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7 Amazing Things You Can Do In New Zealand That Are Completely Free Of Charge

You don't have to spend a lot of cash to enjoy a holiday of a lifetime!

Cover image via @lenxinouie/Instagram @ninjahousewife/Instagram

New Zealand is a dream holiday destination, but for many Malaysians, it can seem a little expensive

While the paid activities such as kayaking with seals, whale watching, and bungee jumping are incredible, there are actually lots of other amazing experiences you can enjoy for free!

Click here for the full 8D7N New Zealand itinerary.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

Image via @lenxinouie/Instagram

A great way to enjoy your holiday is by taking your time, going for walks, and enjoying your surroundings. New Zealand truly is just breathtaking.

It all comes down to Tiaki.

"The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand, for now and for future generations. By following the Tiaki Promise, you are making a commitment to New Zealand. To act as a guardian, protecting and preserving our home." 

You can see the promise of Tiaki being upheld by locals (and tourists) everywhere you go, and it's honestly the best thing about New Zealand.

Here are 7 must-do activities you can do for free in New Zealand:

1. Play, picnic, and stroll around public parks, national parks, and botanic gardens

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Image via SAYS

New Zealand is full beautiful green spaces in the form of public parks, national parks, and botanic gardens. 

Nature is treasured and preserved here, with everyone doing their part to keep things clean in support of Tiaki. 

Stretch your legs, throw a frisbee, read a book under the shade of the trees, have a little picnic, or go on a walking trail. Whatever you choose to do, I guarantee you'll fall in love with the natural heritage, forests, wildlife, and landscapes.

The Avon River with the Christchurch Botanic Gardens on the right and Hagley Park on the left.

Image via SAYS

2. Go on the hunt for unique street art

Image via SAYS

There are murals, street art, and sculptures almost everywhere you look in New Zealand. From big cities like Canterbury to small seaside towns like Kaikoura, the country celebrates art and culture like no other.

So go ahead and enjoy the kiwi street art scene! Take a walk and discover hidden murals, bold art statements, and more.

Wellington, in particular, is bursting with art. There's colour and creativity at every corner!

Image via SAYS

3. Walk along the Wellington Waterfront and enjoy a heritage trail

Image via SAYS

Wandering around the Wellington Waterfront is a must-do! The waters are clear blue and the views are just stunning. You'll love the fresh air and chill winds.

For added fun, take one of the Heritage Trails. You'll likely spot the signs explaining landmarks while you walk, but you can also download the Heritage Trail booklets online, or pick up a physical booklet from the Waterfront Project Information Centre for free. Just follow the path, enjoy the views, and learn about Wellington's history!

Plus, there's the Wellington Pop-up Village where you can browse through local artisanal goods, such as woolly slippers, handmade jewellery, fashion and accessories, crafts and more.

4. Head to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa for interactive exhibitions and more

Image via Denizen

This national museum is free of charge and open daily. It's also enormous with over 20 different exhibitions running concurrently, covering topics such as art, nature, Maori history, technology, and so much more.

Te Papa is AMAZING. You'll definitely want to spend an entire weekend here. The exhibits are interactive and fun, as well as educational and enlightening.

Image via Te Papa

Must-see exhibits include:

  • Te Taiao Nature - Follow the footsteps of Maui the explorer to meet the weird and wonderful creatures of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War - featuring giant lifelike sculptures created by the famed Weta Workshops, 3D maps and projections, and a range of interactive experiences.
  • Toi Art - the national art collection, which includes contemporary pieces, photography, portraits, and more. 

5. Take in all the sweeping landscapes and gorgeous scenery

Lake Wanaka Lookout

Image via @lenxinouie/Instagram

New Zealand truly is a beautiful country. You'll see snow-capped mountains, lush subtropical greenery, crystal clear waters, and so much rugged, untouched, natural land. 

Towns and cities are carefully designed to work with nature and respect wildlife. As a result of this, natural beauty is always right at your doorstep. You don't even have to do much or go far, to enjoy the views.

Image via SAYS

6. Have a lazy beach day and get your toes wet

Image via SAYS

There's around 15,000km of coastline in New Zealand, and with that comes a plethora of stunning beaches, open to the public for free. 

From pristine golden sands to unique rock formations, and hot water beaches (where natural hot springs literally run below the sand's surface) to rugged coastal cliffs, you will be spoiled for choice. Every beach has its own charm.

While walking along Kaikoura Beach and enjoying the view of the mountains, we were suddenly hushed by our guide because... there was a fur seal sunbathing on the beach! Can you spot him?

Image via SAYS

7. Curl up with a good book at a public library

Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre, Auckland

Image via Arthitectural

Public libraries are free for everyone. Bright, cozy, and welcoming, it's a great place to relax and hang out.

Aside from a huge collection of books and magazines for you to read and browse at your pleasure, these libraries also provide free Wi-Fi, public computers, printing and photocopying services, baby changing stations, and more.

The New Brighton Library has a row of armchairs facing the pier, beach, and open sea. It's just the best.

New Brighton Library, Christchurch

Image via @lok.alice/Instagram

It doesn't matter if you're in a big city, small town, or out in open nature. New Zealand is absolutely stunning and offers so many ways to enjoy its beauty without breaking the bank.

Get more information on how to experience 100% Pure New Zealand here!

Get a detailed account of our New Zealand experience:

Here's what it's like to fly to New Zealand via Singapore:

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