The Cheapest Things to Do in New Zealand
New Zealand can be a darn expensive country so there’s no shame in wanting to add a few of the cheapest activities to your itinerary. Choose from some ultra-budget experiences with these top 10 activities for under $10 in New Zealand.
For more budget planning, check out How Much Does it Cost to Travel New Zealand? and The Travel Guide to New Zealand on a Budget. Or even increase your budget and check out the 20 Activities Under $20 in New Zealand.
1. See a Kiwi Bird and Other Native Birds
Most would think you’d have to be lucky on a night walk in the forest to see these elusive nocturnal birds. Well, the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre in Whangarei is another option. For a donation, you could have the chance to meet the centre’s one-legged kiwi, as well as other native birds in rehabilitation before being released back into the wild.
Location: Whangarei, North Island. Check out all of the locations in Where to See Kiwi Birds in New Zealand.
2. Do Some Wine Tasting
New Zealand has several wine regions with wineries open for tastings. To keep the wine tasting experience under NZ$10, simply appoint a designated driver and enjoy tastings for free or around NZ$5. Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine region, is a good go-to for this, where free tastings at Brancott, Hunters, No1 Family Estate and Villa Maria combined with other wineries will help keep the costs low.
Location: Blenheim, South Island. Check out more wine regions in the 9 Best Winery Tours in New Zealand.
3. Check Out Bubbling Mud and Hot Springs at a Free or Cheap Geothermal Park
While New Zealand’s most famous geothermal parks tend to be more than NZ$30, there are a few hidden gems around the country that you can enjoy for free or, at least, very very cheap. Visit Craters of the Moon in Taupo for around NZ$8 or walk around a free geothermal park, like Kuirau Park in Rotorua or the Tokaanu Thermal Walk in Turangi.
Location: Taupo, Rotorua or Turangi, North Island. See more geothermal hotspots in the 8 Best Geothermal Parks in New Zealand.
4. Relax in Some Cheap Hot Pools
Sure, there are a lot of expensive hot pools complexes in New Zealand, but you can still experience that mineral hot springs goodness at some of the local hangouts. Try the Tokaanu Thermal Pools in Turangi, Omokoroa hot pools at the Omokoroa Kiwi Holiday Park or Awakeri Hot Springs near Whakatane.
Location: Turangi, Omokoroa and Whakatane, North Island. See the locations of other hot pools in the 10 Best Hot Pools in New Zealand.
5. Check Out Steampunk HQ
Steampunk is a sci-fi genre with Victorian influences, such as steam-powered technology, and Oamaru loves it! With that, the town on the coast of Otago on the South Island has its very own Steampunk HQ filled with all sorts of creative inventions. Check it out for NZ$10!
Location: Oamaru, South Island. Check out more attractions on the cheap in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Oamaru.
6. See a Waterfall, Maori Archeological Sites, Volcanic Formations and More at Washpen Falls
One of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets (until now), Washpen Falls is a private walk through one of the most fascinating landscapes. Pick up a point-of-interest guide and follow the walkway to volcanic remnants, Maori archaeological sites, viewpoints, a lagoon with a rowing boat and, of course, a waterfall.
Location: Methven, South Island. Plan more items for the itinerary in the 10 Best Things to Do in Methven.
7. Ride the Historic Wellington Cable Car
Travel in style from the city centre streets of New Zealand’s capital to the hilltops of the Wellington Botanic Gardens on the Wellington Cable Car! All car rides are under NZ$10 and also take you to the free Cable Car Museum, which you can learn more about in the 12 Free Art Galleries & Museums in Wellington.
Location: Wellington, North Island. For more activities in the area, see the 21 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Wellington.
8. Meet the Bearded Miners of Reefton
Certainly one of the more unorthodox things to do in New Zealand for under $10, the Bearded Miners of Reefton will show you their gold mining ways. For a gold coin donation, try gold panning, take a tour of their shack, or listen to stories over a cup of tea… It’s not really a well-organised thing, so just show up and see what happens!
Location: Reefton, South Island. Learn more about the experience in the 15 Best Things to Do in Reefton.
9. Tour a Distillery in Golden Bay
While you have to pay quite a bit more for brewery and winery tours in New Zealand, distillery tours are certainly more affordable in Golden Bay. The Dancing Sands Distillery in Takaka offers a tour to learn about the distilling process, as well as free tastings. Find out more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Takaka, South Island. Plan more activities with the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Takaka.
10. Catch a Comedy Show in the City
Evening entertainment in New Zealand isn’t too expensive, so pop along and experience the Kiwi humour. Admission for under NZ$10 can be found in Auckland‘s Snort LIVE at the Basement Theatre. We also like Raw Meat comedy nights at The Fringe Bar in Wellington.
Location: Auckland or Wellington, North Island.
More Activities Under $10 in New Zealand (i.e. The Free Stuff)
That’s it for the things to do for under $10 in New Zealand. Do you know what else you can find for under $10 in New Zealand? Free things to do! Check out the following lists for some of our favourites: