When you drive away from the Auckland/New Zealand Airport, chances are you’re going to drive right past the eye-catching entrances to Rocket Ropes and Butterfly Creek! Our interest was piqued in January, and the kids were thrilled when we surprised them with a visit here (in April) our last day in New Zealand before our outgoing flight!
Rocket Ropes is a fun Ropes Course with various challenges for children and adults (ages 2 and up)! Older children’s courses require an appointment (so be sure to book early), but little ones on the Rocketeer Course (ages 2-6 years) do not require appointments. Our little guys were outfitted by the attentive staff to begin their open course, which does not require staff supervision.
The Rocketeer Course is all low to the ground, but still requires the children to move their carabiner clips from one track to another. Therefore, our little Eli (age 2 1/2) required us to walk with him and move the clip on each new section. Ethan, however, took off on his own and did circles on the course around everyone else.
It was fun to see Eli a little bit out of his comfort zone, but also safely secured so that there was no reason to worry.
Ethan, our little athlete, was in heaven!
While the little boys were going round and round, the girls were given a safety briefing and prepared to enter their course (Rocket Ropes takes safety seriously!).
The “Croc Tower” course starts on a lower level, helping kids first build their confidence before challenging them to some greater heights.
It wasn’t a very short course, and the whole experience probably took about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The girls were a tad tired by the end, but radiating from their time on the course!
Next, we decided to go next door to the sister property of Butterfly Creek, which is a fun blend of farm-like exhibits and a dinosaur museum/park!
The grounds are very accessible for strollers and/or those with wheelchairs–which made it an appealing outing for our family with a baby that needed a nap.
We started our visit by entering the “Butterfly House”, where over 700+ butterflies are flying freely under the large greenhouse canopy. Butterflies were literally everywhere, and they were attracted to our children’s colorful clothing.
The kids just loved it, as you can imagine! They also enjoyed looking at a case of chrysalises, seeing the butterflies and little feeding stations, and watching them fly among the beautiful tropical plants that filled the greenhouse.
This section of the park also included live monkeys, a bug & tarantula room, aquaria, and crocodile and alligator exhibits.
Next, we went to the “Dinosaur Kingdom”, which boasts over 60 dinosaurs. The kids enjoyed the perspective of seeing so many dinosaurs that were “life-size”, and reading the interesting placards about the various species.
When we entered the park, the staff gave each of our children a Scavenger Hunt paper, which encouraged them to run around to find the answers to various questions about the dinosaurs.
The Scavenger Hunt may have distracted them significantly, but it gave them purpose and direction and was an overall win.
This (below) is actually a clever trash can! 🙂
They had some fun dinosaur exhibits that made our kids laugh!
Next, we visited the Farm Animals area, which is essentially a petting zoo called “Buttermilk Farm”. There were a lot of wandering goats, sheep, chickens, and also some beautiful birds that we enjoyed visiting with!
And the kids all loved holding the various cuddly animals that were carefully handled and provided by the staff. They held soft bunnies and the guinea pigs were a favorite!
I could just eat this kid up all day!
The goats in the “Billy Goats Gruff” area had an amazing playground all to themselves! Kind of made us jealous…
However, outside of the Farm area was a great-looking HUMAN kid’s playground, which we distracted our children from seeing, because we had already had a long day! Poor kids…parents are no fun! 😉
Before leaving, we made sure to ride the little mini-train (one ride per ticket) around the dinosaur kingdom area, which the kids thought was fun. The park also had an amazing gift shop and a Cafe with a very impressive looking menu!
On our way out the door, our kids all turned in their completed Dinosaur Kingdom Scavenger Hunt papers.
They were rewarded with high quality stickers and a mask of their choice! Eli picked a dinosaur, which he insisted on packing all the way home to the US. He still occasionally pulls it out and runs around the house roaring like a dinosaur (do dinosaurs roar?!)!
Overall, this was such a great treat for our kids, and a great way to end our visit to New Zealand! If you’re looking to burn some energy off either before an outgoing flight, or you need to stay awake after arriving in New Zealand after a red-eye flight–this is a great place to go! Have a layover with kids in Auckland? It is practically just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away! If you’re looking for something to do with kids in Auckland, both Rocket Ropes and Butterfly Creek are crowd-pleasers that the whole family will enjoy!