Having fun in Auckland doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It’s an amazing city with plenty of great things to do that won’t cost a penny.
Here’s our list of free things to do in Auckland.
- Spend the day at the beach. Auckland has some stunning beaches, find one near you, pack a picnic and make a day of it. Or drive a little further from home and take a dip at someone else’s local beach. Hears a few of the best beaches to get you started.
- Go for a walk. Auckland’s is blessed with loads of great regional parks and most of them contain some great walks. If you want a nice long walk head for Hunua or the Waitakere Ranges. For something shorter you can go to pretty much any of Auckland Regional parks.
- Go for a bike ride. Auckland has been hard at work building cycle routes for the last few years. You can get almost anywhere on a bike now. Start with one of these great cycle paths. Or take things off road with some mountain biking try Totara Park which has some great Mountain Biking for beginner and intermediate riders.
- Auckland Museum, It’s free for Aucklanders, and a great place for younger kids or adults if you haven’t been for a while.
- Auckland Art Gallery. Free for Auckland residents. This is a fantastic art gallery with constantly changing exhibitions.
- Victoria Street Skate Park. Dust off that skateboard or bmx and hit that park. There’s some seriously talented skaters there most days so there’s plenty to watch even if you don’t skate.
- Pop a Manu. Doing bombs off a wharf, or a bridge, or a cliff or out of a tree is a New Zealand tradition. My favourite spot is the wharf on the Wynyard Quarter side of the Viaduct next to the steps. It seems simple but there’s some serious technique involved. Other great spots are the Maraetai Wharf, Devonport Wharf, or try Okahu Wharf on Tamaki Drive.
- Winter Garden. Located in the Auckland Domain this is pretty cool even if you’re not really into gardens. It’s a short walk from the museum so you can do both in a day.
- Climb a Volcano. Auckland’s full of volcanoes. Don’t just stick to Mt Eden and One Tree Hill get out and explore some of the smaller ones. Mt Mangere is awesome, so is Mt Hobson. You can skip the gym and see how many you can do in a day.
- Bastion Point. It’s close enough to walk from Mission Bay. The views are great. The memorial is pretty cool too. Combine it with a swim at Mission Bay.
- Arataki Visitors Centre in the Waitakere Ranges is worth a look if you are out that way. Great views over the forest. Giant Eagle (replica) Wetas (real). It’s not worth the drive just to do the visitors centre but if you’re doing a walk out that way it’s worth stopping in for a look.
- Goat Island. Yup it’s free. get up there and get amongst those fish. Take your own mask and snorkel for the best experience. Whatever you do DO NOT take a bag full of bread, as awesome as it is watching all the fish come to eat the bread you MUST NOT DO IT. I forget why, maybe they’re gluten intolerant?
- Manukau Heads. The lighthouse is pretty cool. Stop for lunch in Waiuku (not free) or pack a picnic (free). Look out for Hamiltons Gap on the way there. Running down the sandhills is totally awesome and a great work out going back up too.
- If you like big white birds then you’ll love the Gannet Colony at Muriwai Beach. A short walk from the car park, great for photographers and ornithologists.
- Otuataua Stonefields. This is one of New Zealand’s oldest historical sites. There’s not a lot to see but it is a pleasant walk. Great for history buffs, for everyone else it’s really just a reason to get off the couch and go for a walk outside.
- North Head Tunnels. Take a torch and poke around in the tunnels. It’s a good time. Kids love it. The views great from the top are great. I once saw dolphins from the path.
- Visit a waterfall. My favorite is Kitekite Falls at Piha, but Hunua Falls is pretty good too.
- Love planes. Auckland Airport is a popular spot with plane nerds. You can park up and watch the planes take off and land.
- Botanic Gardens. Entry is free, watch out for the popular sculptures in the gardens. This is popular for older folks and families with young kids.
- Torpedo Bay Navy Museum. Entry is free combine it with the tunnels and a trip to North Head. Have a swim at the beach afterwards, it’s a good day out.
- Parnell Rose Garden. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses every now and again.
- Pah Homestead. This amazing historic mansion is now run by the wallace Trust as an Art Gallery. Entry is free but they do like a donation.
- Go Fishing. Off the rocks or off a wharf. If you’ve got your own gear it’s free. Popular fishing spots include Cornwallis Wharf, Mangere Bridge, Orakei Wharf, and Shelly Beach Wharf. See what to bring to increase your chances of actually catching a fish from a wharf.
- Go Surfing. Dig out your wetsuit, wax your board and rekindle you love of surfing. Orewa beach (watch out for sharks). Piha or Maori Bay are all great spots. If you can’t surf then boogie board, it’s almost as much fun and way easier to learn.
- Go to Church. No really the Parnell Cathedral is pretty cool, wander in and take a peek.
- Take a walk around Viaduct Harbour and see how the worlds super wealthy live. There’s usually a super yacht or two. Watch out during the America’s Cup when the worlds elite will congregate in Auckland for the summer and try and outdo each other with bigger yachts.
- Sneak into a lecture at Auckland University. It costs money to get a degree, but it costs nothing to wander in and listen. Just make sure you pick a lecture that’s big enough you won’t be noticed. This may not be strictly legal so caution is advised, you may be arrested for stealing knowledge.
Looking for more adventurous activities?