The best things in life are free!
If you’re looking for some fun free activities to do this weekend, we’ve got some great ideas on New Zealand’s South Island that will cost you nothing! From dolphin watching in Kaikoura to wine tasting at some of the best wineries in the country, save a little bit of money while having a lot of fun with these free activities!
1. Lake Wanaka: Blue Pools Track
You’ll have to see the blue water in Wanaka to believe it. A great chance to stretch your legs and explore the local forests, take a hike through the lush green terrain before making your way down to the unique pools that shimmer with a radiant blue hue. Make sure you cross the giant swing bridge, which gives you a great view of the waters below. It’s also the perfect place for a few snaps!
2. Kaikoura: Dolphins & Seals
Located on the east coast of the South Island, Kaikoura is a dolphin hot spot! Depending on what time of the year you visit, you might also be lucky enough to catch these friendly mammals swimming by on their migration trail!
3. Otago: Sandfly Bay
To get a closer look at the seal’s cousin, the sea lion, Sandfly Bay in Otago is a great place to start. There’s a short walking trail that takes you down to the beach where you can witness these giant creatures lazing about in the sun. Penguins also find their way here during the late evening, so be patient and leep an eye out!
4. Marlborough Wine Trail
Did you know that 70% of the country’s wine export comes from the Marlborough region? Yep, the wine here is gooooood! If you’re after some tastings, head to any one of the wineries the area is famous. Feel free to sample some (or all!) of the offerings on hand! Some of our favourite vineyards to visit are Brancott, Villa Maria and Hunters! Need more Marlborough inspo? We’ve got you covered.
5. Hooker Valley Track
Free activities don’t get much better than this! The Hooker Valley Track will provide you with fresh air, a spectacular view, and an awesome workout. With Mount Cook lingering in the distance, surround yourself with the wonderful wildlife, and spend the day climbing, hiking and trekking through forests and across crystal clear lakes. If you’re looking for walking tracks throughout New Zealand, we have a must-read guide right here for you.
6. Art Galleries in Christchurch
The largest city in the South Island, Christchurch’s Te Puna O Waiwhetu gallery features a range of exhibits. Our favourite right now, Len Lye’s “Stopped Short By Wonder”, an exhibition that explores the magic of light and thunder. There are sculptures, paintings and installations everywhere you look, so you might want to spend the whole day here!
If you’re interested in aviation, you can also check out the Air Force Museum. This place will take you back in time with a detailed look into the planes that flew in the first air war of 1914-1918. Another must-see is the “Captured” exhibit, which follows a thrilling journey of a prisoner of war in Europe.