Must-do Free Experiences in New Zealand

From stunning beaches and natural hot springs, to flowing waterfalls and epic forest tracks, New Zealand has endless free experiences for you to discover.

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

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

By @misi_chan

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

Northland & Bay of Islands

Northland & Bay of Islands

Explore Northland and the Bay of Islands

Highlights

  • The Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Dune surfing on Ninety Mile Beach
  • Dolphin encounters

Proximity

  • By car: 5hr 40min from Auckland Central
  • By car: 2hr 45min from Paihia, Bay of Islands

A 360 view fit for a King

Tapeka Point truly is a local secret. Take the easy climb up to the top, and treat yourself to panoramic views of the Bay of Islands, from Cape Wiwiki in the north to Rakaumangamanga in the south-east.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Tapeka Point, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Matt Crawford

Highlights

  • 1km north of historic Russell township
  • Panoramic views
  • Easy 15 minute walk
Northland & Bay of Islands

Northland & Bay of Islands

Explore Northland and the Bay of Islands 

A natural bathing experience like no other

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. 

Rotorua
Kerosene Creek , Rotorua

By Matt Crawford

Highlights

  • Whakarewarewa Forest trails
  • The Buried Village of Te Wairoa
  • Scenic flights to White Island
Rotorua

Rotorua

Discover Rotorua 

Earn the view from Queenstown Hill

The 360 degree view from atop Queenstown Hill is well worth the uphill climb. Treat yourself to panoramic views out over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and beyond to the Remarkables. 

Queenstown
Queenstown Hill, Queenstown

By Matt Crawford

Highlights

  • 500-meter climb
  • to the summit of Te Tapu-nui
  • Panoramic views out over Queenstown
Queenstown

Queenstown

Explore Queenstown

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.

Eastland
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.

Eastland

Eastland

Explore Eastland

Highlights

  • Top notch surf beaches
  • Wine trail - Chardonnay is the specialty
  • Maori culture and heritage

Proximity

  • By car: 3hr 30 min from Rotorua
  • By plane: 1hr from Auckland

Hike an active 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.

Ruapehu
Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Ruapehu

By Graeme Murray

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Ruapehu

Ruapehu

Discover Ruapehu

Highlights

  • Emerald lakes
  • Panoramic views
  • Volcanic craters and lava flows

Proximity

  • By car: 10 mins from Turangi
  • By car: 45 min from Ohakune/Taupo
  • By car: 4hr 15min from Wellington Central

Visit Auckland's wild West Coast

With picturesque waterfalls and spectacular black-sand beaches, Auckland’s West Coast is just waiting to be explored. Climb Lion Rock at Piha Beach or visit the huge gannet colony at Muriwai. Although just an hour from the city centre, you'll feel a world away among the rugged, untamed beauty.

Auckland
Waitakere Bay & Bethells Beach, Auckland

By Kai Lehnberg

Discover the rugged beauty of Auckland's West Coast.

Auckland

Auckland

Highlights

  • Lion Rock on Piha Beach
  • Streams, caves and cliffs
  • Surfing, horse-riding, blo-karting

Proximity

Stargaze in Canterbury

Covering much of the Aoraki/Mount Cook Mackenzie region is an International Dark Sky Reserve - the Southern Hemisphere’s sole reserve of its kind and one of only eight in the world. This is 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.

Christchurch - Canterbury
A night spent stargazing, Christchurch - Canterbury

By @david.rexer

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

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Explore Christchurch and Canterbury

Highlights

  • Climbing and Mountain walks
  • Stargazing
  • Glacier viewing and skiing

Proximity

  • By car: 4hr from Christchurch Central
  • By car: 3hr from Queenstown

Reflect on 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.

Wanaka
The Blue Pools, Wanaka

By @ellenprojects

Highlights

  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Sailing, jetboating, and kayaking
  • Flightseeing, skydiving, and canyoning
Wanaka

Wanaka

Explore Wanaka 

Chase Fiordland’s Waterfalls

Mountains and waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords here - hence the name Fiordland. The area is renowned for it's spectacular scenery and walks throughout the Milford and Doubtful Sounds. Don't miss out on a sight that’s completely, utterly and unforgettably majestical. Which is officially a word in New Zealand. Almost. Photo by @hannahdanilu on Instagram.

Fiordland
Milford Sound Waterfall, Fiordland

By @hannahdanilu

A surreal waterfall in Fiordland.

Fiordland

Fiordland

Discover Fiordland

Highlights

  • Milford & Kepler Tracks - Great Walks
  • Kayaking, diving, or scenic flights
  • Glowworm caves

Proximity

  • By car: 2hr from Queenstown
  • By bus: 3hr from Queenstown
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