7 free (or low cost) things to do in Auckland

Auckland City landscape

Exploring New Zealand’s largest city is very exciting and doesn’t need to cost you a fortune, if you know where to look...

As 40% of the people living in Auckland were born overseas, this multi-cultural city is brimming with different cuisines, cultures, languages and religions. There’s plenty of things to do in Auckland: lots of green space, a diverse range of food options and some excellent day trips.

There are so many free and cheap options to choose from to immerse yourself in this multicultural city, so prepare yourself with 7 of our favourites:

People at a park in New Zealand
Visit the parks

Auckland has so much greenery and beautiful parks to explore, even in the heart of the city! Grab a picnic, a good book and wander through the picturesque scenes of Auckland’s parks. 

Albert Park is located in the city centre making it easy to visit and hard to miss, so it’s perfect if you don’t have much time in Auckland. 

Cornwall Park is a tranquil oasis that brings a slice of country and beauty to the city. You’ll find sheep and cows grazing, native New Zealand birds and so many walking paths to wander. 

Western Springs Park is right next to the Auckland Zoo and has plenty of wildlife to see here for free! 

SkyTower in Auckland
See the Sky Tower

It’s hard NOT to see the 328m high Sky Tower from any point in the city centre because it’s an iconic sight of the skyline. You can pay to go up inside for a view over the city or jump 192 metres off the edge, but for most people, just looking up into the sky and seeing the iconic tower will be enough (especially if you’re travelling on a budget).

Street life in New Zealand
Free Walking Tour

Get a free orientation of Auckland Central from a local with a wealth of knowledge and experience! This is a great way to find out where the best places are to eat and party, the top sights to visit and what events to go to. You’ll learn so much during this tour not only about Auckland itself but about Kiwi culture and history – all from a local’s perspective! Learn more here.

Auckland City landscape
View the city from Mount Eden

Did you know, Auckland is a city built on over 50 dormant volcanoes and they’ve left some pretty impressive landmarks in their wake! If you’re feeling energetic, take the 20-minute walk up Maungawhau Mount Eden to take in some impressive views of the City of Sails’ landscape. Auckland has a number of public transport options that stop close to the Mt. Eden walkways – you can plan your journey here.

Tip: Bring a picnic in the early evening and enjoy a stunning sunset across Auckland.

Pastry made in New Zealand
Try traditional Māori sweets

Feeling peckish? Have an authentic Parāoa Parai, the traditional Māori fried bread served with ice cream and a smile at Giapo. This is a delicious local cuisine experience and a low cost treat we know you will enjoy!. Have a look at it being made here

There are also so many other options to try at Giapo, who are known for their creative flavours and toppings.

New Zealand Landscape
Day Trip to Waiheke Island

Take the 40-minute ferry ride over the Hauraki Gulf to Waiheke Island and be greeted with beautiful white sand beaches and exciting activities! Did you know Waiheke Island has been rated as one of the top island escapes in the world?

Here are some of the amazing things to do in Waiheke Island:

Beach day at Onetangi or Palm Beach
Wine tasting at Obsidian Vineyard
Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy the sunset from one of the many picnic tables with a view around the island
Try local oysters
Sit on the hill at Casita Miro with sangria and a tapas platter

New Zealand Landscape
Escape to the beach

You are spoilt for choice for a beach day in and around Auckland. From the rugged west coach beaches to stunning beaches in the centre of the city, Auckland has you covered!

Muriwai Beach is an absolute gem! Head out to the rugged west coach beach with its alluring black sand, beautiful cliffs and surging waves (always swim between the flags!) Between August and March, the nearby cliffs are home to a large colony of gannets that are just breath-taking. Check it out on Instagram. Top tip: plan your trip in the afternoon and pack a picnic to watch the stunning west coast sunset. 

Mission Bay is Auckland’s most popular beach during the summer months because it’s so close to the city! It’s a good place to have some ice cream or frozen yoghurt and go for a dip or try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding. 

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