Home OceaniaNew Zealand How much did New Zealand cost? Budget and best saving tips.

How much did New Zealand cost? Budget and best saving tips.

by Heini Hirvonen
Uusi-Seelanti New Zealand
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Is it worth traveling to New Zealand – to a country that’s called one of the most expensive in the world? The answer is: hell, yes! But how much money did we burn? And how can you save when on the trip?


How have the expenses been divided?

As a true economist and excel-guru should, all of the country-specific expenses on the trip around the world are listed to the penny. The expenses are divided into eight categories and the division follows these principles:

  1. Accommodation (excluding the camper van)
  2. Food (grocery shopping, snacks, restaurant and coffee shop visits, and alcoholic drinks)
  3. Transportation (public and private transportation, excluding flights)
  4. Shopping (souvenirs, clothes shopping, and small items)
  5. Services (doctor visits, medicine, spa, massage)
  6. Sports (golf, horseback riding, gym)
  7. Sights (entrance fees)
  8. Internet (mobile broadband and fee-based hotel Internet)

1. . Accommodation

Accommodation/day/person 9€
Accommodation/day/family 45€
Accommodation total 942, 57€

Our total time in New Zealand was 21 days, out of which we spent the majority on a small budget in a camper van. This reduced the accommodation costs significantly, because hotels for five people were really expensive. In New Zealand we spent two nights in a suburb of Christchurch upon entering from Australia, and 4 nights in Auckland, from where we left for Chile.

During our trip, we visited 13 cities: Christchurch, Kaikoura, Renwick, Nelson, Picton, Wellington, Martinborough, Napier, Lake Taupo, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves, Clarks Beach, Auckland.

Six nights we parked at a camping area that had a fee. There we emptied the greywater tanks and filled with clean water. We also got access to a real shower and a chance to recharge the car batteries.

Hotels x 6 nights total 701€
Hotels per night 117€
Camping x 6 nights total 242€
Camping 40€/night

2. Food

Food/day/person 13€
Food/day/family 63€
Food total 1 339€

In New Zealand we cooked almost all of the food ourselves, either in an apartment home or in the camper van. The restaurant prices were so high that we probably ate out less than a couple of times. Food expenses are therefore mainly from grocery shopping.


3. Transportation

Transportation/day/person 21€
Transportation/day/family 21€
Transportation total 2 176€

The camper van was by far one of the biggest, but also one of the most justified costs in New Zealand. It entailed both partly the accommodation costs as well as enabled cooking, and of course all the amazing sights and experiences along the way.

We were happy that we invested in it a little more.

We wrote a separate post about traveling in a camper van, which by the way is one of our most read posts. In it, you’ll find everything you need to know. Campervan in New Zealand. Guide to success!.

The entire transportation budget wasn’t used on the camper van, but was divided as follows:

Camper van, transportation to the van, and insurances 1 627€
Parking 47€
Gas 159€
Boat trip Picton-Wellington 253€, including car and people


4. Sights

Sights/day/person 5€
Sights/day/family 27€
Sights total 563 €

Most of the sights in New Zealand, such as the beautiful nature and scenery, were free for people traveling with a camper van. Some must-see sights we did, however, want to explore.

Wings over Whales & spotting whales on a small plane 312€
Tour of the Back Winery vineyard and lunch 53€
Te Puia & mud geysirs 90€
Waitomo Caves & glow-worms 69€
Sky Tower, Auckland 40€

5. Sports

Sports (per person) 14€
Sports/day/family 70€
Sports total 295€

Sports entailed a wonderful round of golf and renting the golf clubs and a golf cart at the Cape Kidnappers course. Timo played and the rest of us admired the beautiful ocean scenery, the cliffs, and the animals.


6. Services

Services/day/person 0€
Services/day/family 0€
Services total 0€

We couldn’t bring ourselves spend money on services, and there wasn’t really even a need for it. Some camping-areas’ rents included the use of a hot pool, in which it was fun to hang out.


7. Shopping

Shopping/day/person 0,3€
Shopping/day/family 2€
Shopping total 37€

The weather in New Zealand was so cool that we bought the whole family beanies and gloves. We had tons of them at home, but decided to leave them out due to limited room in bags.


8. Internet

Internet/day/person 0,3€
Internet/day/family 4€
Internet total 78€

Hotels and camping areas had without exception Internet, which depending on the place was either included in the price of staying the night or for which you had to pay a little extra. Nevertheless, we decided to get a 3G mobile hotspot, which enabled the use of Internet at nature sights in the middle of nowhere.


Budget for trip around the world: New Zealand expenses total

New Zealand/day/person 52€
New Zealand/day/family 259€
New Zealand total 5 432€

Our expenses in New Zealand can be roughly put in four categories: transportation (40%), food (25%), accommodation (17%) and other (Internet, shopping, sports, sights) (17%). The daily budget came to 52€.

Tips on how to save in New Zealand

  • Rent a camper van and sleep in it as much as possible. Pick the class according to what you are willing to pay.
  • Hotels are expensive. Choose accommodation in a suburb, book hotels well in advance, or keep an eye out for good offers. Favor apartment homes, where you can make the food yourself.
  • Cook your own meals. Eat out as little as possible.
  • If you are a fan of coffee, buy a moka pot from a store. Coffee is heavenly when you make it yourself, too, as long as the beans are of high quality. Small roasteries sell good coffee.
  • Don’t shop.
  • Favor Freedom Camping with the camper van. Remember to arrive way ahead of time at the most popular spots—especially during peak season.
  • Use the free wifis of train stations, libraries, and multinational fast-food/coffee shop chains.
  • Download the free Camper Mate app, which gets you good discounts for sights, restaurants, and camping areas.
  • By your own wine bottle from the store or better yet from the local wineries and enjoy it at the beach during sunset. Local bars are expensive.

The highlights of our trips were the most beautiful nature in the world, animals, traveling with a van, Cape Kidnappers, vineyards, Waitomo Caves, and heavenly coffee. New Zealand was the most memorable country on our trip around the world. Worth all the money.


For comparison’s sake, please read our expenses and budget for the month in Indonesia.
Budget for trip around the world: Indonesia
Here you can check to see what our flight package for the trip around the world cost.
Prices, route and planning for flights around the world


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Anna Smerf March 20, 2019 - 12:17

Absolutely, positively already in love with this blog! Suppose to be traveling to New Zealand in the summer and all about day fun!

Budget accommodation Nelson June 28, 2019 - 07:47

It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. After all I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I am hoping you write again very soon.Thanks for sharing.


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