One Week in New Zealand: How Much Does It Cost?
This quick and practical guide will give you a fair idea of how much you can expect to spend if visiting New Zealand for only 1 week! I’ll tackle from costs of food to transport, accommodation, itineraries, and activities.
For a full, wildly comprehensive costs guide including flights, visas, and tips for saving money, head to the full guide to the costs of traveling in New Zealand.
This article IS for you if…
You are planning a quick visit to New Zealand and want to ensure you make the most of your time here without spending a fortune BUT knowing this is a quite expensive country.
This article is NOT for you if…
You are planning to backpack and save as much money as possible. Why? ‘Cause you know, by rule of thumb, the fastest you move the more you spend! Saving money most times equals staying longer!
The exception I’d make is if you come to NZ to hike a specific walk. If that’s the case, head to my guide about doing the Queen Charlotte Track and find out how I planned and budget my adventure!
Cost of food in New Zealand
This tends to be an expensive country if you just roll with it. When traveling fast or if staying in hotels, you may not have time to cook and prepare your meals, but here’s a reference! All prices are in NZD.
If you buy at the supermarket, prepare a nice breaky and snacks to take with you during the day, you can estimate a minimum of $15 per person on groceries per day. Some towns don’t have the cheapest supermarkets (Pack N’ Save), so you’d end up buying in New World, Four Square or Countdown, which are more pricey (Countdown is not super expensive though).
If you head out for food on the go, you’d typically get a pie, a coffee, fish and chips, a kebab or something along those lines. Estimate an average of $12-17 per person. It can be a bit less but after 5 years of living here…if I spend less than that I always end up hungry!
If you go to a restaurant for a cheap but nice meal, you can expect to pay not less than $20/25 per person. If you want to spend more go on! When we go out for dinner to our fave “fancy” restaurant here in Chch we spend about $ 50 per person.
Let’s add this up and create an average of food costs:
Scenario - 2 people on a mid-budget for 7 days, not wanting to miss out on cool dining spots but also saving a bit of money, therefore buying at the supermarket stuff for an abundant breaky, having quick lunches and going out for dinner some nights.
$ 250/350 Per Person - APPROX between $500 / $700 in total for 2 people.
You can add to this as much as your budget allows!
If you are on the 'broke-traveler' side of things, you can stretch a dollar and spend as little as $120 - $ 150. I honestly don’t think you can get away with much less than that (again, this is not a backpacking trip).
Cost of renting a car for a week in New Zealand
I’ll just assume that you’ll be moving around quite a bit and therefore need to rent a small car for a week with a different drop-off location.
The exception to this would be if, for example, you are planning to spend a week in Auckland just exploring the city.
My parents visited me in New Zealand 2 months ago and we rented 2 cars: one on Waiheke Island and one in Queenstown.
I mention this ‘cause we spent way more in the Waiheke rental (and the car wasn’t even so nice, and was really dirty) than in the Queenstown one. Why? Well, there are not many options in Waiheke so you just need to roll with it.
In Waiheke, the company charged us $79 per day (f*!). In Queenstown, we paid a total of $363 for a whole week, full insurance coverage, and drop-off in a different location.
The costs of petrol vary but they range between $ 2.15 - $ 2.36 per liter.
Let’s add this up and create an average of the cost of car rentals and petrol:
Scenario - 2 People that have come to explore the South Island for a week, rent a fully insured, small car in Queenstown and return it in Christchurch with a full tank.
Car Rental: $ 320 - $ 400
Petrol: Let’s say 2 to 4 tanks? $70/$80 APROX each time you fuel up.
Total: $ 500 - $ 600
Cost of accommodation in New Zealand
If it’s up to me, I’d sleep on a hostel’s bathroom just to save money -not entirely true now that I’m 32, Ja!
But here’s what I found after planning the trip with my parents: there’s a lot of cheap accommodation and there’s a lot of expensive accommodation. I couldn’t really find a lot of options in between.
I’ve slept in cute hostels for $25, but my parents were not that keen on the idea…so I went on a quest to find good quality-price relation and it was hard to find!!!
Airbnb and Booking.com ended up being my go-to options. Booking is good even for hostels! You can always use a booking referral discount link which means that if you book with this type of links, you get a 10 % discount. I have so many! Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll send you some of my own links you can use.
Let’s add this up and create an average of the cost of accommodation for a week in New Zealand:
Scenario - 2 people that will stay 4 nights in Queenstown, 2 in Tekapo and 1 in Christchurch. You decide that you’ll stay mainly in hostels, but for a few nights, you’ll get a private room or maybe an Airbnb.
Consider that the cost of accommodation varies greatly according to the season! Spots like Queenstown are always expensive though.
You can get a bed in a shared dorm for about $25 per person, or a private room starting at $95, roughly. So you’d spend a minimum of $175 per person if doing 7 nights in cheap hostels or approx $350 per person for 7 nights in a cheap private room.
Total (average): Let’s leave it at $300 per person, $600 in total, guessing you’d do a bit of a mix. Again, if you want to stay in a nicer hotel, you can expect to pay from $200 the night.
Some cities and areas of the country are cheaper, for example, Hamner Springs. But it’s not very likely that you’d spend the night there if you are just on a 7 days trip!
Cost of activities in New Zealand
The way I see this is: I research, set a wee budget, and then I decide what to do. For example, if you’ll go bungee jumping or skydiving, then that would cost between $200 - $350.
You can visit Milford Sound on a full-day tour for $105, go wine tasting for $0 to $15, visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds (in the North Island) for about $24…etc.
You can always find great deals and discounts on BookMe.com.
There’s a huge array of things you can do for free as well! Mostly stunning hikes!
To make things easier, I’d say that if you are someone that enjoys going to a place and doing stuff, then estimating a $250 - $400 on activities should be okay. Of course, this will depend on what you choose to experience! If you go on a helicopter trip, you could easily blow the whole budget in an hour…well…you get the idea!
Let’s add this up and create an average of the cost of activities:
Scenario - 2 People visiting the South Island and wanting to visit Milford Sound (self-driven), go bungee jumping, do a wine tasting, or doing the Gloworm caves in Te Anau…
Total (approx): $300 per person, $ 600 in total.
So then, how much will this 1-week trip to New Zealand cost in total?
$ 175/$300 Per Person // $300 - $600 in total for 2 people.
Total: $ 500 - $ 600.
$175 -$300 per person, $350 -$600 in total.
$ 250 NZD per person, $ 500 in total.
Return tickets to and from Australia
$ 400 - $ 800 in total
Add about $1000 if traveling from a different country other than Auss!
Medical insurance - Visas
$100 - $200 (a very rough estimate)
Average of TOTAL Costs!
“Cheap-but-not-backpacker” Aprox $ 1100 per person
Mid $ 1250 - 1600 per person
Total for 2 $2200 /$ 3200 for 2 people.
I always like having money for extras and keep an eye on my expenses as well! As I said at the beginning, this is a rough estimate, please go ahead and do more research- I love Nomadic’s Matt Guide, as he mentions, this country is a money vacuum!!! I was sweating bullets when traveling with my parents!!!!
Also, if you wanted, you could spend MUCH MORE MONEY! So keep that in mind as well!
Finally, you CAN travel for less!!! This article is more geared towards travelers seeking a balance between leaisure and savings.
Please comment YES if you found this article useful! This helps me stay on the go and connected with you!
Hey u! I'm Martina, from Argentina. I've been combining travel and life overseas since 2013 in a quest for living alongside with creativity, joy and personal growth.