This post is shared in collaboration with One Road at a Time ~
New Zealand is a country of beautiful landscapes, including rolling hillsides, volcanic plateau, spectacular fjords, picturesque glaciers, rugged mountains, and miles of coastline with picture-perfect sandy white beaches. Whether you’re a student, backpacker or tourist on a budget, you can travel around New Zealand without breaking the bank.
There are endless opportunities to enjoy the country’s beautiful natural attractions and cultural landmarks for little or no cost. If you’re seeking to cut expenses for your accommodations, consider negotiating a deal to exchange some labour for your room at a hostel. Some hostels will allow you to barter your labour for a free place to stay. Another alternative is to apply for a hostel job before you leave for New Zealand. You can find job listings at backpack.co.nz and hostelworld.com.
1. Many of the best adventures in New Zealand don’t cost a penny. Climb the unique landscape at one of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones while enjoying amazing views. The One Tree Hill volcano is perched in the grassy gardens and parkland of Cornwall Park. At its highest point, you’ll find the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell, the founding father of Auckland. There are also more than 150 constructed terraces around three Maori Pa fortifications. It’s one of the largest pre-historic forts on the planet. Along the hike, you’ll spy the beautiful cherry blossoms and sheep grazing on the land. North Head juts out into the Waitemata Harbour and offers panoramic vistas of the city and islands of the gulf. There are amazing tunnels, fortifications and gun emplacements to explore.
2. On the Coromandel, Hot Water Beach offers hours of free fun. You can dig your own hot pool just steps from the Pacific Ocean. On either side of low tide, naturally heated mineral water bubbles up from the earth for a relaxing dip. Under the headland, you’ll find secluded areas for basking in the sun. Hot Water Beach also has easterly swells for some great surfing. Surrounded by native bush, there’s a spectacular hot waterfall at Kerosene Creek right at Hot Water Beach.
3. Grab a free brochure from the i-SITE and stroll the city of Napier in North Island. Following a massive earthquake in 1931, the city of Napier was nearly destroyed and had to be rebuilt. The newer buildings reflect the architectural styles of the era, including Spanish mission, art deco and stripped classical. The city is exemplary of New Zealand character with Maori koru and zigzags.
4. Visit the popular museums in North Island like the Hunderwasser Art Toilets Museum and the Te Papa Museum for free. You’ll discover unique art at Hunderwasser with living trees integrated into designs, grass roofs, bottle glass windows and cobblestone flooring. The Te Papa Museum showcases six floors of New Zealand’s art, history and Maori culture. Not only is this museum free, it’s pure fun. Get face to face with colossal squid in the Discovery Centre or get all shook up in the Earthquake House. At the Our Space Centre, you can enjoy an adventure of adrenalin-filled motion simulator rides.
5. In Queenstown, there are always free events for entertainment. From film festivals and farmer’s markets to ski competitions and extreme sports tournaments, there’s always something going on. Many of the pubs and bars also host Kiwi and international musicians. Whether you prefer a head-banging metal gig or some quiet jazz, you can take advantage of all the free music.
6. At the Tunnel Beach walkway, you can hike your way to Tunnel Beach. The hike takes about an hour and offers great views of high cliffs and the sculpted coastline. It was hand carved by pioneers in the 1870s. As well as stunning scenery, you can discover great finds like fossils and even bones of extinct whales. At the end of your journey, you can relax in the talcum-powdered sands or take a cooling swim in the beach waters.
Getting around in New Zealand with a rental car is a great way to travel. You get to pick and choose which destination sparks your interest, while avoiding heavily trafficked areas. In addition to enjoying all the freebies that New Zealand has to offer, you’ll enjoy the great car rental deals at Europcar.