6 Cheap Summer Activities for Uni Students

Being a uni student can mean that funds are pretty tight sometimes, and when it comes to summer activities, we prefer them free or cheap.

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Being a uni student can mean that funds are pretty tight sometimes, and when it comes to summer activities, we prefer them free or cheap. A smaller budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out; Auckland is a great place to spend the summer because there are endless affordable and free activities right at your fingertips. We have created a list of budget-friendly activities and incredibly fun for students.

One of the things we love most about summer in New Zealand is the beautiful outdoors, the challenging hikes with breath-taking views, the abundance of beaches, and quaint spots to park up for picnics. These are all perfect options for affordable and free summer activities. If you have a few extra coins at your disposal, then visit the zoo for an afternoon of entertainment and curiosity or hop on a ferry and visit the wonderful Waiheke Island. Summertime in New Zealand is epic; get out and explore what’s on offer.

Go to the beach

Every kiwi spends most of the summer, and a majority of their lives, at the beach. Everywhere we turn, we find another awe-inspiring beach, from Piha to Takapuna, Mission Bay to Point Chevalier and Orewa to Karaka Bay. Regardless of your location, there is bound to be a sandy beach within walking distance. You can never go to the beach too often; there is always a new and exciting activity to try. A few options we enjoy are swimming, getting a tan, kayaking and surfing. We believe that nothing says summer quite like spending 90% of our time at the beach, and it’s completely free. If the beach isn’t to your liking, try a different body of water like lakes, rivers and waterfalls.


Go for a hike

There are numerous excellent tracks across Auckland that are great for summer activities and don’t cost a penny. Whether you want to challenge yourself, take Instagram worthy pictures or get a breath of fresh air – there’s a track suited for every occasion and every skill set. Start with something easy and walk the quick jaunt up Mount Eden, Maungawhau, or stroll around the Orakei Basin walkway. Going on a hike is a fun way to explore Auckland, with many beautiful spots and incredible trails. Hike past beaches, forests, and mountains – one of our favourite walks is Rangitoto Island.

Picnics and BBQ’s

Picnics and BBQs are the embodiment of summertime; getting a group of friends together and spending the day relaxing, eating and socialising is a heart-warming activity and works for a smaller budget. You don’t have to travel far; find a spot on the beach, a lush green park or in your back garden and invite friends and family over. Have everyone bring a plate of food to contribute and enjoy a low-energy day in the sunshine. Brush off your BBQ skills or pack a picnic with all of your favourite snacks and make a day of it; we recommend playing croquet or lawn bowls between meals to work up an appetite.


Auckland War Memorial Museum

Going to the museum is free for Auckland residents, and it is a wonderful day out, envelop yourself in culture and history. Spend hours perusing the displays, reading plaques and discovering new and exciting information. Museums are peaceful havens; this is a great way to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of city life. Going to the museum allows you to brush up on your history knowledge and provides an opportunity to learn new facts. Take a stroll around Auckland Domain or visit the beautiful winter gardens to finish the day.

The Zoo

A zoo is an excellent option for an engaging activity that encourages visitors to embrace their child-like wonder and curiosity. While you have to pay for entry, it’s a relatively cheap day out that allows you to spend time learning about exotic animals and their origins. Auckland zoo is home to 135 species and over 1,400 animals – your day will be action-packed. Grab an ice cream, coffee or pie from the café and jump from one enclosure to the next; make sure to pick up a leaflet on your way in; this will include a map and a schedule. That way, you can plan your afternoon around feeding times, events and opportunities to interact with the zookeepers.


Day trip to Waiheke Island

Day trips to Waiheke Island have a way of making you feel like you’re truly on holiday. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a day out at Waiheke, explore the beautiful beaches and breath-taking tracks or walk through the vineyards for a unique experience. A few activities you can do on the island are bodyboarding on Onetangi beach, going for bike rides, and stopping for a bite to eat at one of the luxurious restaurants. If you have some extra cash, head over to Wild on Waiheke and try your hand at archery, giant chess or volleyball.

Living your best summer life is possible regardless of budget; Auckland has an abundance of activities available that will guarantee a good time. Get outdoors and explore the beautiful countryside, take up a new water sport or slow things down and have a picnic with friends. Make the most of your summer!

-  Shannel Milne, Nxtstep Content Writer

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