Located on New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is the country’s biggest city, boasting a population exceeding one million. Thanks to its unique position between two harbours, Auckland boasts kilometres of coastline ready for exploration. As a result, finding free and accessible outdoor activities is simple in Auckland. Before you hit the road in your motorhome hire New Zealand, discover how to tour Auckland without breaking the bank. These must-see spots offer plenty to do at little to no cost.
Head to the Beach
Auckland boasts an impressive 29,000 kilometres of coastline, which means there’s no shortage of beaches to explore. The city is one of the few in the world that sits on two harbors and two bodies of water, thus explaining its expansive coastline. A beach day in Auckland is a low-cost, often even free, way to soak up the sunshine and take in the city’s natural beauty. Your only challenge will be deciding which beach is right for you.
First, decide they type of beach you want to check out so that you know where to guide your motorhome hire New Zealand. You can discover beaches near the city, including Mission Bay and St. Heliers. These beachfront suburbs aren’t far from Auckland’s city centre. Here, you can relax on the sand, take a dip in the water, and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the area. White sand beaches are just a drive away, making them accessible for a day trip. Pakiri Beach on the Matakana Coast features pristine beaches and horseback riding opportunities. Orewa Beach, located just 20 minutes north of Auckland, is a perfect spot for kayaking or windsurfing. Plus, there’s a playground ready for youngsters to enjoy.
Another free beach option in Auckland is black sand surf beaches, which offer an authentically New Zealand experience. Volcanic black sand lines the coastline, and rocky clifftops offer expansive views of this natural wonder. Muriwai Beach, Piha Beach, and Kariotahi Beach are some nearby black sand options. These beaches are also popular for surfing, thanks to their impressive waves.
Go on a Walk
Walking tracks and hiking trails dot the Auckland landscape, delivering a free way to explore the city on foot. So, lace up your shoes and select a trail that allows you to check out Auckland’s natural scenery.
For a look at Auckland’s city centre, go on one of the Auckland City Heritage Walks, which can take you through Midtown or Uptown, depending on your choice of walk. These tours allow you to take in the city’s architectural history. On the Uptown walk, check out the main public library and art gallery.
For a taste of nature, head to Hunua Ranges Regional Park for an easy 30-minute walk to check out Hunua Falls. You’ll start at the Wairoa River and traverse through a lush forest before catching a clear view of the falls. To hike a longer distance, try the Coast to Coast Walk, which gives you a unique opportunity to hike from one coast to another. This 16-kilometre walk stretches from Waitemata to Manukau. Along the way, you’ll meander through landscapes shaped by the Maori and encounter panoramic views of the landscape. Chances are you’ll catch plenty of local flora and fauna along the way.
Check out The Domain
For more budget-friendly fun, head to The Domain, the city’s oldest and largest park, which dates back to the 1880s. It boasts a unique design, as it was built around a site of a historic volcano. Today, the park features shady spots perfect for picnics and a pond teeming with ducks. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is also located at The Domain. Traverse through several gardens in The Domain, including Wintergarden. After a morning spent in the park, stroll to local restaurants to grab a bite to eat.
Visit the Manukau Heads Lighthouse
The Manukau Heads Lighthouse is one of the only accessible lighthouses in New Zealand. Best of all, there’s no cost to visit it, although donations are always welcome. Climb the 120 stairs of the lighthouse to take in expansive views of Manukau Harbour and the Auckland skyline. Look down into the surf below, and you might see Maui’s dolphin, one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. Guided visits are available, allowing you to learn more about the region’s history from a local historian.
As New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland has plenty to offer its visitors. Whether you’re exploring the city centre, discovering local parks and trails, or enjoying a day at the beach, you’re sure to stay busy. Many of these activities are free, which makes visiting Auckland in your motorhome hire New Zealand perfect for any budget. So, design an itinerary that inspires you and keeps you on budget as you road trip through New Zealand.