Yes, we have done the eel routine precisely where you mentioned. Didn't intend to but one thing lead to another and the kids were throwing their sandwitches in the drink to feed the eels. Good fun. Like you say, I don't really like the idea of putting a hook in one.
One of my mate's son, who is about six, is keen to get a picture of himself with a fish, any fish, so I'm just trying to come up with something quick, easy, and kid friendly.
We've been here about six months now so while I've got myself fairly dialed in for chasing trout further afield I'm still looking/exploring for things a little closer to AKL.
Is it feasible to flick a fly off that wharf? Or crowds too big?