Auckland, the largest and most populated city in New Zealand is a remarkable city to explore. Auckland offers visitors a wide variety of things to experience and best of all there are plenty of free things to do in Auckland. We have come up with our top list of things to do in Auckland that won’t break your budget and will give you a vacation you will never forget. You will discover the best things in life really are free as you explore Auckland using our guide.
Mount Eden – Maungawhau
Mount Eden (Maungawhau) is the highest natural point in Auckland City. Located just 4km south of the CBD, it is easily accessible to visitors staying in any of the Auckland Best Western hotels and offers visitors a great view in all directions over the entire city of Auckland. You can drive to the top or if you’re feeling energetic, you can put on your running shoes and make your way to the top with other fitness fanatics.
You will be amazed by the stunning bowl-like crater that is around 50 metres deep. This was caused by an eruption over 28,000 years ago… don’t worry the volcano is not likely to erupt any time soon as it is dormant. If you’re interested in more volcanoes around Auckland you may want to explore One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie).
Cheltenham Beach, Devonport
Cheltenham Beach is located in the historic seaside village of Devonport and is one of the more popular beaches that the city has to offer. Devonport is definitely worth exploring on foot and is a great way to spend some time with family or friends. However if you fancy a dip in the water, then Cheltenham beach is the perfect place to visit. Generally offering calm water, it is an ideal place to take kids for a swim or even just to play on the beach.
There are many nice cafés and restaurants close to the beach. If you are up to it, a quick walk up Mt Victoria, at the top of the main street of Devonport, will give you amazing views over the harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. While it can sometimes be difficult to find parking, especially on a sunny day, it is worth the effort to visit Devonport and Cheltenham Beach. The most popular way to Devonport is via the Devonport Ferry which leaves regularly from the Auckland Ferry Terminal. This is a pleasant 15 minute trip across Auckland Harbour.
The Viaduct Harbour is a wonderful place to hang out and chill in Auckland. Offering over 30 bars and restaurants, it is one of the more vibrant places to visit in the city. Here you can see upscale apartments in one of the best developed areas in Auckland city. Located right on the harbour front, you will be able to see some of the city’s best yachts. It is also the perfect place for a night out if you feel like dancing the night away, or the perfect place to enjoy a coffee in the morning while you sit and watch the world go by.
Queen Street – Downtown
Queen Street is the main street of Auckland city. It is around 3 kilometres in length, starting at Queens Wharf on the waterfront and continuing all the way to Karangahape Road. Queen Street is home to some of the best shopping in Auckland and the perfect place to find yourself some kiwi souvenirs. You will find most national franchises and banks in Queen Street. If you’re lucky enough, you might be in town for one of the numerous parades or events that are held in the street or surrounding areas. Here you will also find some great nightlife spots and entertainment. If you’re interested in exploring the city of Auckland, and in particular the CBD, then Queen Street is worth a visit.
Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery has a collection of over 15,000 artworks and is one of the best free things to do while in Auckland. The art gallery offers free admission but you can always leave a donation. The gallery has many special events and different exhibitions so be sure to check out the gallery’s website here. The art gallery is located in Albert Park which is a wonderful place for a picnic or walk. Located around a 15 minute walk from downtown, you could fit this free attraction into your itinerary with ease. Open 7 days a week, 10am– 5pm, be sure to visit what is the largest collection of New Zealand art in world class exhibitions.
One of the most amazing free things to do in Auckland is Kitekite Falls. If you’re looking to get out of the city then why not head west to Waitakere Regional Park where Kitekite Falls are located. You will find this wonderful attraction located around a 50 minute drive from Auckland. As well as the Kitekite Falls you will find many other natural attractions including the famous Piha Beach.
Be sure to take the Kitekite track which takes around 45 minutes and also links up to other coastal tracks. Make sure you stop at the lookout along the way to enjoy the breathtaking views. If you’re lucky, when you get to the base of the falls you might see a New Zealand longfin eel close to the rocks. Pack a towel as you may want to take a dip in the crystal clear waters.