New Zealand. A country where no location is more than 128 km from the ocean and which has a landscape with mountainous peaks, volcanic craters, hobbits, black sandy beaches, geysers, forest and lakes. There is SO much natural goodness in New Zealand that it can actually be quite an affordable country to explore (if you factor out the skydives, bungy jumping and jager bombs). So tantalise those travel buds of yours, we have prepared a list of 51 FREE things to do in New Zealand.


1. Visit the historic site of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in Paihia, Bay of Islands

2. Sandboard the dunes in Cape Reinga

3. Take a walk to the Cape Reinga Lighthouse

4. Hug New Zealand's largest living Kauri tree - Ta ne Mahuta

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

By User:Gadfium (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsBy User:Gadfium (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


5. Walk to the top of Mt Eden - Auckland's active volcano

6. Visit the Auckland Art Gallery

7. Chill in Auckland's Parnell Gardens

8. Check out the hipster shops and cafes in Ponsonby

9. Head out to Piha Beach and take a walk on one of New Zealand's famous black sandy beaches

10. Drive 20 mins out of Auckland to explore the waterfalls and swimming holes of Waitakere Ranges

11. Head west to the abandoned gold mining caves along the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway

12. Head to The Coromandel and dig your own hot pool at Hahei's Hot Water Beach

13. Don't forget to explore Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

Micknz at English Wikipedia [GFDL or CC BY 3.0]


15. Ignore the 'egg smell' and explore Rotorua's bubbling mud pools at Kuirau Park

14. Visit the Maori Village of Ohinemutu

16. Soak in the hot streams and waterfalls at Kerosene Creek

17. Head way out east of Rotorua and be the first person in the world to see the sunrise in Gisborne

Kuirau Park Rotorua

Michal Klajban [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons


18. Explore the limestone caves along the Ruakuri Scenic Walk


19. Snap a selfie at Huka Falls - New Zealand's most photographed natural attraction

20. Relax in the hot thermal springs at Taupo's natural Spa Park

21. Hike to Mead Wall at Mount Ruapehu

Huka Falls



22. Visit the National Tattoo Museum

23. Make the most of a free parliament "Beehive" building tour

24. Chill by Oriental Bay

26. Enjoy 360 degree views of Wellington from the top of Mount Victoria

25. Visit New Zealand's GREATEST (AND FREE) Museum - Te Papa

27. Explore Wellington's cultural Cuba Street

28. Head to Weta Cave - home of the props and costumes used in Lord of the Rings, King Kong & many other famous films


Check out 50 Free Things to Do in Wellington


The view from Mt Victoria



29. Visit one of the many wineries that offer free wine tastings


30. Explore the stunning beaches on one of the many walking trails through Abel Tasman National Park


31. Take some photos at Lake Matheson - a stunning mirror lake

32. Stop by the basin of the enormous Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers

33. If you have a car - a visit to one of the many tracks throughout the Fiordland & National Park is a must!

34. Hike through Mount Aspiring National Park


35. Take a walk to the top of Mt Iron for views over Lake Wanaka

36. Visit the Blue Pools

37. Follow the walking trail along Lake Wanaka for some amazing photo opportunities

Lake Wanaka & Mt Aspiring



38. Start early and explore the falls, creeks and forest along the 6 hour Ben Lomond Track

39. Re-enact scenes from Lord of the Rings in Glenorchy

40. Play a game of Frisbee Golf

41. Visit the world's longest bra fence in Cardrona Valley

42. People watch alongside Lake Wakatipu

43. Walk to the top of Queenstown Hill

The Bra Fence



44. Take a 'refreshing' dip in the stunning Lake Tekapo

45. Hike one of the many trails around New Zealand's tallest mountain - Mt Cook


46. Make your way up the world's steepest street

47. North of Dunedin stop by the weird and iconic Moeraki Boulders

48. Walk the stunning Tunnel Beach walkway 


49. Visit Re-Start Mall - a mall made of shipping tins that were brought in following the Christchurch Earthquake


50. Spot for Dolphins and Seals

51. Visit the unique black pebble beach

We hope these 51 free things to do in New Zealand keeps you occupied but if not make sure you also read our Backpacking Guide to New Zealand for more tips on things to do and places to see.
Happy Travels!

Main image: By Andrew Harvey, CC BY 3.0, Link

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