Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, and with its prestige comes many great places that you can visit for free. Picking activities to do can be challenging, especially when you are on a budget.
Here are the best activities that you can enjoy from dawn to dusk without limiting your opportunities.
1. Mount Eden View
The top of Mount Eden is the highest natural point in the city. Located outside the Auckland CBD, you can take a walk to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view. It will only take you between 15 and 20 minutes to complete the uphill distance.
From the top, you can relax and take in the city view. You will also enjoy the remnants of the volcanic eruptions from many years ago in the form of the 50-meter deep crater. Don’t forget to take the perfect pictures for your Instagram Stories.
2. Auckland Art Gallery
Do you love art? This chilled-out spot is a go-to location. The gallery is located at Albert Park in the heart of Auckland. You will find masterpieces in the gallery and excellent exhibitions.
The gallery is filled with art from both international and New Zealand artists. Check their website to see what they will be showing on your visit day. After you are done, you can take a pleasant stroll on Albert Park.
3. Picnics At Cornwall Park
If you love the ambience of the countryside, the tranquil oasis at the center of Auckland will fill your spirit. Breakaway from the city and head to Cornwall Park for a picnic with your loved ones.
The Park is filled with native New Zealand birds, grazing cows, and sheep, and many wander walking paths. The Park also offers free BBQs. All you have to carry is a kindle or a match.
The Cornwall Park website has more information about the best times to visit and the best roads to use from your location.
4. The Gannet Colony
For this location, you will need a car. You can just rent a self-contained campervan and take a day trip to the Muriwai beach.
- The black beach sands are intriguing
- The pumping surf is satisfactory for any surfer
- If you visit the beach between August and March, the nearby cliffs will be housing a large colony of gannets
The Muriwai beach is only 42 kilometers on the northwest side of Auckland. If you take State Highway 16, you will get there in 40 minutes.
Plan a romantic picnic with your date and catch the beautiful afternoon west coast sunset.
5. The French Market
You have to eat to survive. So, why not take advantage of the bust La Cigale Market. If you love French cuisine, the place will blow your mind. Plus, the French market has everything you need for a good meal.
Visit the market for your groceries or an afternoon weekend lunch. The La Cigale opens every Saturday and Sunday in two locations:
- Auckland’s CBD at the Takuti Square
- Parnell at the 60 St Georges Bay Road
- The CBD location only opens on Saturdays. Both sites are usually open until 1:30 pm.
6. Freedom Camping
If you are looking to set up camp in Auckland, there are free camping locations that you can visit. They offer excellent camping scenery, picnic benches, clean public toilets, internet access, and ample parking space. There are five main free camping sites that you can use:
- Gulf Harbour Car Park located at the end of Laurie Southwick Parade
- Hamiltons Gap located at the end of the West Coast Road in Awhitu Peninsula
- Rays Rest Reserve located at the East Coast Road of Kaiaua
- Te Toro Scenic Reserve located at 494 Te Toro Road in Awhitu Peninsula
- Rosa Birch Park located at the Beresford Street in Pukekohe
It is important to note that free camping sites will only let you stay there for two nights.
7. Beach Day at Mission Bay
The mission bay is an alternative to the Muriwai beach. It offers Golden sands
Kayaking and paddleboarding Swimming waters
The beach also houses a playground known as the Trevor Davis Memorial Fountain, which also has a fitness park. From Auckland CBD, it will only take you 15 minutes to get to the beach by bus or car.
8. Auckland Museum
You do not have to give up site seeing on a rainy day. I find the Auckland museum to be very educational.
First, it doubles as a museum and a war memorial ground.
Second, the place is filled with historical events that shaped New Zealand.
If you love military and natural history, this is a location that you will enjoy visiting. The museum also houses special exhibitions. If you are an Auckland resident, be sure to visit the museum for free. Otherwise, check the museum’s admissions page for prices.
9. Auckland Parks
The good thing about Auckland is that you do not have to pay for movies. Auckland has a Parks program called the Auckland Council’s Movies that will let you enjoy a free outdoor movie at most of their parks. If you are in Auckland during the summer, take advantage of this program.
I recommend visiting the Silo Park on a Friday night. The movies there are projected on a Silo that is 35m tall. The Park is located in the Wynyard Quarter. The Movie in Parks program also has a site that has details of the movies that will be showing on different parks and their respective locations.
10. The Devonport Ferry
If you love adventure, then this is the perfect location for you. The Devonport Ferry will take you all the way to the North Head Historic Reserve. Since the 1800s, the historic mountain has been a defense fort.
You will find it at the entrance of the Devonport Auckland harbor, 16 kilometers from Auckland CBD. When there, you can take the historic walk track and:
- pass through the military tunnels
- check out the fortifications
- check out the searchlights
- check out the guns
The ferry website has a full ferry travel timetable.