Explore New Zealand on a Budget – Travel Cost Guide

| February 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

Explore the Best of New Zealand without Overspending – Our Comprehensive Cost GuideHowmuchitcost- new zealand

New Zealand (or Aotearoa – land of the long white cloud), truly is one of the most picturesque and photogenic places on earth. A small island nation of just over 4.5 million people, New Zealand is made up of two major land masses (North Island and South Island) and a number of smaller islands including Stewart Island located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The two main islands are divided by a 22km stretch of water called the Cook Strait.


How expensive is New Zealand?

Buying a home in New Zealand can take as little as three to four weeks. The median house price in Auckland is $825,000 compared to Wellingtons $480,000 and Otego’s $296,000. On average a two bedroom apartment in the city will cost around $350–$500 per week. Bus and train fares start at $2.00 and then get more expensive depending on how many zones you travel. A monthly pass across all transport will cost about $150.

  • Expect to pay around $3.60 for 2 liters of milk, $2.50 for a kilo of apples, and $14.00 for a kilo of New Zealand’s famous lamb chops.
  • A movie ticket will set you back between $10-$18.50
  • A coffee will cost around $5.00

How much money do I need for New Zealand?

The amount of money you need for a trip to New Zealand can vary widely depending on your travel style, duration of stay, and the activities you plan to do. Here are some estimated costs to help you plan your budget:

  1. Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in New Zealand can range from budget hostels to high-end hotels. On average, you can expect to pay between $20-50 per night for a dorm room in a hostel, $70-150 for a mid-range hotel, and $200-500 for a luxury hotel or resort.
  2. Food: The cost of food can vary depending on where you eat and what you order. On average, a meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost between $15-30, while a coffee can cost around $4-5. If you plan to cook your own meals, a week’s worth of groceries can cost between $50-100.
  3. Transportation: The cost of transportation can vary depending on whether you rent a car or use public transportation. A rental car can cost around $50-100 per day, while a bus or train ticket can cost between $10-50 per trip. If you plan to use taxis or rideshare services, expect to pay around $2-3 per kilometer.
  4. Activities: The cost of activities can also vary widely depending on what you plan to do. Popular activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and skiing can cost around $200-300 per person, while a guided hike or tour can cost around $100-200 per person.

Overall, a budget traveler can expect to spend around $50-100 per day in New Zealand, while a mid-range traveler can expect to spend around $150-250 per day. If you plan to stay in luxury accommodations and participate in expensive activities, expect to spend upwards of $500 per day. It’s important to note that these are rough estimates and your actual costs may vary depending on your travel preferences and itinerary.

Backpacking New Zealand Suggested Budgets

If you’re planning a backpacking trip to New Zealand, here are some suggested budgets to help you plan your expenses:

  1. Budget Backpacker: If you’re on a tight budget, you can expect to spend around $50-80 per day. This budget includes staying in budget hostels, cooking your own meals, and using public transportation. You can also save money by doing free activities such as hiking, visiting beaches, and exploring parks.
  2. Mid-Range Backpacker: If you have a bit more to spend, you can expect to spend around $100-150 per day. This budget includes staying in mid-range hostels or budget hotels, eating out at mid-range restaurants, and using public transportation or renting a car. You can also do some paid activities such as guided hikes, wildlife tours, or adventure activities.
  3. Luxury Backpacker: If you want to indulge a bit, you can expect to spend upwards of $200 per day. This budget includes staying in luxury accommodations, eating at high-end restaurants, and renting a car or using private transportation. You can also do expensive activities such as helicopter tours, skiing, or luxury cruises.

New Zealand-Off Season Visit 

Looking for cheap airfare to New Zealand? 25% of people found round-trip tickets to New Zealand from Los Angeles $784, from Chicago $993, from Tampa $1313.

New Zealand Travel Guide: Money Saving Tips

  1. Avoid peak season– Already high prices skyrocket during New Zealand’s peak tourist season, which runs from      December    – February. If you know your budget is tight, avoid this time frame, when crowds are thick and prices for hotels and tours reach their peaks. However, if your schedule is not flexible and peak season is the only time you can travel, know that the extra expense means you will likely have better weather during New Zealand’s summer months.
  2. Think about gas mileage– Gas is incredibly expensive in New Zealand (our campervan averaged 21 miles per gallon during our trip in 2018), so choosing a vehicle with good gas mileage will seriously help your budget.
  3.  Take advantage of free campsites- Free campsites are plentiful around New Zealand, and it’s in your wallet’s best interest to take advantage of them. You likely won’t stay at free sites every night unless you don’t ever want to shower. People tried to camp at Holiday Parks every 3-4 days, and free sites or DOC sites in between.