Top Five Free Attractions to Visit in Auckland
Travel is good for the soul – but it can be hard on the wallet! Paying for additional admission tickets to local attractions can certainly start to add up, so we’ve put together a selection of budget-friendly attractions and experiences with no admission fees to add to your Auckland itinerary, so you can stretch your travel budget further.
A 5-minute walk down the hill from the Auckland Museum stop sits one of Auckland’s crown jewels. The Wintergardens consists of two large Victorian-style greenhouses, where you can see rare and exotic plants in every season, including the unique corpse flower and a sizable collection of chrysanthemums in an ever-changing display. Built in 1913, the complex also features an outdoor quarry planted with New Zealand ferns.
While one of the greenhouses is heated and features lush tropical plants, the other showcases more temperate flora that change with the seasons, ensuring no two visits are ever quite the same.
When visiting the heart of the city, the waterfront is definitely not to be missed. Perfect for exploring and people-watching, the Viaduct Harbour and nearby Wynyard Quarter and Silo Park are conveniently located a short walk away from our Downtown Auckland stop.
The six towering silos that give the park its name were formerly used as cement storage tanks, but the area has since been revitalised and converted into an inviting public space that often hosts free events and outdoor movies throughout the summer. Wynyard Quarter and the Viaduct Harbour are also right next door and constantly humming with activity. Watch the yachts come and go while enjoying a drink, or whisper secrets in the talking funnels and give the Playline a try!
Filled with top Auckland art galleries, weekend markets, and some of the city’s best restaurants, Parnell offers a distinctive experience filled with charming laneways to explore. Parnell Village was the brainchild of Les Harvey, who restored this district in the 1970s using all recycled materials, giving the area a whimsical charm unlike anywhere else in Auckland. Plus, if you’re looking to pick up some souvenirs to take home, Parnell is filled with quality stores to find plenty of unique gifts.
To get the full experience, we suggest getting off at the Holy Trinity Cathedral stop, walking downhill through Parnell, looping around to the famous Parnell Rose Gardens, and soaking in the views of the Hauraki Gulf along the way.
If you’re looking for a beautiful place to have a picnic, or just watch the world go by on a sunny day, Bastion Point is definitely worth a visit. The reserve contains tranquil and colourful gardens to explore, and offers breathtaking views of Rangitoto Island and the Waitematā Harbour, as well as the city skyline, and the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the distance, making it perfect for keen landscape photographers!
If you feel like stretching your legs, we recommend walking downhill from our Bastion Point stop to Mission Bay; grab an ice cream or coffee (depending on the season!), and stroll along the waterfront while you enjoy the ocean breeze.
Ask anyone about the Auckland CBD, and they’ll certainly mention Queen Street. Take a stroll down Auckland’s famous main street to explore all the fantastic attractions, shops, and restaurants available right in the centre of the city. There is a lot to see, so make sure you’ve got some comfortable shoes, as you never know what you’ll see along the route.