Auckland, or The City of Sails, is a great place to visit with many sightseeing attractions and things to do.
While many things always come with a small or sometimes even higher cost, here are some of the best FREE things to do in Auckland.
Doesn't that make it sound better already!
1. Hiking in the Waitakere Ranges
There are more than 250km of subtropical rainforest hiking trails in the Waitakere Ranges, just west of Auckland. These ranges stretch to the rugged and wild west coast, and hiking tracks range from family friendly short walks to the 80km multi-day Hilary Trail
2. Climb a volcano
Auckland sits on a large number of extinct volcanoes, and across the city you can see several volcanic cones. Short walks up to the summits of these extinct volcanoes provide for excellent views of Auckland City.
Here some volcanoes offering the best vantage points of Auckland and surroundings:
Mount Eden: The highest natural point in Auckland. A short walk to the summit provides 360 spectacular degree views, but the 50 metre deep crater is the main attraction here.
Mount Victoria - Devonport: Offering the best view of Auckland's skyline, particularly during the evening. Also here you are served with 360 degree views of Auckland City, the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto Island and the Waitakere Ranges to the west.
One Tree Hill: This is Auckland's largest volcanic field with lovely views at the top, and is an important memorial for both Maori and New Zealanders.
3. Gannet Colony - Muriwai
The west coast beach of Muriwai is home to a huge gannet colony, where about 1200 pairs of gannets nest on rocky clifftops. A number of viewing platforms allow you to get up close against a sweeping backdrop of the Tasman Sea.
4. Piha Beach
Piha is a popular surfing and swimming beach on the West Coast of Auckland, and hosts several surfing competitions throughout the year. The beach is notorious for its rip currents, so do take care if you decide to go for a swim here. Piha is a very laid back place away from the bustle of the city with a number of great little cafes.
A visit to Piha would not be complete without climbing Lion Rock, and see the Māori carvings. It is a landmark you simply cannot miss in Piha.
5. Auckland Domain
Auckland domain is the city's oldest park which - unsurprisingly - also sits on a field of extinct volcanoes. There are a number of forested walking tracks, plenty of space for a picnic.
The Auckland Museum, Wintergardens and city hospital are all on the Auckland Domain.
6. Visit one of Auckland's festivals
Being the largest city of New Zealand, Auckland hosts many fantastic festivals year round and the great this is that many of them are free to attend.
These are some festivals you should definitely check out in case you happen to be in Auckland at the right time of year:
- The Lantern Festival takes place during Chinese New Year (early February), showcasing over 100 handmade lanterns which illuminate beautifully against the night sky.
- During the Christmas festive season, Christmas in the Park next to the Auckland War Memorial Museam is a great free thing to do in Auckland and a celebration that attracts over 100,000 Aucklanders every year with many of New Zealand's biggest music artists playing here
- Early March, the Auckland Arts Festival entertains Auckland with an exceptional line-up of music, dance, theatre and circus shows from all over the world.
- An amazing cultural event is the Matariki Festival, a celebration of the Maori New Year, and includes workshops, visual arts, film, dance, theatre and more.
7. Hang out on beach at Mission Bay
Mission Bay just 8km east from the city centre is a popular beach with Aucklanders and a great place to hang out and enjoy the wonderful views of Rangitoto Island.
The idyllic, phutukawa-lined beach is a great place to visit year round and is a real bustling centre of the Eastern Bays of Auckland.
Relax, explore the surroundings and enjoy some fine dining with views of Rangitoto and the Waitemata Harbour.
8. Auckland Art Gallery - Toi O Tamaki
Discover the world's largest collection of Maori Art a the Auckland Art Gallery. With a total of no less than 15,000 art pieces from the 11th century until now, you can easily make a great day out of it in Auckland.
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