Come to Manukau to get a taste of Polynesian culture at the bustling markets and lively festivals. Smell the fragrance of thousands of flowers at Auckland’s botanical gardens and walk the paths around the expansive Manukau Harbour. Take a thrilling ride on the roller coasters and dodgem cars at Rainbow’s End theme park. Finish your day with a meal in one of the area’s superb restaurants serving cuisine from around the world.
Sometimes referred to as South Auckland, Manukau is actually a city in its own right. This city has the largest population of Polynesians anywhere in the world and is also New Zealand’s most ethnically diverse city. Discover the colorful Polynesian culture when you visit Otara Market. Buy some native Polynesian vegetables or try local specialties cooked with a hāngi, or earth oven. Browse stalls selling arts and crafts or stop to listen to a local band playing live music.
Children won’t want to miss Rainbow’s End, New Zealand’s largest theme park. Come here for a fun-packed day riding the roller coasters, Go Karts and more. The park also features the high-tech 3D Motion Master, an interactive cinema experience.
Make sure you visit the Botanical Gardens, where over 10,000 species of native and introduced plants are beautifully arranged. Explore the area’s surroundings and walk along the paths that wind around the large harbor. Enjoy stunning views across the water and see the Awhitu Peninsula in the distance.
Being the most ethnically diverse area of Auckland, Manukau has some superb food on offer. Take your pick from a number of Asian or Polynesian restaurants and enjoy a meal, often for great value.
Manukau is located 15 miles (23 kilometers) south of central Auckland. There is a local bus service but it is most convenient to explore the area by car. Accommodation here can be cheaper than in the city center and the area is a good base for exploring the region south of the city.