50 Fantastic Free Things To Do In Auckland


They say the best things in life are free, and we’re not going to argue with that. If you’ve just booked your flights to Auckland, read on!

We’ve compiled a list of 50 fantastic free things to do in the city, because travel shouldn’t have to be expensive.

1. Peruse the Auckland Art Gallery

Entry and most of the exhibitions are free, immerse yourself in the creativity of Auckland Art Gallery.
 

2. Walk the Otuataua Stonefields

The Otuataua Stonefields is one of Auckland’s last remaining volcanic areas. This reserve is great for bird watching, or an early morning stroll to see the sunrise.

3. Ride the ‘pink path’

Auckland’s famous pink cycle trail, also known as ‘Lightpath’ is free to ride and gives you stunning scenery as you walk or cycle into the city.

4. Explore the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary

This nature reserve also encourages public recreation, so you can go camping or relax on the beach, amongst some of New Zealand’s most beautiful foliage and creatures.

5. Get clued up at the Auckland Museum

The Auckland War Memorial Museum is free for New Zealanders and is a great place to get cultured.

6. Have a picnic at One Tree Hill

Fancy a picnic? Well this 182 metre high volcanic peak is the perfect, peaceful location.
 

7. Walk through The Wintergardens

The Wintergardens are made up of two picturesque rooms: one heated and one not heated. Both rooms are full of gorgeous plants and spending time here is the perfect way to wind down after a long day of sightseeing.

8. Walk along Tamaki Drive

The Tamaki Drive route is ideal if you want to take in Auckland’s gorgeous harbour views and suburbs. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not up the ante by roller skating or cycling along the drive?

9. Walk through Parry Kauri Park

Take a break from the busy streets of Auckland and throw yourself into nature at Parry Kauri Park - but be sure to look out for signage from The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society to show you the best areas.

10. Take the kids to Ambury Farm

Ambury Farm is a lovely attraction for children, especially during the warmer months. At the farm, you can interact with the animals in the open fields and there are even BBQ options available.

11. Go to the Arataki Visitor Centre

The Arataki Visitor Centre is home to over 16,000 hectares of rainforest and beaches. If you want to see a black sand beach or walk the Hillary Trail, then this is the Auckland attraction of you.

12. Explore North Head

This historical reserve is the most significant defence site that New Zealand has to offer. While you’re there, you can see gun emplacements and a military tunnel complex.

13. Chill out at Silo Park

The quirky Silo Park hosts a variety of events including Silo Stories - an afternoon of storytelling - and markets for you to browse to your heart’s content.


14. Go to Cornwall Park

With free gas barbeques, stunning views at the summit and free seasonal events, Cornwall Park is perfect for any occasion.
 

15. Take in the scenery at Manukau Heads Lighthouse

Manukau Heads Lighthouse is over 140 years old, but you can still climb to the top to witness the breathtaking views. Not only is the scenery spectacular, but you may even see some rare wildlife, such as Maui’s dolphins.

16. Peruse the Botanic Gardens

The Auckland Botanic Gardens have an array of gardens, including an African plants garden, an endangered native plants garden and a children’s garden, so there really will be something for everyone to enjoy.

17. Hear some acoustic talent at The Kingslander

The Kingslander is arguably one of Auckland’s best pubs, and their free open mic night events will be sure to satiate the gig lover inside of you.

18. Go snorkelling at Goat Island

Goat Island is a marine reserve, home to a heaps of colourful fish. The best way to see them is to grab a snorkel and dive in.

19. Take pictures at Bastion Point

This area brings you amazing panoramic views of Mission Bay and is home to quaint gardens that are ideal picnic locations.

20. Visit sounds of sea 

In the Wynyard Quarter, you’ll find the sounds of sea attraction. The artwork itself based on ventilation funnels that are used on ships. You can speak into them or climb into them; whatever your heart desires.
 

21. Climb Lion’s Rock at Piha Beach

This dark sanded beach is one of Auckland’s most popular locations for surfing and it even features Lion’s Rock, an enormous rock that is too tempting to not climb.

22. Get sporty at Awhitu Peninsula

Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city into the beautiful Awhitu Peninsula, where almost anything is feasible.

Here, you can go paragliding, surfing, picnicking or walking - regardless of how much of an adrenaline junkie you are, there will be something to suit you at Awhitu Peninsula.


23. Climb Mount Eden

Climbing the dormant volcano, Mount Eden, is a brilliant day out for anyone who likes hiking. At the top, you can see into the crater and take in astounding views of the city.

24. Open your mind at Te Tuhi’s Second Saturday

Every second Saturday, Te Tuhi puts on a different art exhibition. This quirky art gallery has some truly thought provoking exhibitions, and admission is completely free.

25. Listen at Creative Mornings

Are you an early riser? Then why not head down to Creative Mornings, an early morning seminar that covers a variety of topics such as truth and risk.

26. See a film at Silo Cinema

The Silo Cinema, located in Silo Park, plays free films for park goers to watch. Bring drinks, bring snacks and bring your friends for a completely free film night.

27. Go on a free backpacker tour

Every day at 10am, free walking tours of Auckland depart. The tour takes you around the most exciting streets of Auckland, giving you a brief history of the city.
 

28. Walk the Parnell Rose Gardens

The Parnell Rose Gardens are the perfect place to relax the day away with a good book or a picnic, in amongst beautiful flowers.
 

29. Walk through The Domain

As Auckland’s oldest park, The Domain is full of attractions from the cenotaph and the sensory gardens, to the duck pond and Gum Tree Hill. Born the the 1800s, this historical park is perfect if you want to take a break from Auckland’s lively vibe.

30. Go to a free talk at Artspace

Auckland’s Artspace puts on free of charge art talks for members of the public, so open your mind and go along.
 

31. Explore Auckland Maritime Museum

Exciting for both children and adults, delve deep into New Zealand’s maritime history with the fascinating exhibitions and displays that the Auckland Maritime Museum has to offer.

32. Window shop at Victoria Park Market

Victoria Park Market has over 85 stalls for you to peruse at your leisure, amongst a lively crowd of shoppers.

33. Go to Huffer’s free coffee Friday

Clothing shop, Huffer, offers free coffee Friday events on Fridays mornings. At these events, you can enjoy a coffee free of charge while you check out Huffer’s clothing range.

34. Go on the sculpture walk at Brick Bay

This 2km art trail showcases sculptures made by talented New Zealand artists and is a great place for young children to blow off some steam away from the busy city streets.

35. Get involved at Aotea Square

Aotea Square is a paved area in Auckland that is home to plenty of free events throughout the year. You can look online to see which free events will be on when you’re in Auckland.

36. Spend the day with your head in a book at one of Auckland’s libraries

Auckland is home to a lot of libraries (even mobile libraries!), so it’s the perfect city for you to get stuck into a good book.

37. Visit Emerging Pixels

Emerging Pixels is an art series put on in Auckland’s Aotea Centre that features work from digital and interactive artists. The artworks are free of charge, so why not open your mind with these young artists?

38. Explore the Museum of Transport and Technology

Both children and adults will love Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology as it offers interactive and creative exhibitions and events to educate its visitors.

39. Walk Waitakere Ranges Regional Park

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park hosts over 250km of walking trails, so if you want to explore Auckland’s nature, this is the place to do so.

40. See the birds at Muriwai Gannet Colony

If you want to get up close and personal with some birds, go to visit the Muriwai Gannet Colony, just outside of the centre of Auckland. During peak season, over 1,200 gannets call the colony home whilst they nest.

41. Take a step back at Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park

The Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park is a memorial to New Zealand’s first Labour Prime Minister, who also founded the Welfare State. This picturesque park, named in his honor, is a great place to reflect.


42. Window shop in Ponsonby

Ponsonby is hipster heaven and is home to some great boutiques and shops. If you’re into your vinyls, we recommend browsing Conch Records.

43. Go on the Cathedral Cove walk

The Cathedral Cove walk is approximately 1.5 hours long and takes you across the coast. With the waters home to a multitude of brightly coloured fish, we recommend you take your snorkel.


44. Walk along the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway

Walk along historic railway remains of the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway. With the rail tunnel loop and the historic walkway to Waikino, this is any walker’s dream.


45. Climb Mangere Mountain

Mangere Mountain erupted about 20,000 years ago and you can now walk the site, whilst immersing yourself in Maori history and culture.

46. Go fishing at Queens Wharf

Queens Wharf is a brilliant location to chill out after a long day, and what better way to relax than by catching some fish? Make sure you put them back, though!

47. Taste some tea at T2

If you’re a lover of tea, you’ll feel right at home browsing T2, a boutique tea shop. You can sample the different types of tea on offer and the variety has to be seen to be believed.
 

48. See the Silo Park tanks

Askew One started the Silo Park Tanks project during 2012’s art week, where he painted the tanks and included snippets from C.K. Stead’s poem ‘Auckland’.

49. Splash in Oakley Creek Falls

Oakley Creek is one of the only waterfalls around central Auckland, so why not make the most of it and dive in?

50. Go to Long Bay Regional Park

White sandy beaches and lush greenery is what gives this park its charm. You can come here for a kick about or go kayaking in the marine reserve. Whatever you decide to do, this family friendly park will be able to accommodate you.


Worried about airport delays? Read our post on 21 things to do to kill time when delayed at the airport.