Discover New Zealand’s hidden gems: 5 free activities to explore

Posted on 3 June 2024 By Tsoku Maela

New Zealand may not be the most budget-friendly destination, but some of its top attractions can put a dent in your wallet. However, fear not, as there are plenty of cost-free activities to enjoy while you explore this stunning country. Many of New Zealand’s iconic natural wonders are accessible via free hiking trails. This travel guide will introduce you to five incredible free things to do in New Zealand.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – AUGUST 07: Tourists take phoro in front of waharoa, Tane Te Waiora, on Matiu – Somes Island on August 07, 2023 in Wellington, New Zealand. Somes Island is the largest of three islands in the northern half of Wellington Harbour, New Zealand. (Photo by Maja Hitij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Journey to Cape Reinga in the Far North

If you find yourself on New Zealand’s North Island, a road trip to the Far North and Cape Reinga is a must. Take a short hike to the Cape Reinga Lighthouse and witness the mesmerizing collision of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea.

    • Location: Cape Reinga, North Island.

Hike to the Mirror Lake of Taranaki Among the numerous hiking opportunities in New Zealand, the Pouakai Tarns Track (Mangorei Track) stands out. This trail leads you through an ancient moss-covered forest within Egmont National Park, culminating at a mirror-like lake reflecting the majestic Mt. Taranaki.

    • Location: Egmont National Park, North Island.

Witness the First Light on the East Cape

Thanks to its location on the International Date Line, New Zealand is one of the first places on Earth to welcome a new day. To mark this special moment, head to the iconic East Cape Lighthouse in Gisborne.

    • Location: Gisborne, North Island.

Marvel at the Crystal-Clear Pools of Te Waikoropupū Springs

Te Waikoropupū Springs, the largest freshwater spring in New Zealand, offers a stunning view through a short walk around its brilliantly clear waters. If you’re on the North Island, you can also find similar natural beauty at the Blue Spring on the Te Waihou Walkway in Putaruru.

    • Location: Takaka, South Island.

Visit the Breathtaking Huka Falls

Huka Falls not only ranks as the most-visited natural attraction in New Zealand, but it’s also completely free to visit. Experience the tumultuous rapids formed by the Waikato River as it squeezes through a narrow canyon, ultimately culminating in a powerful waterfall.

    • Location: Taupo, North Island.

Embrace these incredible free activities to make the most of your New Zealand adventure without breaking the bank. Whether you’re drawn to captivating landscapes, natural wonders, or unique cultural experiences, these cost-free options will undoubtedly enrich your journey in this enchanting country.

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