Auckland is a piece of paradise loaded with free and inexpensive things to see and do. However, New Zealand’s largest city has a bad rap as being expensive. In part, it’s earned, but in truth, there are plenty of fabulous free things to do in Auckland.
It’s an ideal city for those seeking relaxation, entertainment, culinary excellence, cultural experiences, or adrenaline rush activities. It is my city, and today I will share its secrets.
Reflecting the natural beauty one expects to find in New Zealand, Auckland is nestled between two major bodies of water. Lush green parks line the city’s 1,600km of sparkling blue coastline. Visitors rarely find themselves more than 5km from the sea. On sunny weekend days, one glance at the harbour and you will know why it’s nicknamed the City of Sails.
There are so many fun free things to do in Auckland. It is a city made for walking, cycling, sailing, dining, relaxing, or a bungy jump. It is home to impressive museums, tempting restaurants, and colourful nightlife. While there are plenty of things to do in Auckland for free, to round out the list, I included a few special activities that are not so free (labelled with $).
Founded in 1840, Auckland’s short history includes influences from the indigenous Maori people. Today, it is home to nearly one-third of the country’s population. It has earned a reputation as a family-friendly, active, and safe city.
Although most of the Auckland destinations on this page are free, some have entry fees. While we work with many different companies, we are finding the best prices in Auckland at Bookme.
Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- City walks, naturally free attractions in Auckland
- Beautiful gardens are found on most lists of free things to do in Auckland
- Markets and other shopping in Auckland
- More free things to do in Auckland
- Adrenaline adventures are not amongst the free things to do in Auckland, but discounts are often available
- Getting to Auckland activities
- With so many free things to do in Auckland, why would you ever want to leave?
Some links on this page can save you up to 70%. We earn from qualifying purchases through partnerships or affiliate programmes.
Views from the summit of extinct volcanoes (one of the best free activities in Auckland)
Auckland sits on the remnants of 48 dormant and extinct volcanoes. Not surprisingly, some of the best views in the city are found at the summit of some of these volcanoes. And best of all, whether you walk, bike, drive or jog, getting to the top is always one of the free things to do in Auckland.
- Rangitoto Island: Auckland’s youngest and largest volcanic field can be seen from much of the shoreline facing the Hauraki Gulf. Daily ferries go out to Rangitoto (check for discounts) and other Hauraki Gulf Islands from Auckland and Devonport. From Rangitoto’s summit, enjoy the spectacular city skyline, explore lava caves, view the world’s largest Pohutukawa forest, or watch the sunset. A moderate level of fitness is required for hiking to the top.
- Mt. Victoria in Devonport: My favourite view of the Auckland skyline is seen near sunset from Mount Victoria in Devonport. Also at the top are iconic red and white “mushroom” painted vent caps dotting the fields, a tourist favourite photo spot. There are both buses and a ferry that travel between Auckland city and Devonport.
- North Head historic reserve in Devonport: As you enter the former military tunnel complex hidden in the hillside at North Head, you leave behind expansive panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland city. It is easy to understand why North Head was chosen as a coastal defence site.
- Mount Eden: A short walk to the summit of the Mount Eden domain is instantly rewarded with dramatic 360-degree views from the highest natural point in the city. However, it is the 50-metre deep crater (now grass-covered) that many consider the highlight of this visit. Interestingly, from the top of the crater, you are at nearly the same height as the viewing platform on the Sky Tower.
- Auckland Domain: Auckland’s oldest park is home to extensive forested walking trails, impressive sculptures, and plenty of spots for picnic or sport. In addition, you will find the Auckland Museum, Wintergardens, Wintergarden Cafe, and the city hospital on the Domain.
- One Tree Hill: Auckland’s second-largest volcanic field, adjacent to Cornwall Park, offers lovely views, a historic obelisk, and the gravesite of a national hero. Interestingly, today you will find several youthful trees, replacing the “one-tree” that was destroyed in protest.
Auckland volcanoes north of the Waitemata Harbour
City walks, naturally free attractions in Auckland
Here are a few of the best walks in the city. Check Auckland Transit for more free walking (and cycling) routes in the city.
- Coastal path: With so much coastline, there are miles of beachfront path options. Two of my favourite coastal walks are Tamaki Drive from the city to Mission Bay and the coastal path from Milford to Takapuna.
- Coast to Coast Walk Auckland: Fairly unique to Auckland, you can walk across the country from the Waitemata Harbour to the Manukau Harbour. In about 5 hours, you will pass suburban streets, five volcanic fields, and several historical sites.
- Wynyard Quarter: This redeveloped district is an ideal spot to stroll along the waterfront, enjoy a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants, bring kids to a large playground, visit a community garden, or just relax on giant wooden recliners.
- Heritage walk: Take this self-guided tour of some of the city’s most historically significant and beautiful heritage buildings.
- Walk or cycle on the Te Ara I Whiti. This former motorway turned into a pink lightpath lets pedestrians and cyclists bypass the autos on the city roads.
Beautiful gardens are found on most lists of free things to do in Auckland
- Auckland Botanic Garden: roam through the 156 acres (including 10 acres of native forest) that attracts nearly one million visitors annually.
- Parnell Rose Garden: Be enchanted by the over 5,000 flowering bushes in springtime.
- Domain Wintergardens: Originally built in the early 1900s to provide garden viewing in the winter months, today the Wintergardens have a fernery, an ornate courtyard, and two Victorian-style greenhouses.
Hiking regional parks and reserves are naturally free things to do in Auckland
Each of the 36 regional parks offers something different, but all have opportunities for hiking in Auckland. Nevertheless, I do have several favourite urban parks.
- Western Springs: A flock of black swans live on the artificial lake that was originally built (1875) as a reservoir for Auckland water.
- Cornwall Park: A peaceful park with tree groves, gentle walking paths, sheep and cattle, playground, and two historic buildings. At one end of Cornwall Park is One Tree Hill volcano.
- Shakespear Park: Hike through paddocks and on trails at Shakespear Park at the end of Whangaparaoa Peninsula. The park is home to the only mainland little-spotted Kiwi birds; although you won’t see them, sometimes at night you can hear their call.
- Tiritiri Matangi: An open bird sanctuary island, here you will discover several species of endangered birds including the once thought to be extinct Takahe. You will need to take a ferry ($$) out to the island.
West Auckland parks
- Waitakere Ranges: There are over 250km of sub-tropical rainforest trails making up the Waitakere Ranges walks and plenty of waterfalls. The trails range from family-friendly to the 80km multiday Hilary Trail.
Important, as of April 2018, many of the trails are closed to protect the trees from Kauri Dieback disease. Here is a list of open trails.
- Arataki Visitor Centre: The gateway to the subtropical rainforest, the Arataki Visitors Centre has stunning views overlooking the rainforest, information on the parklands, extensive Māori history and several impressive carvings. It is one of the highlights of West Auckland.
- Manukau Heads Lighthouse: Climb to the top of the lighthouse and be rewarded with stunning harbour views over the Awahiti Peninsula.
Art and historical museums in Auckland
There are plenty of free indoor activities. Auckland is home to several interesting museums. Most offer free entry either to everyone or only to locals. See my favourite Auckland museums.
- Pah Homestead – Worth a visit to see either the historic home or the frequently renewed contemporary art collection.
- Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Art Gallery, Auckland – Located in Titirangi, the contemporary art galleries of Te Uru will be different on almost every visit.
- MOTAT ($) – Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology is a hands-on opportunity to discover the country’s advancements in transportation and technology. (Check for discounts)
Free entry for locals
- Auckland Museum (Free entry for Aucklanders): An Auckland must-see destination for visitors who want an insight into New Zealand’s history. The museum boasts one of the world’s most impressive collections of Māori and Pacific Island artefacts. And, the top floor is home to The Auckland War Memorial Museum.
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (Free entry for New Zealanders): Home to over 15,000 artworks including paintings, sculptures, and multimedia, it’s New Zealand’s largest collection of national and international artwork.
- New Zealand Maritime Museum (Free entry for Aucklanders): From the dugout canoes that brought the first Polynesian people to modern world-class racing vessels, New Zealand’s nautical history comes to life at the National Maritime Museum.
Markets and other shopping in Auckland
Whether or not shopping is one of your free things to do in Auckland depends on if you are a window shopper or not.
- Queen Street: Every city has a street that does it all; in Auckland, this is Queen Street. This main thoroughfare is the heart of the central business district (CBD), a shopper’s paradise, and a tourist destination.
- Otara Flea Market: A Saturday morning market located in the car park of the Otara Town Centre. This is the largest Polynesian-style market in New Zealand.
- City Farmers’ Market at Britomart: Also on Saturday mornings, this farmers’ market is the place to get fresh produce.
- Sylvia Park Shopping Centre – This is New Zealand’s largest indoor shopping mall.
- K-Road during the day: On Karangahape Road, you will find an eclectic mix of fashion, second-hand shops, art galleries, and vegetarian cafes.
- Auckland Night Markets: At seven different locations throughout the city.
Sealife and birds constitute New Zealand’s primary wildlife viewing opportunities, and, if you know where to go, there are some amazing free options.
- Gannet Colony at Muriwai Beach – Late August to March is the best time to view the colony of up to 1,200 Australian Gannet pairs that fly over 2,000 km to breed on Muriwai’s clifftop. While this is and easy plae to visit on your own, we recently learned of an option that includes both gannet colony and local vineyard tour
- Goat Island: This wildlife/marine sanctuary is one of many popular day trips from Auckland. It is the best spot near Auckland for colourful (subtropical) snorkelling, SCUBA diving, or a glass-bottomed boat tour (check for discounts).
Not so free animal viewing
- Auckland Zoo ($$) – A family destination featuring New Zealand’s largest collection of native and exotic animals, as well as traditional animals found at zoos. Check for discount day passes
- Butterfly Creek and Dinosaur Kingdom ($$) – A place for kids explore a tropical butterfly house or travel back to a time when dinosaurs ruled, made even better with discount entry tickets.
- Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium ($$) – From the penguins in Antarctica to the sea life in local Auckland waters, if it lives in the Southern Ocean, you will find it at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium. Built underground, it houses the world’s first walk-through acrylic tunnels that surround visitors with colourful marine life or shark-infested waters. Check for discount prices.
- Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari (AWADS) ($$$) – Every moment on an Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari is exciting, but nothing tops the day’s first whale sighting. Not free, but it is the best thing I have ever done in Auckland. And best of all, depending on the day you choose, you can often get a discount with this link.
Nightlife in Auckland
If you know where to look, there are plenty of free things to do in Auckland at night in Auckland.
Free things to do in Auckland at night
- Watch or try Fire Spinning: On Sunday nights in Mission Bay or Wednesday nights the group Fire and Flow perfect their craft.
- SkyCity Auckland Casino (Free to enter, pay to play): New Zealand’s largest casino is always open.
- Bars and clubs: Many of the hotspots are free before 10 pm. Get an early start and have your hand stamped, thus allowing you free return later.
- K-Road at Night: Karangahape Road is different at night when it’s the place to go for mixed and gay bars, strip clubs, and brothels (not free).
- Free movies in Silo Park – A summertime event on Friday nights.
- Poetry Live – Tuesday nights at the Thirsty Dog Tavern and Cafe features New Zealand’s longest-running dedicated poetry event.
- Rock Bar: The place to sing karaoke on Queen Street.
Affordable, but not free things to do at night
- Stardome Observatory and Planetarium ($) – A planetarium experience followed by outdoor telescope viewing. Check for discounts on our night sky show.
- Frenzi Bar Crawl ($) – Every Thursday night, this bar crawl starts at the Camel Bar. Or if you want to go it alone, find our favourite clubs listed here amongst these things to do in Auckland at Night.
- Classic Comedy Club ($)- The only full-time comedy club in Auckland.
- Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret ($$) – A complete night out featuring a hilarious drag queen cabaret show and delicious dinner.
- Dinner in Auckland: Find our current favourites amongst these 20 Unique Restaurants in Auckland.
More free things to do in Auckland
If you are still looking for free things to do, Auckland offers a few more ideas.
- Take photos at sunset.
- Enjoy a picnic in a reserve.
- Fish from a pier or beach (check the local rules).
- Surf one of the west coast beaches. If you want a lesson, check for discounts at Muriwai, Piha or Mangawhai.
- Swim or sunbathe at a gentle east coast beach, like Orewa Beach.
- Collect cockles and have a barbeque in Shakespear Park.
- See the superyachts docked at Viaduct Harbour.
- Attend a lecture at one of Auckland’s 55 City libraries.
- Listen to live music in the park at various venues throughout the summer.
- Look for hand and footprints of famous Kiwis at the Auckland Celebrity Walk.
- Visit Holy Trinity Cathedral, the world’s only architectural example of a Pacific-Gothic cathedral.
- People watch.
- Hunt for graffiti and street art.
Adrenaline adventures are not amongst the free things to do in Auckland, but discounts are often available
Whether you are looking for adrenaline rush activities or just a bit of excitement, Auckland has something for you. A country known for pushing to the limit, many of these are once in a lifetime opportunities.
- Escape rooms ($$): There are several in the city, but we like the discounts available from Escapade-NZ on Victoria St.
- Rainbow’s End ($$): New Zealand’s largest theme park. Get an Unlimited Superpass in advance.
- America’s Cup Sailing ($$$): Participate in the sailing of an America’s Cup yacht. Depending on the day you choose, you can get a discount.
- Eco Zip Adventures ($$$) – Ziplines on Waiheke Island over the forest and vineyards is quite a thrill. Check for discount pricing here.
- Skyscreamer ($$$) – Catapult into the air on a reverse bungy ride.
- Sky Tower ($$) – The Auckland Sky Tower is the tallest manmade structure in the Southern Hemisphere standing proudly at 328 metres. A visit to the top provides impressive 360° views stretching out 80 km in every direction. Check for discount pricing.
- Sky Jump or Sky Walk ($$$) – an adrenaline rush from the top of the Sky Tower. Check for discount options on Sky Jump and Sky Walk.
Want more thrilling details? Check out these 13 Adrenaline Rush Activities in Auckland
Getting to Auckland activities
- Auckland is an easy city to get around. There is excellent public transportation in the central city. However, there are less frequent options in the surrounding areas.
- If you self-drive, note that car parking in the city is often shockingly expensive.
- Taxis are available at busy downtown venues, or taxis or Uber can be called.
- The Hop-on Hop-off bus is a great way to see some of the highlights, even better when you get the Hop-on Hop-off bus for a discount.
Save with these resources in Auckland and all of NZ
We usually start with aggregator companies as they do the work for us by providing a list of options, prices, and reviews. However, we also added a few personal NZ favourites:
- Flights: we use Expedia for the best and cheapest flight options.
- Hotels: we use Booking.com as they consistently return the best rates and their reviews are from actual guests. However, for self-contained lodging in New Zealand, we use Bookabach.
- Cars and Campervans: we use RentalCars to find the best deals and dealer ratings. Use Jucy for small campervans.
- Activity discounts: we always check Bookme.com for discounts of up to 70% on selected tours, activities, restaurants and more.
- Travel Insurance: we start at InsureMyTrip as they are the best option to compare plans and find the right coverage for you.
Before you book the rest of your trip: Check out our travel resources page for more companies that we use when you travel.
We believe this list to be the best in each category. You can’t go wrong using them on your trip too.
Save for later
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With so many free things to do in Auckland, why would you ever want to leave?
But if you do want to get outside the city, check out some of our favourite Auckland day trips within 2-hours of the city. Or if you are looking to go a bit farther, or want to hit some of the classic nearby tourist destinations we recommended these day trips.
Disclaimer: We are frequently provided with a complimentary entry or other benefits. However, the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
Small side note.
Any Auckland resident who has used the public transportation more than once would be able to inform you of its notoriety. It’s infamous for strikes, cancellations, delays and exorbitant ticket prices (relatively).
Overuse/reliance on buses for transport is greatly hindering its hope for improvement and with Auckland traffic on the rise it won’t get better anytime soon.
With NZ on the whole not having good infrastructure and poor management unwilling to take expert or outside advice, I wouldn’t expect this to change in the near future.
Going to Visit New Zealand next week as I don’t know much about it so I was looking for a blog to know the best things to there thanks for this information. As Know I know What to do there.
OK, I had NO idea that Aukland had volcanoes!! That is soooo cool. And I’ve always wanted to see a huge Gannet colony!!
Aukland looks so beautiful, Rhonda! I’d really love to come visit sometimes. Too bad it’s so far from us. Hiking up to Mount Eden Volcano would be one of my favorite activities there. That green crater tells me that this volcano must be extinct for quite some time. I haven’t seen a green crater yet.
Those pictures are beautiful, I would love to visit your place.
I enjoyed this post Rhonda. The photos are great too. Thanks for the tour 🙂
I’ ve always enjoyed visiting Aukland, Rhonda. You certainly give a brilliant outline of all the fun things to do there!
The Domain Wintergardens greenhouse is just beautiful! I’m a big garden/botanical adventure kinda gal so I’ll for sure be hitting up all those recommendations. Such a great list and I can’t wait to visit someday!
I have never really researched Auckland, but it definitely looks like my kind of city. I love having the convenience of a lot of things going on and a lively city, but I also want to be out in nature and from your extensive list it seems Auckland combines the best of both of those worlds. Sign me up for star gazing, collecting cockles and having a barbecue on the beach and visiting the volcanoes. The summer movies in the park also sound fun.
This article is a boon! There’s no better advice than advice from a local. I would love to hike (or drive) up the volcanos for panoramic views of the city! The scenery there looks stunning. The Auckland Museum sounds really interesting. The walking tours sound great too, especially the coast to coast trail. How amazing that you can go across the country in 5 hours!
I have a friend who just returned from New Zealand. Her pictures were amazing as are yours! I didn’t realize there were so many volcanoes there. The natural beauty is outstanding. I just wish it wasn’t such a long plane ride from the States.
Bookmarked your article, it’s going to be super useful. Since, New Zealand is an expensive destination, particularly for people from Asia like me. So, every penny counts on the trip. It’s awesome to know that there is so much to do and see while spending so less.
I’m impressed at how much there is to see in Auckland! I’ve never been and didn’t realize there were dormant volcanoes there so that would definitely be my first port of call. The Domain Wintergardens look stunning too. Thanks for such an informative guide
The volcanoes blend in so easily to the landscape it can actually be a little unnerving once you stop and think about what you’re standing on. However, they’re all totally safe.
It seems that visiting Aukland is a real deal, if there are so many free things to do there. Seeing how beautiful Auckland is, I begin to understand why you wanted to move to New Zealand. Great pictures, like always.
Wow what an amazing comprehensive list!! I love all the parks you included and places to enjoy some live music!! Pinned for later!!
Wow, what a beautiful post. I’ve always dreamed one day to visit Auckland but never really thought about it since it seems so far away. Your photos are beautiful and make me want to go there badly. I am particularly interested in Moari history since I am also a Pacific Islander. Thank you for sharing so much valueable information on New Zealand. 🙂
Paula - Gone with the Wine
New Zealand is definitely on my bucket list. It looks beautiful there. Even in the city. And, wow, I didn’t know there is volcanoes in a middle of the city.
This list is full of awesome ideas! I can’t wait to visit New Zealand and will be saving this for when I go. Always need to know about the free things to do!
Lois Alter Mark
I am definitely saving this for when I finally visit Auckland. I would have thought it was so expensive there but your list is amazing and shows you don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy it. It seems like you can see so much just by walking.
Over the years, I’ve noticed how expensive Auckland is portrayed as, yet when we go up for a day trip we can always find something cheap to do. I hope you make it here.
I didn’t know that there were so many free things to do in Auckland. I love that you can walk so many different areas. And who knew that they had a goat island! I’ve been seeing cat cafes pop up in a lot cities from LA to Beijing!
wow I’m amazed that there are so many volcanoes surrounding Auckland! seems like a great city to visit if you also love the outdoors
Paul F. Pietrangelo
Once again I have to say Rhonda, the picture of the city is beautiful. The entire blog has me wondering why I don’t live there. Amherstburg is OK must this area is very boring. The only thing about this area is the weather. It doesn’t have hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires that burn out the entire area and we get the 4 seasons as they should be Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Oh well. See ya.
That’s the most elaborately compiled list of things to do in Auckland I have seen. Guess I need to get rid of that Lonely planet now:) Jokes apart that really a great list. Guess you have travelled Auckland thoroughly!
What an awesome comprehensive list of things to do in Auckland! I like particularly that you also included nighttime things to do in Auckland. Although we’ve been once it wasn’t with enough time to leave the city and all its got to offer. The volcanoes and trail walks are now definitely on our to do list when we return!
What an excellent and useful round-up. I’m delighted that most of the museums are free – it always seems a shame when the pricing of what is National heritage prevents people from visiting
Auckland, Auckand, Auckland. She has avoided me all these years of travel, but someday…maybe in a couple of years Jim and I will get there. We have never done anything on the North Island, so it’s a must. Every single one of the walks sounds great.
What a list.
I’d love to see the gannett colony and of course would have to view those volcanoes up close and personal. So many things to do and all for free. Auckland has so much range as a city. Thanks for sharing.
I know a newlywed couple who are going to Nrew Zealand in their honeymoon so I will e-mail this blog post to them. There looks like so many fun things to do there.
we would definetely go for the Dinosaur Kingdom. The kids are now in the “Dinosaour fever”. Maybe I have had a bit of influence on it, but I prefer them leaning dino’s names than watching TV.
I agree! Auckland is a fabulous city and you dont have to spend a fortune to enjoy yourself. We took the kids to the Basement Theatre comedy night and it ws $5 a ticket! It was such a bargain, so cheap for an evenings entertainment. Loved this extensive list Rhonda, thank you!
Oh my my!! I didn’t know one can enjoy luxury even on budget in Auckland. Thanks for writing this post, I can now visit Auckland knowing that I can do much for free.
Looks like there is tons to do there without spending any money which is great as the flight there would be pretty expensive for us. The art museum sound like a real unique experience with the local art there. What an incredible looking city too. It makes you want to go for one of those walks.
I wish my husbands work would take him downunder, but sadly I believe it will be a while before we make it that way as it is just to long of a flight to make with children. Someday. So lovely!
Actually, when our kids were little they generally did better on the long-hauls than their parents. LOL. Seriously, they slept most of the way, and even in coach, they were small enough to be able to get somewhat comfortable in the seats.
I never knew about the volcano connection, and that itself is convince me to include the city in my itinerary for my long-waited trip to New Zealand. There is so much more than adventures, and I think I will especially love the museum – I am fascinated by the history of Maori and this would be a great place to learn more! Plus, the adventures, of course 🙂
This is awesome! for anyone who is traveling on a budget, this is really helpful. Thank you for sharing and i will sure to save this for future reference.
Erin Klema | The Epicurean Traveler
Rhonda, this is such a great resource. I’d love to travel in New Zealand someday. Mostly I want to visit because my favorite Sauvignon Blancs are made there, but a stop in Aukland would certainly be on my itinerary. I love how you’ve broken this into categories for easy researching. I’ll want to refer back to the sections on city walks and things to do at night, for sure! Plus, it’s always handy to know the free things to do around a destination!
Vicky and Buddy
I love when cities offer free city walks. I feel like it’s a great way to learn about a new place but also a great way to get oriented for any adventures you may have over the next few days. I’d already heard great things about Auckland, but knowing there’s all this free stuff makes it even more appealing!
Cornwall Park and all of those gorgeous cows would be my pick. The gardens are all lovely, too. Gracious. so many parks to choose from!
Juergen | dare2go
What a comprehensive guide of things to do in Auckland. Will you keep this updated? Then I would like to bookmark it, as it will take us a number of years before we visit New Zealand. My wife and I keep saying that we save us NZ until we’re too old to travel any further. 😀 Already now I dread long distance flights. Greetings from the half-ozzie!
My plan is to keep it updated, and much of it won’t change, as they are free regional parks, hikes, waterfalls, etc, that shouldn’t move.
Kavita Favelle | Kavey Eats
That first suggestion, that photo of the Mount Eden Auckland Volcano just blows me away with the immediate backdrop of the city right there! I think the flora within the city excites me the most, including the botanical garden and parks. When it comes to galleries / museums, I would definitely make time for the Auckland Art Gallery, especially to see the national collections over international. And then the markets, I bloody loooove flea markets and food markets, so I need to make sure I allocate enough time to really really browse!
Local parks always have a pull on me, great to see a nice variety here. FREE (!) entry to art museums is a massive plus anywhere. A pairing of those two would keep me quite occupied.
What a fantastic list of the things to do in Auckland – and I love that most of them are free! I had no idea there was so much to see and do in the city. I think it’s time to pay Auckland another visit!
Thx for this fab post on Auckland. I’ve not yet been to New Zealand, but it’s definitely on my list! Have pinned your post.
Great image, NZ is on my bucket list to see someday 🙂
kid can doodle
One of my few regrets was not seeing NZ when we lived in Aus. Arguably, it’s not close, but it is closer than where I am now (London). Cheers!
Good overview! The place looks pretty… .but not the one I would go. I have friends who stay in Auckland for a long time, they told everything. It looks to me an almost same calm place as Finland (where I live). When I am traveling I look for busy cities, huge mountains or something rather extreme. Do you think Auckland would be a good place for me to go?
Yes, I would imagine Finland to be quite a bit like New Zealand. Auckland is the port of entry into New Zealand, so if you come to our beautiful country, you will probably be here at least a night, so you may as well have a list of things to do .
Beautiful Auckland is on my bucket list so that is helpful We have been on the airport lots of times but haven’t been in the city yet
Near the airport is Butterfly Creek and Villa Maria Winery, so even if you can’t go far, you could visit those two.
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The photos are beautiful and isn’t it wonderful that there are so many free things to do!
This is a fantastic list Rhonda – Auckland is my home town and I’m always adding places to my list for my next visit. I’ll be back again in 3 weeks for a few months and I can’t wait! I would also add the La Cigalle Food and Farmer’s Market to the list – it’s a great little market 🙂
I should start planning now. New Zealand is my dream country… I hope i get to aee all these amazing places soon 😀
One day, Rhonda. One day.
Handmade Jewelry Haven Blog
Looks like a beautiful place to live.
Thank you for broadening my horizons!
You caught my attention right from the start with volcanos and military history. Both would be at the top of my sightseeing list. New Zealand has been on my list forever. One of these days I will make it there!
Oh wow – I’m ready to take the next flight! Looks like a grand time.
I always google free things to do in a city before I visit it.
New Zealand is on my bucket list and the reason why I Went there by know is because I am not allowed to take more than 2 weeks holiday. I need at least one month to discover this beautiful land and one day I will make it there. Thank you for taking time to put together this impressive list.
Depending on where you live now, I would agree. New Zealand is a country worth taking some serious time to explore. We have been here 16 years and still find new places. A month would be a great start.
I enjoyed the post Rhonda and photos no time for boredom in Auckland thanks for the tour 🙂
Have a busytastic week 🙂
So, so beautiful! Thanks for sharing and if I’m ever there I will know what to do!
indah nuria Savitri
Looks like I have to go back here! Always love to see those marvelous nature..
Auckland is a pretty city with all the views you shared. So many things to do!
You’ve stirred up happy memories Rhonda!
I used to live in Auckland and the Muriwai Beach gannet colony was one of my favourite places in New Zealand (and we travelled a fair bit). It helps if you love magnificent birds but it’s also such a beautifully wild place with pounding surf and an endless stretch of beach! During the summer breeding season, the birds cover the cliffs and provide magnificent flying displays as they battle winds to land in their tiny nesting space! The cafe is welcoming too.
Another favourite you mention is Tiritiri Matangi – a magical boat trip out to a bird lover’s paradise filled with birdsong. Finally, Shakespear Park – a stunning headland where you can ride your bike high up for views or wander along the beach. Look out for New Zealand dotterels nesting on the beach – their nests are scrapes in the sand that are easily trodden on. See the iconic pukeko or swamp hen wandering, an amazing blue bird with red legs that feature on pottery, postcards, you name it!
Finally, Mount Eden for the best views in Auckland. Pick the early morning or out of peak season to avoid sharing the experience with coach loads of people!
Thank you, Rhonda, for bringing back memories! I’m living in Norfolk, UK now – not as dramatic but every bit as beautiful in an English kind of way!
Glad to bring up the memories. I agree, Muriwai Beach, and for me the Waitakere’s are one of the best spots in our beautiful country. We also love TiriTiri Matangi, and live pretty close, as we are out on the end of Whangaparaoa. In the last five years, Shakespear Park has become a bird sanctuary with a huge predator-proof fence protecting much of the parkland. Little spotted kiwi birds were even released earlier in the year. Being that I can walk to the park from my home, it will probably always top my list.
we are going next year. Won’t have time to do all of them but I’m going to give it a good go!
Lydia C. Lee
Great list – I’ll have to book mark it!
What a comprehensive guide to New Zealand! Sadly, I’ve never been but even more sad is I’ve always heard how expensive NZ was to visit, but this is quite to the contrary. Looks like there is so much green space, parks, and gardens to explore, and picnic at for free – and those volcanoes! How cool are they right around the city!
New Zealand is expensive, on a world scale. Accommodations, food, clothing, cost of living, etc. However, if you look around there are plenty of free things to do. We love living here.
If you love city life then there are tons of things to do. I’ll bet you could do post after post on this subject.
Have a fabulous day. ☺
It’s always great when these amazing cities have so much to see and do for those on a budget! Auckland seems to have it all, from nature, to culture to adventure!
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Wow, sounds like you’d never even need to leave the city. There’s enough to do there for a month or two at least.
LOL – Honestly Alex, we have found enough to do for 16 years, and we are still finding more. I love living in Auckland.
Hi Rhonda – gosh lots of ideas here … stunning photos – and one day I’ll get down under … lovely to see on a grey October day here! Cheers Hilary
There are SO MANY free things to do in Auckland, how cool is that? We were there last year and did a few of these, but hardly had 2 days in the city so missed a lot of things. But I am so in love with New Zealand that I am sure I’ll head back one day. Super list here, thanks for sharing.
Saving my pennies to head down there someday. Thanks for wetting my taste for New Zealand.