Must-do Free Experiences in New Zealand

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New Zealand has the free experiences to ensure every day is memorable. From hot waterfalls to marine reserves, there’s something for you.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Cape Reinga, Northland & Bay of Islands

By @misi_chan

Watch oceans collide at New Zealand's most northern tip.

Watch Oceans Battle at Cape Reinga

There are not many places where you can watch two oceans meet. And at 165 meters above sea level, nowhere offers a more spectacular way to do so than the lookout at Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of New Zealand. Photo by @misi_chan on Instagram

Snapper at Goat Island, Auckland

By Enderby

Head to Goat Island Marine Reserve to get up close to masses of colourful fish.

Chase the Fish at Goat Island

Actually, it’s not the island itself that’s the attraction – rather the waters that surround it. Okakari Point Marine Reserve (Goat Island) in Auckland was one of New Zealand’s first situated on a coastline already abundant in sea life. So put your snorkel and mask on and dive in.

Naturally Hot Kerosene Creek, Rotorua

By @petiteloudy

Relaxing in the hot water at Kerosene Creek.

Hot Spring at Kerosene Creek

35 kilometres south of Rotorua is Kerosene Creek, where a hot spring and freshwater stream meet, allowing you to bathe and relax all year round. Photo by @petiteloudy on Instagram.

Hot Water Beach, Coromandel

By @victorgag

Dig your own beach-spa while soaking in epic views of the Pacific at Hot Water Beach in The Coromandel.

Hot Pools at Hot Water Beach

The water at Hot Water Beach in The Coromandel is like a bath. Literally. As natural thermal springs run under the sand between the high- and low-tide mark. Where else can you dig your own hot pool? Photo by @victorgag on Instagram.

Rere Rockslide, Eastland

By Bare Kiwi

A 60-metre-long natural water slide is off the Wharekopae Road, just out of Gisborne. Rere Rockslide is as much fun as it looks in the photos.

Enjoy the Rere Rock Slide 

Just outside the iconic surf town of Gisborne, Rere Rock Slide is New Zealand’s first waterslide. Carved over thousands of years it’s become a stunning natural waterpark.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Ruapehu

By @semiamateurphotography

Crossing a stark and spectacular volcanic terrain, Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the best day walks in the world.

Hike a Live Volcano

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a challenging and fun one-day hike through Tongariro National Park, a dual World Heritage listed site. You’ll see lava flows, an active crater, steam vents, emerald coloured lakes and magnificent views making this an epic walking journey. If you’re willing to step up to the challenge you’ll be rewarded with some views that are impossible to get any other way. Along with bragging rights, of course. Photo by @semiamateurphotography on Instagram.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Fur Seals in Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury

By @mynameismell

Explore the Kaikoura coastline to discover plenty of seal pups and other marine mammals.

Meet the locals in Kaikoura

Kaikoura’s special talent is marine mammal encounters – whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the region. Take a cruise for epic whale watching or to swim with dolphins in their natural enviroment. Or enjoy coastal walks that lead will lead you to playful seals - the one to Ohau Falls is a popular spot. Photo by @mynameismell on Instagram.

Christchurch - Canterbury
A night spent stargazing, Christchurch - Canterbury

By @david.rexer

Campers take in the beautiful southern stars in the Aoraki/Mount Cook region.

Stargaze in Canterbury

Covering much of the Aoraki/Mount Cook Mackenzie region in Canterbury is an International Dark Sky Reserve, Southern Hemisphere’s sole reserve of its kind and one of only eight in the world. This a stargazing experience that is second to none. Extensive testing has proven the area has the darkest, and most spectacular night skies in New Zealand with the highest number of clear sky nights! Photo by @david.rexer on Instagram.

Lake Wanaka
The Blue Pools, Lake Wanaka

By @ellenprojects

The crystal clear blue water at Wanaka's Blue Pools

Reflect on Lake Wanaka’s Blue Pools

A short walk from the Haast Highway, in Mount Aspiring National Park, are the Blue Pools with some of the bluest water the world has to offer, it’s so clear you can often see New Zealand’s famous brown and rainbow trout migrating. Photo by @ellenprojects on Instagram.

Milford Sound Waterfall, Fiordland

By @hannahdanilu

A surreal waterfall in Fiordland.

Chase Fiordland’s Waterfalls

Mountains and waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords in the Fiordland region, renowned for its walks, and the Milford and Doubtful Sounds. For a sight that’s completely, utterly and unforgettably majestical. Which is officially a word in New Zealand. Almost. Photo by @hannahdanilu on Instagram.

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