Tuesday, February 16, 2010

5 Free Things About Auckland!!

There are many things to do in Auckland, but, how many things are free these days?! Turns out there are a few things that you can do in Auckland that won't cost you an arm and a leg!

1. The City Circuit Bus

The free City Circuit bus travels clockwise in a loop around key inner city destinations such as: The Edge entertainment area, The University of Auckland, Sky City, Britomart and Queen Street.

The bus runs in a clockwise direction, every 10 minutes, from 8am to 6pm every day, including weekends.

The City Circuit service is operated by NZ Bus and funded by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), Heart of the City and Auckland City.

Visit: http://www.maxx.co.nz/how-to-travel/take-the-bus/other-bus-services.html for more information.

2. Music and Movies in the Parks

The four Auckland councils each organise and hold events in parks in their areas. From Jazz concerts to blockbuster movies! And all for FREE!! These wonderful family events can be found on the respective council websites.

Visit: www.aucklandcity.govt.nz for information on events in the Central Auckland City parks.

3. Waiheke Island

Auckland's Hauraki Gulf is speckled with beautiful picturesque, little islands, one of which is Waiheke Island.

Known for it's artisitic community, local shopping, gorgeous beaches and numerous vineyards, Waiheke is an idyllic weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The return ferry ride for an adult costs a measely NZ$32 return, while students can get a tertiary discount.

4. Parks and Walkways

Auckland City offers more than 800 parks and reserves and that's not even counting the ones in the North Shore, Waitakeres or Manukau!

It's easy to find somewhere different to play, explore and be inspired! Best of all, they cost nothing to visit.

Auckland is notable for it's many extinct Volcanic Cones! The city and it's surrounding suburb sits on top of a large volcanic field that has produced around 53 volcanic scoria cones in the last 140 thousand years.

These cones now form a wonderful sloping green back-drop to the city vista and are now parks for the public to enjoy.

Some of the more prominent peaks like Mt Eden and One Tree Hill still have remnants of historic Maori 'pa' sites. Evidence of terracing, food pits and house sites can still be seen by park visitors.

There are many walkways within Auckland for any type of trekker. There are hours of long scenic treks to short 'culture' or heritage walks.

The Coast to Coast Walkway is 16 Km long and takes 4 - 6hrs! It spans Auckland's narrow isthmus taking in volcanoes, ocean views, ancient pa sites, kauri villas, parks, gardens and rock walls. Interested? You can pick up a self-guide brochures from the Auckland City Council or visit http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/.

For information about regional walkways and tracks phone 0800 Auckland (0800 282 552) or visit Tourism Auckland website.

5. Beaches

The Waitakeres' West Coast, black sand beaches are famous for their surf and wildlife, while, the East Coast beaches are favoured for their close proximity to the city, shopping & restaraunts and tend to be family friendly.

Some beaches to visit in the West are: Piha, Muriwai, Kare Kare, Te Henga and Anawhata.

Eastern beaches to visit: Takapuna, Mission Bay, Buckland's Beach, Brown's Bay and Cheltenham Beach.

So, next time you are visiting the City of Sails don't forget to experience these freebies!

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