Skip to Content

28 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

28 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Auckland is a great place to visit. Being New Zealand’s largest city with a quarter of New Zealanders living here, you won’t be surprised to hear there are plenty of things to do.

From adventure activities, beautiful nature walks, hip bars, and restaurants – you name it Auckland has attractions for everyone.

In this guide to the best cheap and free things to do in Auckland, you’ll find the locations of all the best activities, pricing, and some of our insider tips and recommendations to make sure you get the most out of your holiday.

There are so many unique things to do in New Zealand, follow our local’s guide on our favorite things to do in Auckland from born and bred Aucklanders!

Free & Cheap Things to do in Auckland, New Zealand

1. Visit the Sky Tower

The sky tower in Auckland city center.
The Sky Tower as seen from the ground, but believe me, the views are better from the top!
  • Location: Victoria Street West
  • Cost: $32 NZD for 15+ years, $13 for 6-14 years, kids under 6’s free
  • or FREE with a minimum spend of $30 to $40.
  • Rating: 5/5 – Auckland’s most iconic building and one of the best viewpoints in the city.

The Sky Tower makes up an iconic silhouette of Auckland’s skyline. Standing at over 300m (984ft) tall, this is the best place in Auckland to get a great view of the city. If you’re daring enough, walk across the glass panels at the observation deck.

You can book your tickets to the Sky Tower in advance and skip the line.

For the adventure junkies out there, there’s also the opportunity to SkyJump from 192m (630ft) high or do a Skywalk in a full-body harness around the Skydeck.

If that sounds a little too crazy for you then shop at the gift shop and grab a bite to eat at the cafe or one of the restaurants inside. Orbit 360° is the famous revolving restaurant at the top while the Sugar Club is one of Auckland’s most renowned restaurants.

2. Check out the views from Mt Eden

mt Eden crater is a must do in New Zealand and especially Auckland
Mt Eden Crater is a great place to have a relaxing picnic and enjoy the spectacular views!
  • Location: Suburb of Mt Eden in Auckland City
  • Cost: Free
  • Rating: 5/5 – The best free viewpoint of the city and an interesting attraction.

Mt Eden, also known as Maungawhau is a dormant volcano located in the central Auckland suburbs. The 200m (656ft) climb will take you around 30 minutes. It’s an easy walk but it is up a hill.

When you’re up at Mt Eden you enjoy the views of Auckland including the Sky Tower and surrounding harbors. A great idea (and what we love to do) is to pack a picnic to enjoy at the summit.

Swing by the nearby supermarket and grab rolls, fillings, a bottle of chilled wine, and some cheese.

If you don’t have your own transport, then consider booking this Auckland City day tour that covers all the city’s best spots in 8 hours. Spots of interest on this tour are Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower, and One Tree Hill.

3. Feast on Fish and Chips at Mission Bay

Mission Beach Auckland!
Mission Beach Auckland!
  • Location: Mission Bay Beach, Tamaki Drive
  • Cost: Around $12 per person for fish and chips
  • Rating: 4/5 – A kiwi tradition at a beautiful beach

There isn’t anything more ‘Kiwi’ than grabbing yourself some fish and chips and eating them on the beach on a nice summer’s day. Even better, go in the evening and watch the sunset.

Mission Bay is the most central beach in Auckland and only a 10-minute drive from the city center. Oceanz Seafood is a great option for takeaways and one of the best cheap places to eat in Auckland! Due to the location, it can get quite busy in summer.

If crowds aren’t your thing, drive further along the coastline to either St Helier’s or Kohimarama Beach. When snacking on the beach watch out for those pesky seagulls. They might try and swipe a chip if you ever leave your food unattended!

Getting there: To reach Mission Bay without a car you can simply catch the TMK towards Glen Innes bus from 55 Customs Street East. This journey only takes around 15 minutes.

Related Read: Are you considering road tripping New Zealand? Here are serveral different New Zealand road trip itiniteries, several of which start from Auckland.

4. Have a Look Inside Auckland Art Gallery

A room at the Auckland Art Gallery
The building and art are pretty spectacular!
  • Location: Wellesley Street, Auckland
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 3/5 – Perfect thing to do in Auckland for those who appreciate art

The Auckland Art Gallery holds a large collection of both New Zealand and international works of art. Here you can wander around and enjoy some of the beautiful and weird paintings and sculptures.

You can also join a free English language tour at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm daily. This is a great way to learn about the art, interpretation, and the artists behind the works. The tours are around one hour long. Meet in the foyer on the ground floor if you’re interested.

Mandarin language tours are also bookable on request and cost $80 for up to 8 people.

Admission is free for both NZ residents and international visitors.

5. Visit Auckland Museum and the Domain Wintergardens

The front view of the Auckland Museum, Auckland, New Zealand
The outside of the museum is also worth checking out!
  • Location: Auckland Domain, Parnell
  • Cost: Free for Auckland residents, a donation is suggested for the rest of NZ residents, $28 NZD for international adults, $14 for children 5-13 years, and kids 4 and under free. There is a fee for certain exhibits, tours, performances, and events for all visitors.
  • Rating: 4/5 – A really good museum but certainly isn’t cheap!

The Auckland Museum is a very impressive museum that features state-of-the-art exhibits that are constantly changing and evolving.

You can learn about New Zealand’s history, including early Maori life. There are also some fun and interactive areas for the kids.

Don’t miss out on the Maori cultural performances daily at 11 am, 12 pm, and 1:30 pm daily. This also includes the infamous haka you’ll see being performed prior to our rugby games. During the warmer months, they’ve got an additional performance at 2:30 pm.

After, stop by at the Domain Wintergardens filled with beautiful tropical flowers and plants. Here you can wander around at your own pace and enjoy some quiet time in nature.

You can buy tickets for the entrance to the museum here!

6. Sip a Cocktail at Hi-So, Auckland’s Best Rooftop Bar

The view from Hi-So Bar in Auckland!
I wish I had of visited at sunset!
  • Location: 67 Customs Street East, Auckland Central
  • Cost: $18 NZD for a cocktail
  • Rating: 3/5 – Great views of the city and a nice relaxing activity

Hi-So is Auckland’s newest and hippest rooftop bar. Their extensive cocktail list will have something to suit you perfectly while the tasteful design of the bar creates a great ambiance.

Look over the Waitemata Harbour and Rangitoto Island (which is also on our list of places to visit). This is a spectacular choice of place to watch the sun go down and has one of the best views of Auckland.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a cocktail and relax.

7. Explore Tawharanui Regional Park

Tawharanui Regional Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Tawharanui Regional Park is so beautiful!
  • Location: 1181 Takatu Road, Tawharanui Peninsula
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 5/5 – Best free activity in Auckland!

This is one of our favorite free things to do in Auckland for a half-day trip away. Combine this with number 14 on our list “shop and snack at the Matakana markets” and you’ve got yourself a great day planned.

Tawharanui Regional Park is a small regional park around an 80 minutes drive north of Auckland. At the beach, you get some of the best surf in Auckland and there’s also a beautiful ecology trail that passes by a protected breeding area of the very rare New Zealand dotterel birds.

You can visit the park in either summer or winter, however, we actually love visiting Tawharanui during winter. Not only is it almost empty (contrary to summer), the moody skies really add to the atmosphere.

This is the perfect time for photographers as you don’t have to worry about crowds making it into your photos and you’ll get unique, moody photos that you just can’t capture during the warmer months.

Wear some comfortable walking shoes with a good grip so you can climb across the large rock formations near the sea.

8. Tour Waiheke Island’s Wineries

A wine tasting at a winery on Waiheke Island
Yum!
  • Location: Waiheke Island
  • Cost: $42 NZD for adults, $21 NZD for children 5-15 years, under 5 is free
  • Rating: 5/5 – An island of beaches and wine is perfection!

Waiheke Island is well-known for its beaches and vineyards, making it a great day trip out of Auckland city. Most people just go to Waiheke for the day, but there are tons of accommodation options for those wanting to stay.

The best way to get to Waiheke Island is by Fullers ferry from the Downtown Auckland Terminal on the waterfront. Check out their website for the tickets and timetable. Generally, ferries leave every hour and take 40 minutes.

Sealink is another company operating, but we’d only recommend this if you’re taking your car over. This is because at the Fullers port you will be dropped off at Waiheke is directly connected to multiple bus links, making it so much easier to get around the island as opposed to Sealink’s port.

The all-day bus pass is $12 NZD and is definitely a must if you’re not bringing a car, they can be purchased from the ticket offices in Auckland or Waiheke Island or on-board the Fullers360 ferries. Family passes are available for both the ferry and bus.

Once you arrive and want to explore the island by yourself the all-day bike rentals are a great option!

Our Recommendations:

Wineries: Cable Bay and Mudbrick. They are both about 1 km from each other so you may as well visit both! Finish at Mudbrick and watch the sunset from there. Wine tastings around the island are $10-15 for three to six tastings.

Onetangi Beach: This beach is a little further away from the ferry terminal compared to the popular Oneroa Beach, but still on the bus route. It’s always less busy here but equally as beautiful.

If you’re short on time then consider booking this day tour from Auckland to Waiheke for a food and wine tasting. You’ll get to try local olive oil, oysters, and cheese from three different boutique wineries.

9. Swim at the Beaches on the West Coast

Piha Beach, Auckland as seen from Lion Rock!
Piha Beach from the famous Lion Rock!
  • Location: Piha, Karekare and Bethells Beaches, Waitakere
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 5/5 – Some of the most beautiful and unique beaches in New Zealand

Having a dip at the beach is one of the most popular attractions in Auckland on a summer’s day. The beaches out west are known for their unique black sand, lush greenery, and amazing surf. They are a must-visit on any North Island itinerary!

Some of the best beaches to visit include Piha Beach which is great for surfing and epic views, Muriwai Beach which is home to the famous gannet colony, and Bethels Beach where you can enjoy a massive beach and interesting sand dunes.

My recommendation is to visit them all if you’re heading out that way and you can easily do this in half a day. Be sure to finish up at Piha Beach for an epic sunset!

Another notable way to visit Piha Beach is on this tour of the west coast that takes a scenic route through Auckland as it makes its way to the Waitakere Ranges, Phia Beach, and Karekare Falls.

10. Take a Ferry to Rangitoto Island

Views from Rangitoto Island near Auckland, New Zealand
The views from the island are pretty spectacular!
  • Location: Rangitoto Island
  • Cost: $39 NZD for adults, $19.50 NZD for children 5-15 years, under 5s free
  • Rating: 4/5 – An ideal half-day trip from Auckland!

Just like Waiheke, Fullers Ferries will also take you to Rangitoto Island. You’ll see Rangitoto’s silhouette from many viewpoints in Auckland but to truly appreciate it you really need to take a trip out there!

Being a smaller island, this is a great option for a half-day trip. The walk to the top of the dormant volcano is a gradual climb and will take you approximately one hour. This is an easy walk for kids and isn’t too steep, making it suitable for older walkers too.

Bring a packed lunch to feast on and reward yourself for your hard work.

In the summertime, you may want to take a dip in the sea once you’ve finished your walk. This day tour to the island includes a 4wd tour of the island where you’ll learn about the volcanic past of the island. At some point during the tour, you’ll stop at the world’s largest Pohutukawa forest and then head up to Rangitoto’s summit. These tours cost around $70 NZD per person.

If you have a high fitness and endurance level you can also join a sunset kayak tour from Auckland over to Rangitoto Island. After arriving your guide will take you on a one-hour hike to the summit. You’ll get the unique experience of paddling back underneath the stars.

11. Explore the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park

Views for a viewpoint in Waitakere Ranges Regional Park near Auckland, New Zealand
Check out those views!
  • Location: Waitakere Regional Park, Waitakere
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 5/5 – Perfect way to connect with nature and escape the city

New Zealand has such a clean, green image that we’re proud to call our home. Going out for walks in the bush (especially to waterfalls) is our favorite free activity to do in Auckland.

There are plenty of walks to choose from and the best ones are definitely 40 minutes west of Auckland in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. Here you can hike to numerous waterfalls and viewpoints and enjoy some of the most amazing scenery and bushland.

Be sure to check whether or not a specific walking track is open before visiting. Recently, many of the trails have been closed to preserve our native Kauri trees.

Our Recommendations:

  • Kitekite Falls Track (30-45 mins): One of the most popular walks. It’s a flat, easy walk that ends at a beautiful waterfall. You’ll find many people swimming in summer and it can get quite busy.
  • Fairy Falls Track (2-2.5 hours): A more advanced and less busy alternative to Kitekite falls. Enjoy the waterfall views from many different angles as you climb through the Waitakeres.
  • Whatipu Caves Track (30-45 mins): Connected to Karekare Beach, this easy walk is very unique with caves to explore along the way.
  • Mercer Bay Loop Walk (45-60 mins): This walk showcases the views of the shoreline off high cliffs. It can get quite slippery after rain, so wear proper walking shoes.

12. Visit Auckland Zoo

An elephant at the Auckland Zoo
An elephant at the Auckland Zoo
  • Location: Motions Road, Western Springs
  • Cost: $24 NZD for adults, $13 NZD for children 4-14 years and under 4s free
  • Rating: 3/5 – Opportunity to see Kiwi birds!

The Auckland Zoo is home to over 100 different animal species. This is a great activity for all ages. There are plenty of things to see and do including grassy areas to relax on, cafes, and playgrounds.

Our favorite enclosure is of course home to our native kiwi bird. These animals are nocturnal so the enclosure is very dark. It’s a bit difficult to spot them, but that’s all in the fun of it! It feels a bit like you’re playing “Where’s Wally”.

My favorite animal is the elephant so we also enjoy visiting them when we’re at the zoo. Keep an eye on their website or brochures for feeding sessions.

The Auckland Zoo is a huge supporter of wildlife conservation and their programs are trying to provide a brighter future for animals everywhere. It’s a great program to support while on holiday!

You can pre-book tickets to the Auckland Zoo here.

13. Take a Day Trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island

Tiritiri Matangi Island wildlife sanctuary
  • Location: Hauraki Gulf
  • Cost: $82 NZD for adults, $50 NZD for children 5-15 years and under 5s free
  • Rating: 5/5 – Top pick for a day trip from Auckland!

There are plenty of day trips to take around Auckland, but this one to Tiritiri Matangi is our favorite. We were both born and raised in Auckland but we had only recently visited the island for the first time.

This wildlife sanctuary is absolutely filled to the brim with native birds and wonderful birdsong. In fact, volunteers have planted over 250,000 native trees here over the years to bring this once devastated island back to its former glory. The island is also a preditor free which makes it super important for the survival of native bird species.

Bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water as there aren’t any places to eat on the island. During the warmer months, the beaches are a great spot to swim.

Tiritiri Matangi is reached via ferry from Auckland and an adult ticket to the island is $82 NZD. Sure, this is one of the more pricey things to do on our list but a day trip to see native wildlife in their natural habitat is definitely worth it.

You can book your ferry tickets here or choose to book the tour that includes a free guided tour where your guide will teach you the history of the island and explain all about the different birds on the island.

14. Shop and Snack at the Matakana Markets

Matakana Farmers Market, Auckland, NZ
Matakana Farmers Market, Auckland, NZ
  • Location: 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4/5 – Markets full of amazing food

Matakana is a cute, quaint town about one hour from Auckland city. Traveling here for the markets is one of the best things to do in Auckland on a Saturday morning.

The markets only run on Saturday from 8 am – 1 pm and have everything you’d expect at a farmer’s market and more. Buy your fresh produce for the week, a raw smoothie, coffee, dips, cheeses, and a huge range of food.

Look out for the brownie stall which is every sweet tooth’s dream and the Puhoi Pantry stall. They sell great spice mixes for dips and rubs which we always stock up on when we’re there.

Grab a plate and enjoy the live music by the river.

15. Trek Hunua Falls

Hunua Falls, Auckland
Hunua Falls, Auckland
  • Location: Hunua Ranges Regional Park Falls Rd, Hunua
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 3/5 -Bush walks showcasing a waterfall and a
  • suspension bridge

The Hunua Ranges is another spectacular mountain range complete with a waterfall. This is the largest area of native bush in Auckland. Hunua is located about 45 minutes south of central Auckland.

The walk to the falls only takes a couple of minutes. There are a few surrounding walking tracks ranging from 15 mins (Hunua Falls Lookout Walk) to three hours (Cossey Massey Loop).

Our top pick is the Suspension Bridge Track which takes 90 minutes return –  this is probably not the best option for those afraid of heights!

16. Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq

the inside of the arcade area at Archie Brothers
Such a unique place to visit. Photo Credit: Archie Brothers
  • Location: Newmarket
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4.5/5

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq in Newmarket is the perfect place to indulge your inner child. There are so many activities like bowling, arcade games, bumper cars, and virtual reality experiences. 

Head to the bar where there are outrageously fun cocktails and colorful milkshakes. A few favorites include the Circus Sour with ‘fairy floss’ or the Pop Til You Drop cocktail that’s topped with popcorn. Afterward, enjoy some delicious food at the Circus restaurant which features local ingredients on their extensive menu. 

Entry is free but you’ll have to purchase a game card to enjoy all of the fun! 

17. Sail Through Auckland’s Harbour

Sailing through Auckland's Harbor
Sailing through Auckland’s Harbor
  • Location: Corner of Quay Street and Hobson Street, Viaduct Harbour
  • Cost: Museum entry is free for Aucklanders and $20 NZD for adults, $10 for children. One-hour sailing cruises cost $26 for Auckland residents ($13 for children) and $53 for visitors ($27 for children) to Auckland.
  • Rating: 3/5 – Nice views but a little bit on the pricey side.

What better way to see Auckland’s harbor than to sail down it? The Auckland Maritime Museum hosts sailings down the Viaduct Harbour on heritage vessels and steamboats.

The museum itself has guided tours that can be taken from the tour desk or booked in advance online where you can learn about New Zealand’s maritime history.

18. Take the ferry to Devonport Beach 

sandy beachat Devonport with a view of Auckland city
Time for a beach day!
  • Location: King Edward Parade, Devonport
  • Cost: $16 return adults, $9 return for children 5-15, free under 5
  • Rating: 4.6/5

A quick ferry ride from Auckland will take you to the relaxed seaside town of Devonport. It’s only about 12 minutes from Auckland and features a beautiful beach with golden sand where you can relax in the sun. 

Stroll through the adorable town with cafes and shops before walking to the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum where you can learn about the Navy heritage of the region. Another awesome attraction is the Maunguaika/North Head Historic Reserve

On top of being an important historic site once used as a viewpoint overlooking Auckland Harbor, it was formed by a volcanic eruption 50,000 years ago. Explore caves, tunnels, and more on a self-guided walk. 

19. Stroll through Silo Park

Silo Park, Auckland, NZ
Silo Park, Auckland, NZ
  • Location: Corner Beaumont Street and Jellicoe Street, Viaduct Harbour
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4/5 – Friday afternoons for the food truck market
  • is the best time to visit

Who would’ve thought you’d find a park right in the middle of a city? Silo Park is a great place to hang out. They’ve got plenty of bars, cafes, and restaurants down the waterfront to choose from, playgrounds, large silos, and grassy areas.

Friday afternoons are the best time to visit. Silo Park holds a food truck market every Friday from 5 pm during the summer months. Peaches Fried Chicken is a fan fave and makes the best fried chicken burgers we’ve ever had.

Even better, enjoy an open-air cinema at 9 pm on Fridays. Once again, this is held during summer. Bring a picnic blanket and some cushions and enjoy a film projected on a silo.

There’s even an Auckland lights night tour that takes you around the city and stops at Silo Park for amazing views of the lit-up Auckland Harbour Bridge.

20. Visit Albert Park 

the victorian fountain at Albert Park in Auckland
This park is beautiful for a walk on a sunny day.
  • Location: 33-43 Princes Street, Auckland CBD
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4.6/5

Centrally located in Auckland, Albert Park features city views and has a long history and importance for Auckland locals. It was once a papakainga, or village, before European settlement. The original village was called Rangipuke before the Albert Barracks were built there in 1845. 

There is a nice 1.1km (.68mi) path that surrounds the park and a 6.9km (4.3mi) trail that allows for the exploration of some of the city’s best green spaces. Another option is the Coast to Coast Path which goes 3.7km (2.3mi). It’s the perfect place to take a walk and enjoy the city.

Hiking around the urban park is a fantastic way to experience the city for free, making this a budget-friendly option for anyone hoping to get outside and enjoy a fun recreational day. 

21. Visit SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium

Penguins at SEA LIFE Aquarium Auckland
Penguins at SEA LIFE Aquarium Auckland
  • Location: 23 Tamaki Dr, Orakei, Auckland
  • Cost: $41 for adults and $29 for children
  • Rating: 4/5 – NZ’s most popular aquarium

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s aquarium is New Zealand’s most popular aquarium. At the aquarium, you can see a huge range of animals including turtles at the turtle rescue center, and see the many species of sharks, fish, and other marine life. Oh, and my favorite and arguably one of the best things to see in Auckland is the subarctic penguins!

This is the perfect activity to take the kids, especially on a rainy day. Be sure to keep an eye on their website for feeding times and book online here!

22. Auckland Foreshore Heritage Walk  

view of the harbour from the Auckland Foreshore Walk
What a view!
  • Location: St Marys Bay
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4.5/5

The Auckland Foreshore Heritage Walk is the perfect way to get a feel for Auckland’s unique history. It’s a 5km (3.1mi) self-guided walk that will take you on a journey past historical buildings and sites between Point Erin and Parnell Baths. 

Along the way, you will stroll through parks and nature reserves, beautiful homes, and wharves. Informational signage and placards are placed every few minutes along the route so that you can leisurely learn about Auckland’s history and how it evolved from the original port in the 1840s to the modern-day city. 

The entire experience takes about 3 hours, and there is plenty of parking for bikes and cars on both ends of the route. Best of all, it’s completely free and self-guided, meaning you can take your time and experience Auckland’s magic at your leisure. 

23. Bungy Jump off the Harbour Bridge

Aj Hacket bungy off the bridge in Auckland
Whoo!
  • Location: 105 Curran Street, Westhaven
  • Cost: $165 NZD for adults, $135 NZD for children
  • Rating: 3/5 – An expensive thing to do in Auckland (but cheaper than most other places you can bungy in NZ!)

New Zealand is filled with great options for adventure activities so it’s no surprise you can go bungy jumping in Auckland. Auckland’s Harbour Bridge is over 40m (131ft) high and Aj Hacket (world-renowned bungee operator) can take you on an adventure of a lifetime.

The bungy is available for children 10 years and over, and for those 35-150 kgs. Tandem Bungee is also an option.

While this isn’t necessarily a “cheap” thing to do it is one of the cheapest bungy jumps in all of New Zealand. So, if jumping off a bridge is on your bucket list then Auckland may just be your place!

You can book your bungy jump online here.

For those of you who aren’t willing to take the plunge (literally), they also have a Harbour Bridge climb which as the name suggests will allow you to scale up and over the bridge! What a view you’ll have!

24. Dove Myer Robinson Park 

a large tree i Dove Myer Robinson Park
These trees are everywhere at Dove Myer Robinson Park.
  • Location: 85-87 Gladstone Road, Parnell
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4.6/5

Dove Myer Robinson Park was named for the mayor of Auckland who was so well loved that he served for 18 years! While enjoying the beautiful grounds you can stop at the Parnell Rose Gardens or the Nancy Steen Gardens and take in all of the blooms from 5,000 rose bushes.

On top of the flowers, you can view some amazing native trees including the oldest manuka tree and the largest pohutukawa tree in all of Auckland. There’s no cost to enter the park and you can stay as long as you like enjoying the sun and beautiful natural surroundings. 

Amenities include restrooms and changing facilities, picnic areas, and even barbecues. You can access the park from Gladstone Road and walkable access from Judges Bay Road. 

25. Pack a Picnic Lunch for the Botanic Gardens

Front entrance of Auckland Botanical Gardens
Front entrance of Auckland Botanical Gardens
  • Location: 100 Hill Road, The Gardens
  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 3/5 – A beautiful stroll with plenty of
  • opportunities for photos

The Auckland Botanical Gardens are always a pleasure to visit. They’re about half an hour’s drive south of central Auckland and can be easily reached by public transport. The gardens are open every day except Christmas Day.

At the gardens, you can stroll through the many different gardens and enjoy the views of sculptures and plants to compliment the views of the flowers and native plants.

This is another opportunity to pack a picnic and just relax in nature and forget you’re in New Zealand’s largest city!

26. Go early bird dining 

plate of pasta at a restaurant with a view of the Skytower in Auckland
There are some amazing restaurants in Auckland!
  • Location: All of New Zealand
  • Cost: Save a percentage off the dining
  • Rating: 5/5 who can complain about saving $$$?!

One of the best budget-friendly travel hacks for your trip to Auckland is to take advantage of the early bird dining discounts. By planning your meals just a few hours earlier, you can save so much money and still enjoy eating at Auckland’s best restaurants. 

By booking through First Table,  you can choose from some of Auckland’s most amazing eateries with cuisine options that will make your mouth water. Enjoy Cajun, Asian, Barbecues, Steakhouses, and everything in between. When you book with First Table your group of up to four can enjoy 50% off of your meal. First Table does take a small booking fee but even so, you will save so much money. 

27. Visit the Gannet Colony at Muriwai Beach

Gannet colony near Auckland New Zealand
The birds are beautiful and it’s a great place to visit at sunset!
  • Location: Muriwai Beach
  • Cost: FREE / Tours are around $220
  • Rating: 5/5 – A beautiful place to visit especially for bird loves!

The Gannet Colony on the cliffs at Muriwai Beach is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Auckland. Not only are the cliffs and surrounding beach stunning but the birds are a magical sight to see.

If you want to see the birds you’ll need to visit between the months of August and April with December to February being the best time to see baby Gannets. There are literally hundreds of them on the cliffs and the boardwalk lets you get pretty close without disturbing them.

Muriwai Beach is located around a 45-minute drive from Auckland and if you don’t have your own transport then consider booking this eco-tour from Auckland to Muriwai Beach! They will take you all along the rugged coastline stopping at all of the best viewpoints before spending the day at the beach and the Gannet colony. This is easily one of the best things to do in Auckland!

If you don’t want to spend the whole day seeing the Gannets and enjoy wine instead you can opt to book a scenic wine tour that only stops at the beach gannets for half an hour and then the rest of the time you will be sampling wine from the picturesque valleys.

28. Te Atatu Food Truck Fridays 

a food truck at  Te Atatu Food Truck Fridays
This is a great place to grab food for cheap.
  • Location: 247 Edmonton Road
  • Cost: FREE admission to the food truck park
  • Rating: 5/5

If you’re looking for a fun introduction to the Auckland community – don’t miss the Te Atatu Food Truck Fridays. A favorite activity for locals and tourists alike, this weekly get-together is a great way to meet people while enjoying some of Auckland’s best street food. 

There are a variety of food trucks serving all kinds of delicious cuisine like Jamaican street food, Indonesian rice bowls, and so much more. The event is located at the Te Atatu South Community Centre from 4:30 to 8:30 pm.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel from Destinationless Travel
Thanks for reading!

Thanks so much for reading! We hope this blog on the best free and cheap things to do in Auckland has helped plan your trip there! If you have any questions please leave them below and we will get back to you!

Also, if you loved this article be sure to check out our official New Zealand travel page for more of our travel guides, or check out these related articles below:

Best FREE Glow Worm Cave in NZ

Cathedral Cove Walk

Absolute BEST Day Trips from Auckland

About the Author

Delilah is a freelance travel writer from New Zealand.  Her personal travel blog is Our Travel Mix, which offers a variety of useful travel tips, guides, and advice for a range of countries.  Despite having a long bucket list, Delilah’s favorite destination is Queenstown in her home country, New Zealand.

Like it? Pin it! Click here!

things to do in auckland pin
ULTIMATE Guide to Taganga, Colombia (and 15 Fun Things to do!)
← Previous
21 Fun Things to do in Santa Marta, Colombia (that will make you love the city!)
Next →