Top 12 Things To See & Do In Auckland On A Budget
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Last updated - 02:05 PM
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With lava fields and botanical gardens, luscious forests and black sandy beaches, Auckland is so diverse that it makes narrowing down the top attractions in the city very challenging.

Lucky for you, we’ve made planning for Auckland a lot easier with this guide. Below you will find twelve of the best places to visit and things to do in Auckland all sorted out by how much they cost.

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Cornwall Park


FREE

Located in the heart of Auckland, Cornwall Park is a beautiful sight to behold with its sprawling greenery, numerous picnic areas, paths for hiking, and there’s even a section set aside for farm animals. Before leaving the park, make sure you take in the views at One Tree Hill, a 182-metre volcanic peak which sits high in the park.

Mount Eden


FREE

This dormant volcano covered in grass is the highest peak in Auckland, and one of its most popular attractions. From the top of the hill you’ll get a great view of downtown Auckland, which is beautiful all day long, but particularly so during sunset and sunrise. 

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park


FREE

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is an ideal place for picturesque walks while you are in Piha. This park is over 40,000 acres and offers a great mix of black sandy beaches and a bustling forest life . You will be able to walk through beautiful trails of natural bushes, streams, and waterfalls all within a short period of time.

Piha Beach


FREE

Piha beach is the most famous beach for its black sand and a reputable surfing spot. While you are at the Piha beach you don’t want to miss out on one of their most iconic landmarks, the Lion Rock that sits right between Piha and North Piha beach. 

Devonport


FREE

This Auckland suburb is a great place to hang out for a day out. Get great views of Auckland’s skyline by doing the 10min walk up to the summit of Mt Victoria. For more spectacular views of the city, you can visit North Head, which is also known for its military tunnels, bunkers and gun emplacements. While in Devonport you can also frequent the area’s cafes and restaurants and also relax along the many quiet beaches.

Auckland Botanic Gardens


FREE

This garden is about 156 acres of land with plants that are both native and foreign to New Zealand. It makes for the perfect educational day trip for nature lovers looking to learn a thing or two from the experts working at the garden. With flowers and grass all over, the Auckland Botanic Gardens are the perfect place to have a picnic with gorgeous views.

Tiritiri Matangi Island


Return Trip Ferry To The Island: NZ$82

Return Trip Ferry To The Island With Tour: NZ$92

If you’ve come to New Zealand to see different types of wildlife, then you cannot miss out on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The island is a wildlife sanctuary for New Zealand’s native birds and it’s recognized as New Zealand's most successful conservation project. Besides the birds, there are several trails for hiking, beaches to relax on, and beautiful forests to explore. New Zealand’s oldest operating lighthouse also resides on this island.

Hobbiton


Hobbiton Movie Set Tour: NZ$89 

Event Banquet Tour: NZ$199

If you are a fan of the Lord Of The Rings or Hobbit, then you’ll probably come here without us having to convince you. But if you’re not, this is still a fun little day trip anyway. This otherworldly movie set, better known as the shire, is really something to behold with its lush greenery and miniature hobbit homes.

Sky Tower


Adult Admission: NZ$32

The Sky Tower is a significant part of the skyline and you definitely want to see it. You can pay and go up in the tower to get a view of the city from 220 meters high above the street level. Not only that, but you can also get panoramic 360˚ views up to 80 kilometers in every direction and spot key landmarks, volcanoes, and other historical locations within the greater Auckland area. 

Rangitoto Island


Return Trip Ferry To The Island: NZ$36

Return Trip Ferry To The Island With Tour: NZ$60

This volcanic island right off the coast of Auckland is great for backpackers looking to do a day trip with fun hikes and gorgeous views. Anyone who is coming here to hike has to do the Summit walk, which takes you through lava fields, caves, and the world's largest pohutukawa forest before reaching the peak. For non-hikers, there are guided tour options from Auckland that’ll take you to the summit in a 4WD road train. The views at the top are breathtaking. 

Waitomo Glowworm Caves


Tour Cost: NZ$38.50

Waitomo Glowworm Caves is one of the best natural attractions New Zealand can offer. This cave has been the most popular and world-renown tourist attraction spot for over 100 years for glowworm’s starry night illusions within the cave. Waitomo Glowworm Caves offer different ways of experiencing by boat, water rafting, or just simply by walking the trail within the cave. 

Waiheke Island


Return Trip Ferry To The Island: NZ$19-23

The island is only a 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland, which starts running early in the morning so that you can get a head start to your day, and is located around 10 miles away from the downtown. You can rent bikes and scooters and roam around the island or book tours, which includes ferry tickets for a round trip to and from the island, olive tasting, winery tours, food, and sightseeing. 

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