The land of the long white cloud is a huge stop off for many backpackers – both as a single destination and as a key part of a round the world trip and as you might expect there’s heaps to see and do. However, as a western country it also comes with a pretty solid price tag and there’s heaps to get involved in so if you’re not careful you can loose control of your budget pretty quickly!
Lucky for you guys though I’ve kept tabs on my spending throughout all the key outlays in Kiwi Land and I’ve finally finished up my guide and overview for how much to budget for a month in New Zealand…
So if you’re travelling to New Zealand too this should give you a good insight into what everything will cost!
New Zealand is a backpacker and travel hotspot so there’s heaps of accommodation to choose from – including dorm beds, motels, hotels and campsites – so finding a place to crash in your budget range is pretty easy and there’s a lot to choose from.
In peak summer though you may wish to book ahead to make sure there’s availability as many of the cheaper options and popular hostels/campsite book out pretty quickly.
Cheapest Bed – Base Central, Auckland – £10 per night (6 bed, windowless dorm!)
Average Bed – Nomads Central, Auckland – £15 per night (6 bed dorm)
Most Expensive Bed – YHA Rotorua – £40 per night (double room)
Average nights accommodation (dorm room) £15
Estimated monthly accommodation costs (per person) – £450
Food and Drink
Although New Zealand isn’t as much of a culinary destination as the likes of Thailand or Indonesia are there is still a huge variety of restaurants and supermarkets around to make the most of your dinning experience…even if you are on a backpacker budget!
Backpacker bars offer discounted meals and you can eat everything from Mexican to Thai in most places!
There are of course some more traditional Kiwi delicacies – such as a traditionally cooked hāngi – food baked in an earth oven – through to more modern treats like pineapple lumps and marshmallow fish
…or if you’re feeling a bit more unusual how about a possum pie?!
Lunch time meal deal – around £5-8
Meal in a more established restaurant/chain (inc drink) – around £12
Meal cooked at hostel – around £2-3
Average cost of beer (shop) – £1-2 (based on splitting a 6 pack)
Average cost of beer (bar) – £4-5
Favourite place to eat – Fergburger in Queenstown! Seriously if you’re heading to the South Island it’s worth waiting in line!
Other Top Tips – if you want to eat out on a budget Dominoes do a $5 pizza deal, which is epic! The best option though is to cook yourself, head to Pak n Save for the cheapest supermarket prices.
Also New Zealand tap water is perfectly drinkable, so invest in a water bottle and you’ll save heaps!
Estimated food cost per month (40 cook yourself meals and 20 eat out meals) – £300
New Zealand is pretty damn easy to get around and you have a few options to choose from. Check out this post for some of the most popular ways to to travel New Zealand.
You’ll probably end up using Kiwi Experience or the Stray Bus if you only have a month as it’s usually the most cost effective.
However if you’re there for a while investing in a car or campervan can be a solid shout, expect to send anything from £300-£4000 depending on what you want and the time of year you’re buying.
The simplest way to cover the most in a month would be the Kiwi Experience Whole Kit & Caboodle Pass – which takes in all the major stops on the North and South Island with a minimum travel time of around 30 days, so I’m going to go with that option for costing and transport.
The Whole Kit & Caboodle Pass is £1035RRP. However they do heaps of deals and discounts and you can grab one at over 50% off, so keep your eye out! You can start it anytime within 12 months of buying one so if you see an epic deal lock it in!
And as an added bonus grab $100 off the Kitchen Sink or Tiki Bus Passes anytime over at RTW Backpackers – just use the code KIWI100
Seriously New Zealand is one of the most activity packed places I’ve travelled for along time and you could easily spend £1000’s sampling everything from skydiving to a Hobbiton Movie Set Tour!
With that in mind you’ll need to budget pretty heavily in regards to activities, but here’s some of the most popular ones to get you started;
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves – £25-£115
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour – £40
Tamaki Maori Village Overnight Stay – £80
Ogo Sphering Rotorua – £40 (two runs)
Skydive – Approx £160 (depending on location)
Tongario Crossing – £30
Rapids Jet Boat – £60
Te Papa Museum, Wellington – FREE
Weta Caves –
Dolphin Encounter, Kaikoura – £45-£85
AJ Hacket Bungee – £90-£140
Franz Josef Glacier -£250
Surf lesson – £40
Ok so if you only had a month in New Zealand you’ll be wanting to smash out most of the things on the above list, which comes in at around £725 (I’ve averaged out some of the prices where there’s a few options to choose from).
Even though that’s a huge price on activities alone it’s because there’s simply so much to do there!
Keep in mind if you’re spending more than a month in NZ your activity cost will be a lot more spread out, but its good to be aware of the huge range of things on offer so you don’t feel like you’re missing out!
An Average Month
So, based on my personal experience and estimates a month in New Zealand will set you back around £2,510 – or roughly £83.30 per day.
Obviously thats a huge budget buster for most people – but that’s based on ALOT of activities and also a travel pass at full price.
If you picked up a deal on your Kiwi Experience Pass you could take around £500 off that total.
This total would include accommodation, meals, transport and some of the key activities.
As with all my monthly budgets one of the key exclusions in this estimate it ALCOHOL though, so if you’re intending on partying expect this overall cost to rise!
In my last month long trip to New Zealand I spent around £180 on booze, although I was splitting crates and not partying too much!
Keep in mind that this is a guide only and costs can vary and you can easily smash it out of the water by jumping on some big day trips or upping your level of accommodation and food.
And please don’t be put off visiting because of that monthly budget estimate, you can always tailor your trip to suit how much you have to spend.
Those who buy cars/vans can get some of their travel cost back by selling at the end and if you’re splitting the cost of a car it can work out well too – just keep in mind you’ll also need to budget for fuel too!
Found this post helpful? Check out my other How Much To Budget Posts!
- How Much To Budget For A Month In Thailand
- How Much To Budget For A Month In Australia
- How Much To Budget For A Month In Bali & Indonesia
- How Much To Budget For A Month In The Philippines
- How Much To Budget For A Month In Cambodia
- How To Travel The Maldives On A Budget
**PLEASE NOTE; This is to be used as a guide only – currency and cost fluctuate depending on season and exchange rates (based on $2NZD to £1). Information was correct at the time of writing**