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Rainy day options for school holidays

Rainy day options for school holidays

As well as some of the finest outdoor settings in Auckland, regional parks have something for the family on rainy days with Kids Corner at Arataki Visitor Centre and Couldrey House at Wenderholm Regional Park.

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park’s Arataki Visitor Centre has recently develop a Kids’ Corner designed to keep kids of all ages entertained.

Activities relating to the coast and bush of the Waitakere Ranges include puzzles, puppets. The Kids’ Corner features a very popular “peripatus” – shaped couch, which introduces children to this fascinating, dark bluish-grey, caterpillar-like creature with 16 pairs of legs and cream or orangey spots.

Kids can also get up close to other species that make the Waitakere Ranges home such as weta, stick insects and geckoes, which feature, in live displays at Arataki Visitor Centre.

“Arataki is a great resource for children – it gives them an introduction to the natural environment in an interesting and fun way,” Titirangi resident and mother of two Janet MacDonald says.

To get to Arataki Visitor Centre from Central Auckland, take the North Western Motorway, exit at Great North Rd and follow the signs to Titirangi. Drive through the Titirangi shops and onto Scenic Drive. The Visitor Centre is on Scenic Drive about ten minutes drive from Titirangi.

At Wenderholm Regional Park, Couldrey House, built in 1857, is surrounded by exotic gardens and an extensive pohutukawa grove. The grounds are open to visitors without charge every day.

The house, which is furnished as a house museum, is opened by Friends of Couldrey House from 1-4pm every Saturday and Sunday year round and on all public holidays (except Christmas Day and Good Friday). The house is also open every afternoon from Boxing Day until Waitangi Day; or by private arrangement.

“Access to regional treasures such as Couldrey House are very important in developing a sense of identity within children. Through visiting such places, young people learn a lot about the history of the region in which they live,” ARC Parks and Heritage Committee Chair Bill Burrill says.

The entrance to Wenderhlom Regional Park is on State Highway 1 just north of Waiwera.

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and Wenderholm Regional Park are just two of the 21 regional parks managed by the Auckland Regional Council.

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