The Best Things to Do in Auckland Before Payday
There's no reason to stay cooped up at home when the cash isn't flowing.
October 24, 2017
We've all been there, scrounging for pennies because we overspent that week, month or fortnight, desperate to stretch our last $20 far enough to enjoy life before payday comes around. Lucky for you, we have all the tips on what you can do in New Zealand's most expensive city before dollar day arrives.
DROP BY APERITIVO HOUR AT GUSTO AT THE GRAND
Aperitivo Hour is a gem of a happening and most likely right under your nose if you work in the CBD. Gusto at the Grand puts on quite the spread from 6-7pm. And best part about it? It's free. That's right, complementary, as long as you're having a drink in the bar during this time. If you're looking for a quick snack as you drown your sorrows of broke-ness with your last few dollars on wine, Gusto have your back with an antipasto that will make your heart sing.
GET CULTURED AT AUCKLAND ART GALLERY
An Auckland staple, the Auckland Art Gallery is free unless you're going to see the most recent feature exhibition. Lucky for the penniless, the free areas are often just as good, if not better, to spend an afternoon browsing through the well-lit rooms and high white ceilings, umming and ahing over art you may, or may not, fully understand. The regular collections include many New Zealand and international artists, of both the modern and classical variety.
SWEAT FOR FREE AT LULULEMON
You don't necessarily have to be bendy to partake in this one. Lululemon stores in both Britomart and Ponsonby put on free weekend yoga classes. Typically a rather expensive hobby to take up, this solves that problem my penniless pals. Mats are supplied, flexibility however, is not, though there will be no judgement if you're just looking to try something new without spending any dollars, or if you're a die-hard yogi who needs your free-yoga fix.
TACKLE THE WAITAKERE RANGES
New Zealand is known for being one of the top spots where you can go from city, to beach, to bush or to farm within the hour. Lucky for us Aucklanders, this includes the Waitakeres. Whether keen tramper or an ambling Sunday stroller, there is definitely a walk that suits all levels. Or if you're just not the athletic type, take up a spot in one of the lush green parks or open viewpoints that look out to the ocean, to sit, ponder and perhaps have a picnic. The options are endless (and cheap) once you veer west.
GRAB FISH 'N' CHIPS AT PIHA
Whilst on your western adventure, one kiwi classic that can definitely be done on le budget, is the classic fish 'n' chips feast on the beach. A Piha institution for this delicacy is certainly Blairs on The Beach. It's been around since the 1950s started by Johnny Oxspring, one of the first Piha Club members, and still takes pride of place by the Surf Club. Grab your self some battered snapper and fries and head to down to find a sheltered spot to tuck in to your cheap and satisfying feed.
CATCH A WEEKDAY MOVIE AT THE BERKLEY
Although I was reluctant to give this one away (being my go-to cheap local), I decided for the good of the people it was a must to include. Films at Mission Bay's Berkley Cinema are a mere $10.50 from Sunday to Wednesday, making it quite possibly the only cinema to reach such low prices. With all the usual blockbusters and latest releases, taking a trip to the Eastern Bay for your movie fix makes it a mighty penny saver activity. Depending on how bleak your bank account is really looking, you may even be able to splurge on their mini doughnuts or standard movie popcorn goodness.
HAVE A HISTORY LESSON AT AUCKLAND WAR MEMORIAL MUSEUM
Another option to unleash some inner culture, the War Memorial Museum is free for Auckland residents. Just flash some proof of address, your Hopcard will do the trick, and get on wandering. If you're lucky there may be special exhibitions on show (Nature Photographer of the Year Awards is one prime example) or else head on through to get some local history in ya.
SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH AT TAKAPUNA BEACH
Although not typically known as a cheap eats location, Takapuna Beach Café does have mighty fine and might affordable ice cream on offer. These delectable and award-winning gelatos are the perfect accompaniment for a brief stroll down the beach — whether the main Takapuna drag, or around the bend a bit further to the secluded Minehaha. Both make for the perfect backdrops to enjoy your gelato al fresco, without needing to spend another dime.
TAKE COVER AT THE WINTER GARDENS
To some it may seem cliche, but should not be underrated. Grab yourself a sunny day and head out to the park. The Winter Gardens are forever changing as seasons come and go and is well worth checking out for some Instagram-worthy snaps. When you're finished being a horticulturist, you can then take some time out to feed the locals (the ducks that is) or extend your stroll to a bit of a hike around one of the many pathways around the Domain.
HAVE A CHEAP LAUGH AT BASEMENT THEATRE
A classic Auckland comedy haunt, Basement Theatre is the prime place to let out some big laughs when you're tight on cash. With many offerings that come $20 or under, you're pretty much guaranteed to have you're whole night's entertainment covered at a minimum charge. Highly recommended, SNORT is late-night improv that will keep you in stitches for only $12.
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