Prices in New Zealand

To be fully prepared for your trip, here is some information about the cost of travel in New Zealand. It’s true, prices have changed a lot over the past decades. New Zealand is far away from almost everywhere; the population is small, and the standard of living is top-notch – but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! In fact, these are often some of the reasons why people want to visit our country. The landscapes remain untouched as a result of the limited presence of people – to put things in perspective, Japan is a similar size to New Zealand but has 127 million people as opposed to our 4.5 million. This leaves ample green expanses for us, our sheep, and explorers like you. Additionally, our elevated living standards translate to superb infrastructure, healthcare facilities, hiking trails, and other amenities.

Food and Drink

New Zealand offers a wide variety of dining options to suit all budget ranges. We’ve got top-notch, world-class fine dining to classic fish and chips. Most New Zealand restaurants sell mains for NZD $50-$70 (USD $30-$40), with a glass of beer or wine starting at NZD $10 (USD $6). We’ve also had heaps of different ethnic groups immigrate to New Zealand, resulting in a big range of well-priced, exotic grub – you can get a zingy Thai or spicy Indian curry for lunch for around NZD $20-$25 (USD $10-$15). 

We’re rather serious about coffee here in New Zealand, and café culture is a big part of the kiwi lifestyle, especially in the cities! A classic New Zealand ‘flat white’ coffee – made with espresso and hot steamed milk – will set you back NZD $6-$8 (USD $4-5) – the same for a cappuccino or hot chocolate. 

And don’t even think about hopping on a plane home before trying our unofficial national dish, fish and chips. There’s nothing like sitting on the beach munching on fresh, battered seafood and crunchy chips in the sea air – especially when the meal only costs around NZD$5 (USD $3) for a scoop of chips and between NZD $10-$15 (USD $6-$9) for a piece of freshly caught, battered fish. 


From cosy B&Bs in the countryside, to cushy hotel rooms, to modest-yet-comfortable motels or camping under the stars, you’ll find a place in NZ to rest your head, no matter your budget. Typically, a comfortable hotel room can range from NZD$200 and upwards, depending on your preferences for luxuries and the current season. 

Motels are absolutely everywhere in New Zealand and are usually around the same price as three-star hotels – expect to pay NZD$100-$200, depending on where you are and the time of year. 

We also have numerous charming B&Bs and lodges situated in picturesque locations such as vineyards, tranquil lakes, and hidden gems off the usual path. While they might be on the pricier side, they offer an unparalleled opportunity to experience our country in a distinctive way. 

On a MoaTrek tours, 4-star accommodation is included in the tour price and all of the places our guests stay in have been hand-picked by Ena or Miles. They’ve often been chosen because of their location – think awesome views of the mountains or coastline. Having your accommodation taken care of from the day you fly in means that you can relax and focus on more important things – like enjoying your bucket list holiday! 

Activities and Sights

The reason iconic New Zealand landmarks are incredibly popular among visitors is that they truly stand out as holiday highlights! The famous Queenstown Shotover Jet, where you zoom through bright turquoise rapids, costs NZD $159 (USD $95) per adult and is a pretty cool adventure you won’t forget in a hurry. To get up to our tallest building, Auckland’s Sky Tower, you’ll fork out NZD $37 (USD $22) per adult; and when you’re 220m up in the sky, you’ll totally forget about the cost when you’re admiring Auckland’s skyline. 

We can’t say we didn’t warn you – New Zealand’s must-do activities can be a bit pricey – but guess what? You can balance these out with heaps of impressive free stuff! Our protected national parks are all free to enter, have the most amazing, contrasting nature and are a true reflection of what New Zealand is all about. Several museums across the country also offer free admission, including Te Papa in Wellington. This interactive and engaging museum features captivating exhibitions that are both informative and enjoyable. 

Remember – if you decide that a small-group tour like the ones MoaTrek offer is right for you, you’ll discover that many activities and entrance fees are already incorporated into the cost, making things much more convenient. 

How to pay for things

Most places in New Zealand accept Visa and Mastercard, but there might be some places that don’t accept credit cards, like small towns out in the whops (kiwi-speak for middle of nowhere) or dairies (our word for small convenient stores).  

Ensure you have a modest amount of cash on hand – we suggest having around NZD$100 upon arrival – to ensure you don’t miss out on any experiences. You can conveniently obtain cash from currency exchange outlets located at the airport and in major tourist spots, as well as from ATMs, which are widespread across cities and towns. It’s important to note that due to COVID, some stores might no longer accept cash, so having an alternative payment method can be useful. 

Before your trip, it’s advisable to inquire with your bank regarding the withdrawal fees applicable in New Zealand, as some fees can be relatively high. They might also recommend specific travel cards designed to minimize fees when using ATMs. 

Planning a holiday budget for New Zealand can indeed be quite a task. But guess what? You can simplify it entirely by considering one of MoaTrek’s small group tours. Our tours include most essentials, such as transportation, activities, accommodation, and meals, all wrapped up in a single price. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what your New Zealand trip will cost. You’ll only need to allocate some spending money for those charming ‘extras’ you’ll encounter. Always remember, a journey to New Zealand is a must-do experience. As soon as you set foot in our little paradise, thoughts of the money spent will fade away. 

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