Top 10 FREE Things to Do in Auckland (New Zealand)


Auckland has over 1.45 million individuals, and that’s about one-third of New Zealand‘s entire population — with that in mind, it’s no surprise that lots of people confuse it for the nation’s capital (when it’s truly Wellington). Add the truth that Auckland’s bustling metropolis is coupled with beautiful surrounding terrains, then it absolutely isn’t shocking that increasingly more vacationers shall be mystified by this reality. (FREE Things to Do in Auckland)

…Of course, this isn’t to say that Wellington doesn’t deserve its title — as a result of it does, given the way it has its personal attraction and distinct traits — however… Auckland is really a surprise in itself! And in case you had been to land right here, there are all kinds of issues that may preserve you occupied.

For starters, listed below are the highest FREE issues to do on this ‘City of Sails’!

» Quick Travel Planning

Free Things to Do in Auckland

1. Climb a close-by volcano

Photo by: Chris Gin / CC

Did you realize? There are about 50 volcanoes that make up Auckland’s distinctive panorama!

For those that are up for a leisurely hike, it’s positively a should to climb the next easily-accessible volcanic summits as a number of the high free issues to do in Auckland:

  • Rangitoto
    One of Auckland’s most iconic pure landmarks in addition to its youngest volcano, Rangitoto has a particular symmetrical cone that may simply be noticed off the coast. It’s solely a 25-minute journey away throughout the harbor from downtown Auckland, and earlier than you permit, be certain that to drop by its neighboring Motutapu Island.
  • Mount Eden (Maungawhau)
    This is the best volcano within the metropolis. Go right here by foot or by bike and also you’ll be rewarded with a shocking view of the town and the Waitemata Harbour.
  • One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)
    The highest level is topped with a monument devoted to Sir John Logan Campbell (the ‘founding father’ of Auckland City). What’s extra, it’s even claimed to be the most important pre-historic earth forth on this planet. (NOTE: If you come throughout the spring season, you may take pleasure in pink cherry blossoms all all through the park).
  • Mount Victoria (Takarunga)
    This volcanic cone is present in Devonport and it gives picturesque sea views. (Going up takes about 10-20 minutes solely).
  • Mangere Mountain
    Māori is the indigenous Polynesian individuals of New Zealand and it’s in Mangere Mountain the place you may see some stays of former Māori settlements. If you need to be taught extra concerning the historical past, drop by the Education Centre discovered on the base of the mountain (open on weekdays).

2. Enjoy panoramic views from a number of vantage factors

Aside from climbing up volcanoes, there definitely are different methods to get nice panoramic views of Auckland.

  • Devonport
    You can principally discover on this seaside city the volcano referred to as North Head (Maungauika, simply beside Mount Victoria) and it is without doubt one of the area’s oldest cones. To get right here, it’s a fast 10-minute ferry experience value NZ$11.50. Apart from glimpsing an amazing skyline view with an added alternative to discover its underground tunnels, you too can go to the Navy Museum free of charge and have a swim on the close by Cheltenham Beach.
  • Sky Tower
    The view from the highest of this 328-meter iconic landmark is fairly superb and the doorway is solely value $20~ (or NZ$29). If you’ve obtained additional cash, you too can bungee soar from excessive up.
    • TIP: If you eat lunch or have some afternoon tea in its Orbit restaurant that’s perched excessive up the tower, you may get a FREE entrance to the statement deck for an hour!

3. See the town’s well-known landmarks

Photo by: Spentrails / CC

What higher method to see and be taught extra concerning the metropolis than to tour round with an area? For occasion, in case you go together with Auckland Free Walking Tours, you’ll be capable to be part of a no-cost 3-hour metropolis tour!

Other than the already talked about spots like Sky Tower and so forth., a number of the landmarks that you should not miss can be:

  • Queen Street
    The main business hub is called after Queen Victoria, and it’s speckled with common eating places, outlets, and cafes.
  • Auckland Harbour Bridge
    The Harbour Bridge is one more Auckland icon and in case you’re up for some exhilarating enjoyable, you are able to do a 40-meter bungee soar from the bridge with the operator AJ Hackett, or simply do a bridge climb to see grand views of the town and the harbor.
  • Parnell Village
    If you’re quite into boutique window purchasing, Parnell (which is Auckland’s oldest suburb) is filled with attraction and character as a consequence of its Victorian-villa-designed buildings.

4. Appreciate historic artwork in one of many metropolis’s greatest museums

The Auckland Art Gallery has the most intensive assortment of nationwide and worldwide artwork in New Zealand and one of the simplest ways to expertise this world-class gallery is by becoming a member of an intimate guided tour — which is obtainable for FREE. (Entrance to the museum can be FREE!)

The excursions run twice every day at round 11:30AM and 1:30PM, and opening occasions are from 10:00AM to five:00PM.

Oftentimes, the gallery additionally hosts worldwide exhibitions and provides a energetic variety of occasions reminiscent of talks, performances, movie screenings, and kids’s actions to enhance its exhibition program.

5. Lounge on close by seashores…

Photo by: Monday’s Socks / CC

There are literally hundreds of seashores all through the higher Auckland area: from white seashores to black sand ones, and so forth! Therefore, go arm your self with a seashore blanket, a ebook, and/or some picnic paraphernalia and head on to the wide-open seashores.

Otherwise, there are many different methods to replenish your time whereas on these sandy havens: browsing, kayaking, snorkeling, and even diving!

NOTE: Always swim between the pink and yellow patrol flags as they determine the most secure space to swim when an lively lifesaving patrol is on the seashore. Never swim or surf alone on an unpatrolled seashore.

Given the variety of seashores, under are the highest picks that must be excessive up in your free issues to do in Auckland itinerary:

  • East Coast
    This space is primarily identified for its white and golden-sand seashores reminiscent of Pakiri (the place you may experience a horse by the sand) and Tāwharanui. For household and buddy outings, seashores reminiscent of Mataetai and Omana are greatest with ample water actions and playgrounds to do and use respectively.
  • West Coast
    You shouldn’t miss a cease at Muriwai Beach that’s well-known for its clifftop gannet colonies (a sort of seabird)! If you’re keen on browsing or just need the possibility to glimpse a black-sand seashore, come over to Piha Beach or Karioitahi Beach.
  • City space
    If you don’t need to stray too removed from the town heart, there are the golden sands of Mission Bay, Kohimarama, and Saint Heliers by the waterfront. And like I discussed earlier, in case you experience a ferry to Devonport, it has Cheltenham Beach. If you need one thing even nearer, there’s Takapuna Beach throughout the Harbour Bridge.

6. …and likewise hop to close by islands!

There can be a wealth of unbelievable surrounding islands, other than Rangitoto, the opposite notable ones that must be in your free issues to do in Auckland listing can be:

  • Goat Island
    Located an hour away from the metropolis heart, Goat Island Marine Reserve is New Zealand’s first and most accessible marine reserve; that being mentioned, it might be an amazing exercise in your itinerary to dive and snorkel right here beneath its sheltered and crystal clear waters.
  • Waiheke Island
    Waiheke is only a 35-minute ferry experience from downtown Auckland and it is named the ‘island of wine’ as a result of variety of wineries and vineyards which can be prevalent right here. Other than visiting fabulous wineries, you possibly can additionally take pleasure in its white sand seashores referred to as Oneroa and Onetangi, making it an amazing possibility for a day journey throughout your keep.
  • Tiritiri Matangi Island
    Only a 75-minute ferry experience away from downtown Auckland, Tiritir Matangi is an open wildlife sanctuary that protects native and endangered species; therefore, it’s a nature lover’s paradise! You will completely love your wilderness journey right here, and when it’s time to calm down, there’s Hobbs Beach which is only a 10-minute stroll from the primary wharf.
  • Great Barrier Island
    If you’ve obtained a while to spare, take a 4.5-hour ferry experience to succeed in the Great Barrier Island — some of the tranquil and unspoiled locations you’ll ever discover! There should not solely tons of forest trails out there that can lead you to secluded scorching springs, waterfalls, and swimming halls, however there are additionally excellent spots for browsing, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

7. Do a nature stroll

If you’re the sort of traveler who loves to find a spot’s pure magnificence on foot, Auckland has quick walks and multi-day hikes to give you. Below are a number of choices to get you began:

  • Coast to Coast Walkway
    [Distance: 16km] This path begins from Waitemata Harbour to the expansive Manukau Harbour, and it’ll take you over a HUGE number of landscapes as you stroll by means of the town, the city parks, and ultimately to volcanic cones for excellent views.
  • Kitekite Track
    [Distance: 1.8km] A brief stroll that takes you thru waterfalls, streams, and native bush, you can find this monitor near the seaside neighborhood of Piha. One of the highlights of this exercise would be the probability to see the improbable Kitekite falls.
  • Tamaki Drive
    [Distance: 10km] If you’ve obtained a automotive, driving by means of this highway is one thing it is best to take into account; if not, there’s a pathway which you can stroll by means of (shared by cyclists and rollerbladers too) as you witness Auckland’s most prosperous suburbs, breathtaking harbors, and delightful Eastern seashores. Rest assured, it’s flat so it’s very appropriate for adults and kids alike.
  • Waitakere Ranges
    This parkland covers greater than 16,000 hectares of native forest and shoreline. If you’re recreation for strolling and tramping, Waitakere Ranges has a number of trails so that you can select from, the longest of which might be the 4-day 77km self-guided tramp referred to as “Hillary Trail”. It connects a community of present regional park tracks and primary backpacker campgrounds (the path begins at Arataki Visitor Center).

8. Participate in free occasions and festivals

Photo by: Auckland NZ / CC

The metropolis is buzzing with occasions all all year long. Those that it is best to look out for in your free issues to do in Auckland listing are:

  • Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival
    [Late January] This is a FREE and distinctive 3-day, a family-friendly celebration showcasing Māori heritage and the tradition of Tāmaki Makarau (Māori title for Auckland). Here, you may expertise Māori video games and workshops in addition to watch thrilling tribal waka races.
  • Auckland Lantern Festival
    [Early February] As a part of the Chinese New Year celebrations, there shall be lots of of Chinese lanterns, music, dance performances, conventional festivities, and extra!
  • Pasifika Festival
    [Early March] Pasifka celebrates genuine Pacific Island villages and every of them will showcase efficiency on stage, in addition to current their items in a market setting. With this vibrant celebration, you’re positive to witness varied cultures from locations like Kiribati, Cook Island, and Samoa!
  • Silo Cinema
    [Summer] Situated in Silo Park, you may take pleasure in varied films each Friday and Saturday at Silo Cinema. At the top of it, there are additionally a number of evening markets and meals stalls so that you can wander into.

For an entire listing of upcoming affairs, go right here.

9. Relax at one of many metropolis’s inexperienced areas

At this level, you positively would have realized by now that Auckland is filled with an array of surrounding pure areas to fill your time with. But that doesn’t cease there as a result of there are some fascinating metropolis parks smacked proper within the heart that it’s essential see:

  • Parnell Rose Gardens
    In addition to its romantic rose backyard, it is house to the oldest manuka (flowering plant) and the most important pohutukawa (additionally referred to as as ‘New Zealand Christmas tree’) in Auckland. There’s even an enormous park to take pleasure in and a small seashore!
  • Auckland Domain
    This is the town’s oldest park, and at 75 hectares, one in every of its largest. When I wandered off to this place, I notably loved the Wintergardens, what with its glass homes that embody varied tropical crops! Other issues that you could find are Auckland’s War Memorial Museum, some duck ponds, and a cherry blossom grove.
  • Albert Park
    This occupies a lot of the positioning of Albert Barracks, one of many metropolis’s early European navy fortifications. At one nook of the park, you can find Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki) and a few gardens, and on the opposite facet is an unique parkkeeper’s cottage, which is now a museum of memorabilia.

10. Admire the waterfront

Dubbed the ‘City of Sails’, you clearly shouldn’t depart the town with out taking the time to go to the waterfronts as a part of the highest free issues to do in Auckland.

  • Wynyard Quarter
    As the metropolis’ most just lately developed waterfront precinct, it’s an amazing venue for eating and leisure.
  • Viaduct Harbour
    Lined up with eating places and bars, this vibrant waterfront is a superb place to hang around or dine in too. If you need to degree up your harbor time, you too can be part of a peaceable cruise with Pride of Auckland for NZ$85. Or, go to the Voyager Maritime Museum to be taught extra about New Zealand’s wealthy maritime historical past (NZ$20).

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» Top New Zealand Tours «

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Auckland Travel Guide

IMPORTANT: New Zealand has VERY strict quarantine legal guidelines for undeclared meals and different biohazards. This implies that you shouldn’t herald any sort of recent meals reminiscent of bananas, apples, honey, and so forth. Make positive that you simply eliminate them earlier than going by means of the luggage declare space. Processed or packaged meals may be accepted however you might be speculated to declare them in your arrival card. If you’re ever doubtful, ask for clarification — in any other case, you can be charged with a hefty positive.

If you’ve obtained out of doors gear like diving gear, mountain climbing boots, and so forth. you should clear them earlier than you journey to New Zealand to ensure that the inspection course of to go extra rapidly for you. Be suggested that New Zealand is agency about this given how they’ve sniffer canine and bio-sensitive X-ray machines to detect any undesirable gadgets.

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» Getting Into Auckland

By aircraft. Auckland International Airport (AKL) is New Zealand’s largest airport and there are quite a lot of airways that undergo the town. One of the airways that I completely advocate can be Singapore Airlines. But in case you’re questioning the place to search for one of the best flight offers throughout all airways, my go-to platform is Skyscanner.

Meanwhile, you may attain the town from the airport by Airbus Express (NZ$16), shuttle vans, or taxi (may be NZ$50 to NZ$100). Uber has a flat price of NZ$70, whereas Zoomy costs between NZ$39 to NZ$66.

By practice. If you’re coming from Wellington, the Overlander practice goes to Auckland at NZ$119 with a stopover alternative at Tongariro National Park.

By bus. There are a number of suppliers which you can select from InterCity, GreatSights New Zealand, Northliner, ManaBus, and NakedBus.

By boat. Auckland is a serious cruise ship port of name with its predominant cruise terminal positioned on Queens Wharf.

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» Where to Stay (Auckland Accommodations)

Your greatest decisions can be…

When on the lookout for different low cost locations to remain, I all the time search by means of AirBnB and Booking as a result of they not solely typically have one of the best costs however they’re one of the best reserving websites when touring!

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» Getting Around Auckland

By foot & by bike. Renting a motorbike is simple and the price can begin at round NZ$35 for a day.

By practice, bus, or ferry. All public transportation in Auckland has a standardized ticketing system referred to as ‘AT HOP’ and the cardboard is a reusable prepay good card. They price NZ$10 and may be topped up with a minimal of NZ$5 — a day go prices $18 although, so it’s greatest to get one. (Unfortunately, I can’t discover different varieties of day passes; the subsequent longer go you may have is for a month).

By taxi. Taxis in Auckland are very costly. But in case you should, you may select from both Uber or Zoomy. I personally would advocate Uber since they’ve significantly cheaper fares (often lower than 1/2 the price of an everyday taxi).

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» Helpful Māori phrases

English is the dominant language spoken by most Kiwis (New Zealanders) however the nation’s de jure official languages are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Rest assured, Māori persons are bilingual and may communicate English too, however they’ll be completely satisfied to listen to you attempt to communicate their language.

If you need to be taught a number of useful Māori phrases, just remember to pronounce them correctly!

Hello (to 1 individual, formal): Tēnā koe (Te-na koy)
Hello (to 1 individual, casual): Kia ora (Key-oar-rah)
Thank you: Kia ora (Key-oar-rah) ~ pronounced with a rising intonation
Yes: Āe (I)
No: Kāore (Kao-re)
Goodbye (mentioned by individual leaving): E noho rā (E-noho ra)
Goodbye (mentioned by individual staying): Haere rā (Hayre ra)

I’m sorry: Aroha mai (Ar-ro-ha-mai)
Help!: Āwhina! (Af-fin-nuh!)
Cheers!: Kia ora! (Key-oar-rah!)

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As the primary metropolis that I visited in New Zealand, Auckland served as a tremendous prelude to the remainder of the nation’s splendor!

After all, you may see how its magnificence goes past that of its charming city setting — only a stroll or drive away and you may simply escape the bustle of the metropolis as you spend your time away in its pure delights.

Just be happy to make use of this free issues to do in Auckland information!

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