When you think of Swanson the first thing that comes to mind is not dinosaurs and roller coasters, but nestled in a rural block on Candia Road is exactly what you will find at Crystal Mountain.
For me Crystal Mountain has a lot of nostalgia associated with it despite only going there 3 times. I was at Crystal Mountain the first time I put my camera in manual mode and discovered the joy of photography beyond pointing and shooting.
It was Crystal Mountain that I took my first family outing with James and his daughter too. So it has history…
This time I decided to tackle Crystal Mountain with 5 kids (our 3 plus one of their friends and my 3 year old nephew).
The first thing I would say about Crystal Mountain is set your expectation. This is not a sophisticated entertainment park – nor should it be if you ask me. The charm of the place is that it feels like you have ventured into an epic backyard in a farm with all the cool things you wish you had as a kid.
It’s the type of place where it’s perfectly okay for a peacock to be wandering on a trampoline and that to me is the perfect type of place…
As well as the peacocks roaming around there are pony rides.
There are huge dinosaurs that move just enough to have my 3 year old nephew not quite sure if they were real or not and staying well out of reach just incase they were.
There are animals to feed.
There are what can only be described as giant “jolly jumpers” for the kids to do flips and jump high.
There’s a red train to go cruising through the park on.
There is a roller coaster that is just thrilling enough for my cautious 3 year old nephew to give a try.
There is a huge dining area to either order from the cafe or bring your lunch from home.
There are animals to pet.
And of course there is loads of crystals in both the Crystal Mine Museum and the retail shop.
All up we spent the better part of 5 hours there and there was loads for all the kids (aged from 3 to 11) to do so on a value for money equation it works out pretty well. You can find out more about them on their website here.
And while you are out that way, venture a bit further and check out one of the epic sunsets that only West Auckland beaches can provide!