New Zealand on a Budget: Land of the Freebies!

If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, you need to make sure that you budget for the trip of a lifetime. You don’t want to miss something just because you don’t have the money to go see it. That means you should take advantage of some of the best free things to do in the country.

Museum Entry

A lot of the museums in New Zealand are free. These institutions aren’t the staid museums of ages past (though some do have their throwback exhibits). Instead, they are the modern, engaging guardians of New Zealand’s unique history and culture. The have great displays, interactive elements, and some include different ways to experience the same museum, so you can get more out of multiple visits.

Of course, if you love museums, you should donate to help keep them open. However, even if you just drop $10 in the museum donation box, you will get more than your money’s worth. (Alternatively, you could get your gifts and have meals at the museum to support them.) I usually don’t like museums (or maybe I didn’t like them); New Zealand’s museums were engaging, well done and enjoyable. (Check out my review of the Wellington Museum.)

Botanic Gardens and Other Green Areas

Flower at Auckland's Winter Garden
Flower at Auckland’s Winter Garden

It seems that every city has its Botanic Gardens open to the public for the very reasonable price of $0. Take a walk through the beautifully maintained gardens. You’ll see and hear plenty of birds. The air smells great (except maybe in Rotorua where the geothermal activities result in a sulfur smell). There are no donation boxes, but some of the cafés make for a great place to eat, especially if you can get an outdoor seat. (Read about our experience at the ilex Cafe in Christchurch.) There are sculptures and great photo opportunities. There are plenty of other green areas throughout most of the cities, so finding a place to enjoy the afternoon is easy to do.

New Zealand is a beautiful country that has endeavored to create a better quality of life for its people. Museums and public green areas are a part of that effort. It will be the trip of a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the good stuff that will supplement your stay.