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Top 10 FREE Things To Do In Auckland (New Zealand)


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Arline Rausch



Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city and a vibrant hub of culture, art, and adventure. Known as the “City of Sails,” Auckland is famous for its picturesque harbors, stunning landscapes, and diverse cultural heritage. While there are plenty of exciting things to see and do in this bustling metropolis, you’ll be delighted to know that there are also many free activities to enjoy. Whether you’re a budget traveler or simply looking for some cost-effective options, Auckland offers a range of incredible experiences that won’t cost you a dime. In this article, we will uncover the top 10 free things to do in Auckland, allowing you to make the most of your visit without breaking the bank.


From exploring beautiful parks to immersing yourself in fascinating museums, Auckland offers a plethora of free activities that will keep you entertained and intrigued. Discover the rich history and culture of the city, soak in stunning natural vistas, and engage in unique experiences that will leave lasting memories. So, let’s dive into the list of free things to do in Auckland and embark on a budget-friendly adventure in this captivating city.


Explore the Auckland Domain

The Auckland Domain is a vast green haven nestled in the heart of the city and is the oldest park in Auckland. It spans over 75 hectares of land and is home to various attractions, including the Auckland War Memorial Museum, a stunning glasshouse, and peaceful gardens.


As you explore the Auckland Domain, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful trees, lush lawns, and colorful flower beds. Take a leisurely stroll through the park’s well-maintained paths and enjoy the tranquil ambiance. The park is also dotted with picnic spots, so pack a lunch and enjoy an al fresco meal amidst nature’s beauty.


One of the highlights of the Auckland Domain is the winter garden glasshouse, which houses an exquisite collection of tropical and seasonal plants. Step inside and be transported to a world of vibrant colors and sweet scents. The glasshouse is divided into two sections: the cool house and the temperate house, offering a diverse array of plant species to admire.


Another must-visit attraction within the Auckland Domain is the Auckland War Memorial Museum. While there may be an entry fee to access the museum’s exhibitions, you can still explore the exterior and enjoy stunning views of the building itself, which is an architectural masterpiece. The museum is surrounded by beautiful grounds, making it an ideal spot for a picturesque photo opportunity.


If you’re lucky, you may even stumble upon a cultural performance or event taking place on the park’s central stage. From concerts to theatrical performances, there’s always something happening in the Auckland Domain that showcases the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene.


Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the bustling city streets, exploring the Auckland Domain is a must-do when visiting Auckland. Immerse yourself in the serenity of the park, take in the sights and smells of the stunning gardens, and soak up the rich history and culture that surrounds you.


Visit the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

For art enthusiasts and culture lovers, a visit to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is a must-do. Located in the heart of the city, this impressive gallery showcases a diverse range of artworks from both New Zealand and international artists.


As you step inside the gallery, you’ll be greeted by a breathtaking architectural design that seamlessly blends the old with the new. The heritage building, dating back to 1888, has been beautifully restored and expanded to create a modern and spacious art space.


The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki houses over 15,000 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, prints, and contemporary installations. From traditional Māori and Pacific art to European classics and modern masterpieces, the collection is a visual delight that spans centuries and cultures.


One of the highlights of the gallery is its dedicated section on indigenous art. Here, you can explore the rich artistic traditions of Māori and Pacific peoples, gaining a deeper understanding of their cultural heritage and artistic expression.


Entry to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is free for all visitors, although some special exhibitions may require a ticket. Take your time to wander through the gallery’s expansive exhibition spaces, appreciating the incredible talent and creativity on display.


To enhance your experience, the gallery also offers guided tours and interactive workshops, providing valuable insights into the artworks and their significance. Check the gallery’s website for the latest schedule of events and programs.


After immersing yourself in the world of art, take a moment to relax at the gallery’s café, which offers a delightful selection of refreshments and treats. Sit back, reflect on the art you’ve encountered, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this artistic haven.


Visiting the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is not only an opportunity to appreciate stunning artworks but also a chance to engage with diverse cultural perspectives and narratives. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or simply looking for inspiration, this gallery is sure to leave you with a renewed appreciation for the power of creativity.


Take a Stroll Along the Auckland Waterfront

No visit to Auckland is complete without exploring the beautiful waterfront. Stretching along the Hauraki Gulf, the Auckland waterfront offers stunning views, a vibrant atmosphere, and a plethora of free activities to enjoy.


Start your waterfront adventure at the Viaduct Harbour, an iconic area known for its marinas, stylish bars, and upscale restaurants. Watch as sleek yachts and luxurious boats sway in the gentle waters, creating a picturesque scene. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, soaking in the maritime ambiance and enjoying the views of the city skyline.


As you continue your walk, you’ll come across the bustling Wynyard Quarter. This lively precinct is known for its vibrant markets, pop-up events, and urban beach areas. Relax on the sandy shores, play a game of beach volleyball, or simply sit back and watch as people go about their day.


Continue further along the waterfront, and you’ll reach the iconic Auckland Fish Market. Discover a treasure trove of fresh seafood, bustling eateries, and lively atmosphere. Be tempted by the traditional fish and chips, sample local oysters, or simply browse through the stalls filled with delectable treats.


For a taste of local history, make a stop at the historical Britomart precinct. This carefully restored area seamlessly blends heritage buildings with modern architecture, creating a unique and vibrant shopping and dining hub. Take a moment to appreciate the charm and character of this revitalized neighborhood.


As you stroll along the waterfront, you’ll also encounter a range of beautiful parks and green spaces. Sit back on a park bench, enjoy a picnic, or simply take in the breathtaking views of the harbor and surrounding islands.


To enhance your waterfront experience, consider visiting during one of the many events and festivals that take place throughout the year. From cultural celebrations to live music performances, there’s always something happening along the Auckland waterfront that adds an extra layer of excitement to your visit.


Whether you’re an avid walker, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking to soak in the beauty of the city, taking a stroll along the Auckland waterfront offers a delightful and refreshing experience. Capture stunning photos, indulge in culinary delights, and embrace the lively atmosphere as you explore this vibrant coastal area.


Wander Through the Picturesque Albert Park

Tucked away in the heart of Auckland’s bustling CBD, Albert Park is a serene oasis that offers a welcome retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. This picturesque park is a treasure trove of lush greenery, beautiful flowers, and historic landmarks.


As you enter Albert Park, you’ll be greeted by a grand Victorian-style fountain, a centerpiece that adds a touch of elegance to the surroundings. Take a moment to admire the intricate details of the fountain before continuing your exploration.


Wandering through the park, you’ll be captivated by the stunning array of trees, including towering palms, majestic oaks, and vibrant cherry blossoms, depending on the season. The well-maintained paths invite you to take a leisurely stroll and discover hidden corners and peaceful spots.


One of the park’s most notable features is the Albert Park Bandstand, a charming octagonal structure that has become an iconic landmark. This bandstand serves as the venue for various events and concerts, providing a delightful backdrop for live performances and cultural celebrations.


As you continue your walk, you’ll come across the immaculate Victorian-style garden beds, bursting with colorful flowers and fragrant blooms. From roses and daisies to tulips and lavender, the garden beds provide a feast for the eyes and a tranquil setting for relaxation.


For those interested in history, a visit to Albert Park offers an opportunity to explore the old Auckland Art Gallery Building, which is now part of the University of Auckland. Marvel at the architectural beauty and learn about the history of this iconic structure.


Take a break from your walk and find a spot to sit and enjoy a picnic or simply bask in the peaceful ambiance of the park. The open grassy areas and shaded seating make it an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the natural surroundings.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, a wander through Albert Park is a must-do in Auckland. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the gardens, appreciate the historic landmarks, and embrace the serenity of this urban retreat.


Discover the Beauty of Mount Eden

Located just a short distance from the city center, Mount Eden is an extinct volcanic cone that offers breathtaking panoramic views and a unique perspective of Auckland’s landscape. This iconic landmark is not only a must-visit for its natural beauty but also for its historical significance.


Rising 196 meters above sea level, Mount Eden, also known as Maungawhau in Māori, provides visitors with a chance to experience Auckland’s volcanic heritage. As you make your way to the summit, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and native plants, creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere.


Reaching the top of Mount Eden, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning vista of the city skyline, the sparkling harbor, and the surrounding suburbs. Take a moment to soak in the breathtaking views and capture some photos to remember this unforgettable experience.


One of the most fascinating aspects of Mount Eden is its massive crater, known as the Te Ipu Kai a Mataaho. This bowl-shaped depression is a reminder of the volcano’s geological past and adds a unique element to its charm. Take a walk around the crater rim and marvel at the power and beauty of nature.


While exploring Mount Eden, keep an eye out for remnants of the volcano’s history, including lava flows, volcanic rocks, and even remnants of Māori fortifications. These archaeological features provide insights into the ancient cultural significance of the area.


Aside from its natural and historical wonders, Mount Eden is also a popular spot for picnics and leisurely walks. The slopes of the volcano are dotted with grassy areas, offering ample space for families and friends to gather, relax, and enjoy some outdoor activities.


It’s important to note that Mount Eden is a sacred site to the local Māori community. Visitors are requested to respect its cultural significance and abide by any restrictions or guidelines in place.


Discovering the beauty of Mount Eden allows you to connect with Auckland’s natural and cultural heritage. Whether you’re seeking panoramic views, a peaceful escape, or an opportunity to delve into the city’s volcanic past, a visit to this stunning landmark is a must when in Auckland.


Explore the Historic Devonport Village

A short ferry ride from downtown Auckland will take you to the charming seaside village of Devonport. Steeped in history and surrounded by stunning coastline, Devonport offers a delightful escape from the bustling city and a chance to explore its rich heritage and picturesque surroundings.


As you step off the ferry, you’ll be greeted by the quaint streets lined with well-preserved Victorian-style buildings. Take a leisurely stroll through the village, soaking in the architectural charm and browsing through the boutique shops, art galleries, and antique stores that dot the area.


One of the highlights of Devonport is its stunning waterfront, which offers panoramic views of Auckland’s skyline and the surrounding islands. Take a walk along the sandy shores, dip your feet in the crystal-clear waters, or simply find a bench to sit and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.


Devonport is home to several historic landmarks, including the stunning Devonport Naval Base, which is the headquarters of the Royal New Zealand Navy. While public access to the base may be limited, you can still admire the grandeur of the naval ships docked in the harbor from a distance.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the fascinating Devonport Museum is a must. Housed in a former military barrack, the museum showcases the village’s rich history through a collection of artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays.


As you explore Devonport, don’t miss the chance to climb up Mount Victoria or North Head, both of which offer panoramic views and historic remnants from their use as military fortifications. From these vantage points, you can marvel at the cityscape, harbor, and surrounding islands.


After a day of exploring, take a moment to relax at one of the village’s cozy cafes or restaurants. Indulge in some tasty treats, sip on a cup of coffee, or sample local cuisine while soaking in the laid-back atmosphere of this seaside gem.


Whether you’re interested in history, stunning views, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, exploring the historic Devonport village is a must-do in Auckland. Immerse yourself in the charm, heritage, and natural beauty of this coastal gem and discover why it has been a beloved destination for both locals and visitors.


Enjoy the Vibrant Atmosphere at Silo Park

Located in the lively Wynyard Quarter, Silo Park is a vibrant and dynamic public space that offers a range of entertainment, cultural events, and outdoor activities. This transformed industrial area is now a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike, providing a lively atmosphere and a unique urban experience.


As you enter Silo Park, you’ll immediately notice the towering silos that were once used for storing cement. These iconic structures have been repurposed and now serve as a backdrop for various events and activities.


Throughout the year, Silo Park hosts a diverse range of events, including live music performances, outdoor movie screenings, food festivals, and art exhibitions. Check the schedule to see what’s happening during your visit and enjoy the lively atmosphere and the creative essence of the park.


One of the main attractions in Silo Park is the Silo Cinema, where you can enjoy free outdoor movies on the big screen during the summer months. Grab a picnic blanket, some snacks, and find a spot on the grass to relax and enjoy a movie under the stars with friends and family.


Aside from the entertainment options, Silo Park also features unique art installations, colorful murals, and interactive sculptures that add a touch of creativity to the surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and discover these artistic elements at every turn.


Silo Park is also known for its food vendors and markets. Check out the weekend markets selling local produce, handmade crafts, and delicious street food. From mouth-watering burgers to gourmet ice cream, there’s something to satisfy every craving.


Whether you’re looking to enjoy live entertainment, immerse yourself in art, sample delicious food, or simply relax and soak up the vibrant atmosphere, Silo Park offers a dynamic and enjoyable experience for everyone.


While entry to Silo Park is free, some events and activities may have associated costs. Check the park’s website or social media pages for the latest information on events and admission fees.


Embrace the vivacity and creativity of Silo Park and embrace the unique urban energy that Auckland has to offer.


Picnic at the Beautiful Cornwall Park

Nestled in the heart of Auckland, Cornwall Park is a sprawling green oasis that offers a perfect setting for a relaxing and enjoyable picnic. With its wide open spaces, lush landscapes, and stunning views, this park provides the ideal backdrop for a leisurely outdoor meal.


As you enter Cornwall Park, you’ll be greeted by expansive grassy fields framed by majestic trees. Find a spot under the shade of a tree, spread out a picnic blanket, and unwind in the tranquility of nature.


The park boasts rolling hills, making it a fantastic vantage point for panoramic views of the Auckland skyline and surrounding landscapes. Enjoy the scenic beauty as you savor your meal and take in the breathtaking sights.


Cornwall Park is also home to a delightful array of farm animals, including sheep, cows, and even some friendly ducks. Kids and animal enthusiasts alike will love spotting these adorable creatures as they roam freely in designated areas of the park.


For added convenience, Cornwall Park offers picnic tables and barbecue facilities that are free for public use. So, if you prefer a grilled feast, bring along some ingredients and fire up the barbecue for a delicious outdoor cooking experience.


After your picnic, take a leisurely stroll through the park and explore its many walking and cycling tracks. Discover picturesque spots, hidden ponds, and beautiful gardens as you immerse yourself in the serenity of this urban sanctuary.


As you explore Cornwall Park, be sure to pay a visit to the iconic One Tree Hill, a volcanic cone that stands as a symbol of Auckland. Take a gentle hike to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the city, the Hauraki Gulf, and the surrounding countryside.


Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape, a fun day out with family and friends, or simply a break from the city’s hustle and bustle, Cornwall Park provides a beautiful and serene setting for a picnic. Pack a delicious hamper, enjoy the natural beauty, and create lasting memories in this idyllic green space.


Visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Situated in the picturesque Auckland Domain, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is a must-visit destination for history buffs and those interested in gaining a deeper understanding of New Zealand’s past. This iconic museum showcases a wealth of cultural and historical exhibits that shed light on the country’s diverse heritage.


As you approach the grand neoclassical building, you’ll immediately be struck by its impressive architectural design. Step inside, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a treasure trove of artifacts, interactive displays, and immersive exhibitions.


The museum’s galleries cover a wide range of topics, including Māori heritage, natural history, World War I and II, Pacific cultures, and much more. Explore the extensive collection of taonga (Māori treasures), learn about the ancestral history and customs of the indigenous people of New Zealand, and gain an appreciation for their rich cultural heritage.


The World War I Hall and the World War II Hall of Memories pay tribute to those who served and lost their lives in the conflicts, offering a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made for freedom. The beautifully adorned halls provide a solemn and reflective space for remembrance.


One of the highlights of the museum is its remarkable collection of ceremonial Māori artifacts and natural history specimens, including specimens of extinct New Zealand birds like the moa. Discover the unique flora and fauna that make New Zealand a biodiversity hotspot and delve into the country’s fascinating geological history.


While entry to the museum itself may require a ticket, the grounds surrounding the building, including the Cenotaph and the nearby Wintergardens, can be accessed for free. Take a moment to appreciate the stunning exterior architecture and the tranquil gardens that make for a peaceful and reflective atmosphere.


For an even more captivating experience, consider attending one of the museum’s cultural performances or guided tours, which offer valuable insights and bring the exhibits to life. Check the museum’s website for the latest information on events and programs.


A visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum is not only an opportunity to learn about New Zealand’s history but also a chance to gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse cultures that have shaped the country. Immerse yourself in the exhibits, explore the interactive displays, and leave with a greater understanding of New Zealand’s past.


Explore the Picturesque Piha Beach

For those seeking the quintessential New Zealand beach experience, a visit to Piha Beach is a must. Located on the rugged west coast of Auckland, Piha Beach offers stunning black sand shores, towering cliffs, and powerful surf that attracts both surfers and nature enthusiasts.


As you arrive at Piha Beach, you’ll be instantly captivated by its natural beauty. The dramatic volcanic cliffs, known as Lion Rock and Lioness Rock, frame the beach and create a unique backdrop for relaxation and exploration.


One of the highlights of Piha Beach is its distinctive black sand. Formed from volcanic minerals, the dark sand creates a striking contrast against the white foamy waves, making it a photographer’s paradise. Stroll along the beach, feel the sand between your toes, and immerse yourself in the wild and rugged coastline.


For those looking for adventure, Piha Beach offers excellent surfing conditions. Known for its powerful swells, the beach attracts surfers from near and far. If you’re a beginner, there are surf schools in the area that offer lessons for all skill levels.


While swimming at Piha Beach is possible, it’s important to exercise caution due to the sometimes strong currents and large waves. Be sure to swim between the flags and follow the safety guidelines set by lifeguards.


For a different perspective of the beach and its surroundings, consider embarking on a short hike. The Lion Rock offers a relatively easy climb and rewards you with panoramic views of the beach and the vast Tasman Sea.


After a day of exploration, take a break and relax on the beach, enjoying a picnic and marveling at the beauty of nature. Piha Beach is also known for its breathtaking sunsets, so consider staying until dusk to witness the sky turn into a canvas of vibrant hues.


When visiting Piha Beach, it’s important to respect its natural environment. Leave no trace, follow any signage and guidelines in place to protect the wildlife, and be mindful of the delicate ecosystem.


Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, exploring the picturesque Piha Beach is an experience that showcases the raw beauty of New Zealand’s coastline. Lose yourself in the majestic landscape, embrace the power of the ocean, and create memories that will last a lifetime.



Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, offers a plethora of free activities that allow visitors to experience the beauty and culture of this vibrant metropolis without breaking the bank. From exploring the serene green spaces to immersing oneself in the rich history and art, Auckland provides an abundance of engaging and budget-friendly options.


Begin your adventure by exploring the Auckland Domain, a magnificent park that houses the Auckland War Memorial Museum and offers breathtaking gardens to wander through. Then, venture to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki to witness a diverse collection of artworks that span various genres and time periods.


Take a stroll along the Auckland waterfront, where you can enjoy stunning views, visit the vibrant Wynyard Quarter, and savor delicious street food at the Auckland Fish Market. Find serenity in Albert Park, with its lush greenery and historic landmarks, and discover the beauty and cultural significance of Mount Eden, an extinct volcano with panoramic vistas.


Don’t miss the chance to explore the historic Devonport village, with its charming streets, seaside ambiance, and fascinating museums. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Silo Park, where you can enjoy outdoor cinema screenings, live music performances, and vibrant markets.


For a peaceful retreat, picnic amidst the beauty of Cornwall Park, take in the awe-inspiring views, and explore its walking trails. Finally, visit the captivating Auckland War Memorial Museum to delve into the country’s history, culture, and natural heritage.


Conclude your Auckland adventure by visiting Piha Beach, a picturesque black sand beach renowned for its striking landscapes and powerful surf. Enjoy the breathtaking views, engage in water sports, and savor the tranquil ambiance of this iconic coastal destination.


From nature lovers to culture enthusiasts, Auckland offers a wide range of free activities that cater to various interests. Whether it’s appreciating art, immersing yourself in history, connecting with nature, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, Auckland provides an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.


So, pack your bags, explore the wonders of Auckland, and create lasting memories in this captivating city that seamlessly blends natural beauty, cultural heritage, and a thriving urban setting.