How Much Does a Trip to New Zealand Cost?

Do you ever read about a trip and wonder to yourself, "how much did that really cost?" I certainly do! One of the goals of this blog is to inspire people to travel. I hope by being transparent with the budget that you see it is possible to save your money and take some awesome trips. 


We spent approximately $180 a night on accommodations. We stayed at B&Bs and a couple of motels. From my research of country, I would say that's on the lower end of the average cost of accommodations. We had a great experience at each of our accommodations (I linked to each place in previous posts). However, it was NOT easy to find places within our budget that I felt were up to my standard and convenient to our itinerary. If you are working with a similar budget, be sure to start reserving six months in advance. 


As we shared previously, all of our flights were covered with credit card points which was a HUGE money saver. This trip would have DOUBLED in cost without free flights. 

Our car rental for 10 days was $580 (including GPS). That was for a compact, manual vehicle. Next time, we'd probably spend a bit more for a bigger, automatic vehicle. New Zealand is very mountainous! We drove over 1,000 miles and spent $170 on fuel. 


The thing that will blow your budget in New Zealand are all the adventure activities. Thankfully, I'm not an adventure junkie, but there are so many options for helicopter rides, plane rides, boat rides, bungy jumping, guided hikes, etc. If you are on budget, pick one or two highly rated activities (I'd save it for Queenstown) and ignore all the other advertisements. There is truly plenty to do without spending money on the pricey activities. I do not regret not doing more! 

Franz Josef Helicopter Tour - $350

Queenstown Boat Tour - $60

Abel Tasman Catarman - $190

Gondola Ride - $50

*** We originally were going to do the Milford Air excursion as well but since the flights were cancelled there was no charge.


Most of our accommodations included breakfast in the price which was very helpful. We went to a few nice restaurants but for the most part went to small cafes. We also tried to save money by sharing at least one meal a day (Ben was not a fan!). On average be prepared to spend $20 per person per meal (lunch and dinner). This estimate is probably on the lower end (think sandwiches, pasta, burgers, pizzas...etc). For fine dining (steak, seafood), I'd estimate $40 per person. Alcohol is the same price as the U.S. 


Accommodations: $2,000

Transportation: $750

Activities: $650 

Meals: $650 {We spent roughly $65 a day on food}

TOTAl: $4,050

We think the trip was absolutely worth the cost! In hindsight, I could have lived without the helicopter ride ($350 for 45 minutes) and we could have saved money on food by going to a grocery store and stocking up on snacks. Other than those two items, I feel as though we did the trip as inexpensively as possible while still getting to experience the country. I'm glad to answer any other questions about budgeting for New Zealand!