Gyms in New Zealand
Gyms in New Zealand are generally of the same high standard you can expect from any Western country. Prices vary from $5 to $25 a visit, with some gyms being considerably more backpacker friendly than others, and some refusing casual visits altogether. Occasionally hostels will have deals with local gyms offering a special rate, although this was not as common as I’d like!
Currency approximation: US$1 = NZ$1.38, €1 = NZ$1.70, £1 = NZ$1.93, AU$1 = NZ$1.06
at the time of writing.
The main chains of gyms in New Zealand I have come across are Jetts Fitness, Snap Fitness, Anytime Fitness and City Fitness – see general comments below, or simply select an area from the list:
Staffed hours: Vary across the clubs, but generally around 7-10 hours on weekdays and less/closed on weekends.
Access is 24/7 for members via a swipe card.
Free Trials – Do They Work For Travellers?
Many Jetts clubs offer free 3 (consecutive) day trials during staffed hours Monday to Thursday, yet the small print states you must be a resident in New Zealand. I went along to a few clubs across the country to see if staff were likely to check my residency, saying as little as possible in the hope they wouldn’t notice I don’t have a local accent. Results varied; one club let me in without question, another refused me, but only on the grounds I had turned up on a Saturday! The free trial states Mon to Thu only – why?Gym bunnies do not need four days off a week and the club was staffed on other days. He said I was welcome to come back on Monday and never questioned my residency – but unfortunately I was leaving the area.
The third club let me in, even though they asked if I lived there and was likely to join. I didn’t lie, and was therefore let in – on the proviso that I did not attempt to get free trials at every Jetts club in the country whilst I was travelling. I’d say three is acceptable though. 🙂 It was unclear whether there was a central computer system recording my attempts, but no-one mentioned it if so!
Size of Gyms
The gyms varied noticeably in size from medium-large, all with high quality, modern equipment as you’d expect in any large chain. They offered the usual range of cardio, resistance equipment and free-weights, along with a dedicated floor area. Some offered a considerable variety of functional training equipment as well.
Note, there were no lockers in the clubs I visited. There were open cubbyholes located near the reception of each club, labelled “Open lockers”. I think “Lockers” is stretching it, Jetts! And whilst there are no changing rooms as such, you’ll find several individual unisex showers and toilets (or a combination of the two). Either leave your valuables in your accommodation or carry them around the gym with you.
Overall, this chain is my top pick of gyms in New Zealand and I would say your best chance of getting in for free. All staff were very friendly across the clubs, which all had excellent workout facilities – it’s absolutely worth taking a free trial here if the days and hours fit your schedule and they let you in.
Check out my Global Gym Bunny Shop and
Five Top Tips For Keeping Fit Around the World
How to Look Ripped on Your Travel Adventure – For Free!