New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, is a place with diverse landscapes like volcanoes, gulfs, forested areas and beaches. This makes backpacking in Auckland a perfect activity. It has an urban setting with the pristine beaches and trails only an hour and a half away from the main city. It is a multi-cultural hub of food, art and culture not just for locals but for visitors from all around the world. Unsurprisingly, Auckland is one of the most suitable countries for backpackers, with affordable accommodation, cheap transportation and a plethora of attractions.
Read on to discover the complete guide for backpacking in Auckland.
Five Best Things to Do While Backpacking in Auckland:
1. Sky Tower:New Zealand's tallest building at a height of 192 metres above ground level, provides a 360˚ panoramic view up to 80 kilometres in all directions. Enjoy adrenaline-pumping activities like sky walking and sky jumping, amazing views and dining at the Sky Cafe. You can look at volcanoes, key landmarks, and historical locations from 220 metres above the street level. Kids will be very thrilled to look through the glass floor at the street far below. It will be entertaining for them to watch people sky jumping off the tower. Visit on a clear sky day for the ultimate experience.
Adult: NZD 32
Children: NZD 13
Senior citizen: NZD 23
2. Waiheke Island:
Take a one-hour ferry ride from downtown Auckland to the stunning island of Waiheke. It is known for great vineyards, beaches and restaurants. The white sand beaches like Oneroa, Palm, Surfdale and Onetangi are ideal for kayaking and swimming and are favourite activities among those that want to go backpacking in Auckland. You can sip wine while lying on the beach or take on some adventure sports and hiking, it has something exciting for everyone making Waiheke a popular getaway from the bustling city life. Spend a night here to enjoy it at the fullest.
Ferry Prices- One way: NZD 27 Return: NZD 42 (Adult).
3. Hauraki Gulf:Surrounded by 50 islands with Rangitoto, Motutapu and Great Barrier Island among them, Hauraki Gulf is a quick getaway for trips. Ferry rides are easily available and are exciting as well with views of the island coastlines and dolphins popping out of the waters. Rangitoto Island is one of the popular attractions. Climb to the summit of this extinct volcano for the splendid 360˚ view of the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland city. You can also explore the lava tunnels formed due to the passage of molten lava. Going further, you can treat yourself with free thermal pools of Kaitoke at the Great Barrier Island. You can also surf in Whangapoua and Awana.
Ferry from Auckland to:
Rangitoto Island: NZD 36 (Return)
Great Barrier Island: NZD 90 (One way)
Motutapu Island: NZD 39 (Return).
4. Explore the Suburbs
Auckland has 13 suburbs surrounding the city. Each one offers something interesting to backpackers. You can climb the volcanic cone on Mount Eden, the highest natural point of the city which gives incredible views of the city and other suburbs. Visit the largest forest native to Auckland - Hanua. Hanua Falls is the main attraction and is very picturesque, so much so that it features among the top 10 picture-perfect glimpses while backpacking in Auckland. Trekking and biking are quite popular too.
5. Taste Food and Wine
Enjoy Auckland’s diverse food and wine culture in the heart of the city as well as in the Farmer’s Market to smack on the local flavours. Situated close to the Waitemata Harbour is the famous Britomart, a casual dining area. There are other options too, like Viaduct Harbour beside which you can enjoy eating with a beautiful backdrop of the waters and yachts. Visit some of the famous markets to get the taste of Auckland. Some of the popular ones are La Cigale in Parnell City markets, Otara market and Matakana market. Matakana is also the place for tasting the world-class wine of Auckland along with Kumeu, which is equally good for the same.
Affodable Places to Stay While Backpacking in Auckland:
- OAKLANDS LODGE:
Situated at Mount Eden, it is a Victorian-era house only 3 kilometres from the city centre. Mt. Eden is the most peaceful and serene suburb of Auckland making it ideal for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- METRO ADVENTURER:
Among Auckland's newest hostels, it is situated in the heart of the city. It has an incredible location that you can see the Sky Tower from the windows of the rooms. If you want to stay in the city, it is definitely a great accommodation option.
- HAKA LODGE: Located in the main area of the Auckland CBD, this lodge has pod beds for those seeking privacy. It is very spacious for a hostel, with a private bathroom and a shared kitchen.
- ATTIC BACKPACKERS: With an excellent location in Auckland's CBD, they offer mixed as well as female-only accommodations with shared bathrooms. Owing to its location, it is ideal for night outs to the Britomart. Don't hesitate to use their free wi-fi to keep your Instagram updated! COST: NZD 24
Tips to Save Money While Backpacking in Auckland:
- FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS: Not what you think it means! I mean that it is the people you know who can help you. I am not saying that you make use of your friends and live off them but splitting grocery bills, enjoying the perks of a friend's job at a restaurant to get a free drink, or knowing a person who owns a car can help you save. When the time comes, return the favour too!
- COOK YOUR FOOD: Eating outside can be expensive in Auckland while cooking yourself is more economical, especially if you have a long stay. You can buy groceries from cheap supermarkets and cook yourself a delicious meal.
- WWOOFING: WWOOFing is a great way to arrange your accommodation and food. In exchange for working, you get free food and accommodation. It is quite popular with travellers since it lets you remain in a spot for cheaper and longer.
- WORK FOR ACCOMMODATION: Many people in New Zealand are open to offering a bed in exchange for cleaning, housekeeping, etc.
- AVAIL DISCOUNTS: Keep an eye on discounts while visiting a place or in newsletters and loyalty cards. Often there are special discounts for backpackers so make sure you do not let them go.
- PLAN YOUR ACTIVITIES: There are tons of activities you can do in Auckland ranging from nature walks to adventure sports. If you do not plan and decide what you really want to do, your money will slip away from your bank account in seconds.
- ENJOY NATURE: All good things are wild and free! Nature is the best thing in Auckland hands down. You can go hiking, trekking and walking in islands in the Hauraki Gulf and enjoy nature. Have fun amidst different landscapes in Auckland ranging from volcanoes, forests and beaches.
Auckland is one of the most sought after places for budget travelling and by visiting it you will know the reason behind it. We hope you have a great time backpacking in Auckland. Kia Ora!