Budget Travel

How you can come with an Auckland adventure on a tight budget

Auckland may be the gateway to Nz for many travelers, and there's a huge amount to see and do in the country's largest city. But, like the remainder of New Zealand, it will be isn't easiest spot to travel on a tight budget. Accommodation, in particular, could be expensive and eating at restaurants for each meal will certainly reduce your trip budget.

However, there are lots of affordable as well as free attractions in Auckland with just a little local know-how, it's definitely possible to see the city having to break the bank. Here are a few tips for driving Auckland on a tight budget.

Visit in February or March for lower prices

Auckland is surely a summer city and also the high season for tourism runs from mid-December to the end of January. This coincides using the summer school holidays in Nz and it's an especially expensive time to travel around the country. Schools usually go back in late January or early February, so visit following the holidays for cheaper accommodation and transport.

Late February and March are lovely months to visit the town – the elements is warm and not as humid because the peak summertime, and accommodation cost is a little cheaper. There's also many free events to enjoy at this time of the year, including free music performances and outdoor movie screenings at Auckland's beautiful parks and beaches.

Seek out accommodation with a kitchen

Eating out for each meal in Auckland is a surefire way to burn through your budget, so try to eat set for at least some meals on your stay. The easiest method to do that would be to remain in accommodation with a kitchen – either a hostel having a shared kitchen or an Airbnb rental or serviced apartment.

Groceries and cooking ingredients are much more affordable than restaurant prices, so pop to the local supermarket and prepare some of your meals in your own home. If you prefer in which to stay expensive hotels, try to look for one with breakfast included in the rate. Usually the costs are very little a lot more than room-only rates, and also the cost of buying breakfast every day in Auckland (simply coffee along with a muffin) can quickly add up.

Head to Dominion Rd or Sandringham for delicious, cheap eats

Some of Auckland's best meals are also some of the very most affordable. Running southwest of the center towards Mt Eden, Dominion Road is Auckland's version of Chinatown, and it's a good option to sample delicious and authentic Chinese food for a very affordable price. You'll find food from many different parts of China represented on Dominion Road; the eateries are often simple, but the quality of dishes speaks for itself.

Regardless of where you're remaining in Auckland, you are able to usually find good Asian food somewhere close by, and usually for a reasonable price. For nice Indian food, go to the district of Sandringham, not far from Dominion Road.

The popular food markets that go around through various suburbs within the city will also be great places to obtain food at a less expensive price. The roving Auckland Night Market, locked in different locations on different days of a few days, is a good place to start.

Get lunch close to the university

If you're remaining in the town, eat lunch where the students do. There several cafes and other small eateries in High St, Chancery Square and Lorne St in the city center that provide good lunch deals at bargain prices. Think dumplings, noodles or tacos, all easy to take away and eat inside a nearby park – nearby Albert Park is a great option. There's also several Asian restaurants in these areas that serve authentic Asian food at pocket-friendly prices.

Enjoy Auckland's natural features for free

Many of Auckland's best and most popular attractions are free. The town has a beautiful coastal location and you may find amazing views by simply walking up any hill (or dormant volcano). Grab an open-air picnic from a local grocery or deli and enjoy the better of exactly what the city provides – the outside on a sunny, summer day.

For some of Auckland's best views, go to the impressive crater at Mt Eden just for the price of a bus ride from the center. If the weather's warm, take a picnic to Cornwall Park atop One Tree Hill, or spend a few hours relaxing at the beach – there are many to choose from around Auckland and all sorts of are easily accessible in the city center.

Get a HOP card to renegotiate deals on public transport

If you're spending a couple of days in Auckland, it can save you a lot by using trains and buses to obtain around the city. Just buy an Auckland Transport HOP card when you arrive within the city – they're offered by many shops or from Auckland Transport customer services centers dotted around the city. HOP cards cost NZ$10 (US$6.75) and you may then add credit when needed, gaining a 20% (or greater) discount on standard bus, train and ferry fares in Auckland, excluding the SkyBus from the airport and also the ferry to Waiheke Island.

HOP cards are prepaid and you may transfer between Auckland Transport buses, trains and ferries and pay just one fare over the zones you're traveling through. To keep your each day pass for NZ$18 (US$12) to visit as much as you want on trains, buses and ferries in the city.

Take the red bus around the city center

If you'll be spending much of your time in the town center throughout the day, then using the red CityLink bus is a superb way to go. Public transit service follows a circuit with the inner city between 8am and midnight and also the fare is just NZ$1 (US$0.67), but you can travel free of charge should you transfer from another bus or train using a HOP card. It's a good option when you want a rest from walking, however the routes aren't always probably the most direct and you will still need pay to travel further from the city center.

Explore Auckland on foot

There are a few stunning walks in Auckland, so don't feel obliged to go everywhere by public transport. The town has a quantity of rewarding walkways restricted to pedestrians, offering a pleasantly traffic-free method of getting around the city. What lengths you walk can be you; if you're up for a challenge, try the Coast-to-Coast walkway that takes you against Auckland city, through Auckland Domain and Cornwall Park, to Manukau Harbour.

For quite a and accessible option starting in the middle, just walk across the harbor. You can go west past Silo Park along Westhaven to the foot from the Harbour Bridge (and onto Ponsonby for supper if the fancy goes). Alternatively, go east and walk along Tamaki Drive to popular Mission Bay – a good spot to have fish and chips (another cheap eat). Should you don't wish to repeat the walk in reverse, just take a bus or Uber to the city.

Cruise the harbor at a lower price with the Maritime Museum

The Nz Maritime Museum in downtown Auckland offers what is probably the cheapest harbor cruise in the city. Just NZ$53 (US$36) gets you a cruise around Auckland Harbour in a historical boat, in addition to admission to the museum. You'll pay a lot more for any cruise having a boat operator at the harbor. Getting out around the water is a wonderful way to see Auckland from a different perspective, and also the bobbing boats everywhere provides you with an inkling as to why Auckland is usually called the Town of Sails.

Visit Auckland Museum on ANZAC Day

If you find yourself in Auckland in April, head to Auckland Museum on ANZAC Day (25 April). About this important memorial day for that Kiwi and Australian troops who died operating in The first world war, admission to the museum is free, and there's an attractive dawn ceremony away from museum in Auckland Domain park at sunrise, with smaller ceremonies taking place elsewhere in the city.

Daily budget

  • Hostel room: NZ$20 (US$13.50) for a bed in a dorm, NZ$70 (US$47) for any private room,
  • Basic room for two: NZ$150 -250 (US$101 -169)
  • Self-catering apartment (including Airbnb): NZ$150 -200 (US$101 -135)
  • Public transport ticket: NZ$18 (US$12) for any day pass, NZ$10 (US$6.75) for any HOP card
  • Coffee: NZ$4.50 (US$3)
  • Sandwich: NZ$12 (US$8)
  • Dinner for 2: NZ$80 (US$54)
  • Beer/pint in the bar: NZ$11 (US$7.50)

Auckland is on our 2022 Best of Travel list. For additional stories from some of the world's most exciting destinations click here.

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