50 things to do in Auckland for under $20by Kate Richards
Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read
Feeling the pinch? Here’s some ways to enjoy Auckland on the cheap.
- Grab a movie ticket for only $5 every Wednesday at Auckland’s home of independent film, Academy Cinemas. There’s a different movie on special almost every week.
- Don an eye patch for a round of mini golf at Treasure Island. Located next to Auckland Airport, it costs only $14 per person and is cheaper still for kids. The eye patch should make your game last longer than usual.
- Test your skill on the basketball hoops at Time Zone You might even win a prize.
- Swim lengths at the Parnell Baths.
- Book yourself in for a discount spa treatment at any of Elite beauty school’s client days.
- Eat your way through Metro’s Top 50 Cheap Eats list.
- Educate yourself at Auckland Museum – the volcano room on the first floor is particularly thrilling.
- Saturday is free sample day at Farro Fresh.
- Grab a scoop from the Willy Wonka of ice cream chefs, Giapo Grazioli.
- Go strawberry picking in Kumeu – bonus points if you can eat more in the field than you take home with you.
- Attend a Thursday lunchtime learning session at Griffiths Gardens in the central city, and help make our city the most bee-friendly place in the world.
- Get lost in the Odyssey Sensory Maze – it’s a truly weird experience.
- Travel to Birkenhead by ferry, and have dinner at local restaurant and Top 50 Cheap Eat Yummy Korean BBQ.
- Borrow a book from Auckland central library and read it under the shade of the trees in Albert Park.
- Get your groove on – and your buns toned – with an aqua aerobics class – 7pm on Tuesday and Thursday nights at Mt Albert Aquatic Centre.
- Volunteer for a few hours at the SPCA animal village.
- Feel cultured while admiring the art at the TSB Wallace Arts Centre. Follow with a coffee and a cake at Homestead cafe.
- Catch a gig on K’Rd. There are often cheap door sales for shows at Whammy, Wine Cellar, or Galatos.
- The early bird catches the worm, they say. Why not head to an alcohol-free morning rave? Coffee included!
- Mosey round Auckland Art Gallery – with recent cuts to their funding, your koha could help keep them alive.
- Hit Clip and Climb on Dominion Road one rainy afternoon.
- SNORT so hard that snot comes out of your nose, with Friday night comedy at The Basement Theatre for $12.
- Get one of the best views of the city from the top of a double-decker bus as it zooms across the Harbour Bridge.
- Visit Fo Guang Shan Temple and feel at peace.
- Practise your swing at one of Auckland’s many driving ranges, where you can get a bucket of balls for as little as $4.
- Cycle the coloured paths of the newly built Waterview connection.
- Go bowling.
- Soak until you resemble a prune at Parakai Springs, one of Auckland’s only natural geothermal pools.
- Enjoy a romantic stroll through Western Springs park ─ just keep clear of the swans.
- Share a doughnut and a yarn at Little and Friday.
- Visit Pakuranga’s Te Tuhi gallery before eating a spicy-sour laksa at Small Fry, the gallery cafe.
- Wash and dry your clothes at a local laundromat. It’s the most fun you can have for a couple of dollars.
- Take a picnic to Ambury Farm, and then take selfies with all the cute animals there.
- Chuck on some flares and go to a Saturday night roller skate party. Mention the online ad here, for free skate hire.
- Check out the gannet colony from the Muriwai viewing platform.
- Browse the knick-knacks at Junk and Disorderly then have a bite at nearby Dumpling Ace.
- Learn about the history of Crown Lynn pottery at Te Toi Uku, open weekdays from 10am-4pm.
- Choose ridiculous outfits for your friends to try on at Look Sharp then go Insta-crazy taking photos of each other.
- Everyone knows the best opshops are in Glen Innes. Follow your shopping spree with some of the best fish and chips in the city from Marsic Brothers which lives there too.
- Ride a miniature steam train at Manukau Live Steamers for only $2 every Sunday, weather permitting. Check their Facebook to see if they’re running.
- For $10, your kids can burn off some steam in Whoa Studios multi-million dollar playground while you drink coffee inside and pretend to be child-free.
- Put on a show at Rock Bar – $30 per hour for four people – where the music will drown out your bad singing and the cheap Smirnoff Ices will drown out your shame.
- Visit one of Auckland’s most impressive marine reserves, Goat Island.
- Get your brows tamed for $5 at St Lukes Mall.
- Stock up on veges at a weekend farmers market and cook lunch for a friend.
- Hire a kayak or stand-up paddle board and cruise on the waves in Mission Bay.
- Walk the Auckland Domain sculpture trail and admire works by some of New Zealand’s leading artists.
- Register online to visit Gibbs Farm – home to one of New Zealand’s largest private art collections – it’s free.
- $20 gets you a game of lawn bowls, a burger, and a scoop of fries every Friday night from October-April at Royal Oak Bowls.
- Chill on the beanbags in Takutai Square, or on the lawn in Silo Park, and soak up some rays.
*Our previous story has been updated
Julien Albe and Matthieu Gosset's new venture Ambler has been a long time coming.Read more
The rape and murder of a young comedian in Melbourne this week sparked outrage - fuelled by police telling women to "stay safe".Read more
If Jacinda Ardern was hoping for an easy slide into maternity leave, her main coalition partner wasn't helping her.Read more
As many as 100,000 New Zealanders, many of them undiagnosed, are afflicted by coeliac disease.Read more
The PM can happily go off on maternity leave knowing there is a cast of colourful and capable people to fill the gap — most notably Winston Peters.Read more
This year marks a century since a flu pandemic killed 9000 NZers. Three more such plagues have swept the world since then – and another is inevitable.Read more