water features. And it’s all fun size! Designed for kids to run, jump and generally make a splash, so be sure to pack a towel.
6. Get back to nature at the Hobsonville Point Playground
The Hobsonville Point playground is like no other. Inspired by seed pods found on the New Zealand coast, the playground dubs as sculptural landmark – a welcome spin on the classic ‘slide and two swing’ playground set. There are climbing nets, plenty of swings (no queuing here), wobbly wooden steps and more. Suitable for ages and abilities, and conveniently placed near the Catalina Cafe along the Coastal Walkway. How handy.
7. Now reward yourself!
If you made it all the way around the walkway and back to the ferry landing at Catalina Bay (or even if you didn’t - we’re not judging), you definitely deserve a grown-up treat.
Stop at the gorgeous waterfront cafe Fabric and take a seat in the sun for a much-deserved coffee. Or for something stronger, pop in to Little Creatures Brewery. It’s very family friendly - they’re even hosting a special Spring Carnival on Sunday the 6th of October. Billed as a ‘family friendly day out filled with carnival fun including games and entertainment, food, and freshly brewed festival beers’, it’s sure to be a hit with both generations.
PS: Did you know that Hobsonville Point was designed with kids in mind? Find out more here.