What price would you put on your ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ to New Zealand? We reckon a holiday to New Zealand is priceless, and worth every penny and we’re sure you will agree. But we get it, you need some specifics about the cost of travel in New Zealand. It’s true prices have changed a lot since we were kids and even in the last 20 years. We are so far away from almost everywhere, our population is small and our 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 us! Our landscape is un-spoilt because there are less people around– to put things in perspective, Japan is a similar size to New Zealand but has 127 million people compared to our 4.5 million – so there’s lots of green space left for us, our sheep and you to explore. Plus, our high standard of living means great roading, healthcare, hiking tracks and more – all things that make a trip here  lots more fun.

Food and Drink

There are heaps of different places to eat in New Zealand, no matter how much you’re wanting to spend. We’ve got top-notch, world-class fine dining to classic fish and chips. Most New Zealand restaurants sell mains for NZD$20-$30 (USD$14-$22), with a glass of beer or wine starting at NZD$6 (USD$4). 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$10-$15 (USD$7-$11).

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$3-$5 (USD$2-4) – 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$2 (USD$1.50) for a scoop of chips and between NZD$2-$5 (USD$1.50-$4) for a piece of freshly caught, battered fish.

Enjoying outdoor dining in New Zealand - Prices

Accommodation

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. Usually a nice hotel room will cost anything from NZD$200 depending on what luxuries you want – we reckon it’s worth forking out a little more for a nice room. After all, you might not be returning for a very long time!

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’ve also got heaps of lovely B&Bs and lodges set in cool settings like vineyards, secluded lakes and off-the-beaten-track places. These are a bit pricey but you will get a unique taste of our country, making the extra $$$ more than worth it – you only live once.

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 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

Iconic New Zealand sights are very popular with our visitors for a reason – they make for real holiday highlights! The price you’ll pay for these iconic experiences is nothing compared to the epic memories you are making. The famous Queenstown Shotover Jet, where you zoom through bright turquoise rapids, is NZD$145 (USD$106) per adult and is a pretty cool adventure you won’t forget in a hurry. To get up our tallest building, Auckland’s Sky Tower, you’ll fork out NZD$29 (USD$21) per adult; and when you’re 220 metres 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. A few museums up and down the country are also free, including Te Papa in Wellington which is fun and interactive with interesting and captivating exhibitions.

Remember – if you decide that a small group tour like the ones MoaTrek run is right for you, you’ll find that plenty of activities and entry fees are included in the price, which makes things heaps easier.

Heli landing on glacier - Outdoor activities - Prices in New Zealand

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). Keep a little bit of cash in your wallet – we recommend arriving with about NZD$500 - so you don’t have to miss out on anything. You can get easily cash from currency exchanges, found at the airport and in most tourist areas, or from an ATM machine, which are in all cities and towns. It’s a good idea to check with your bank about the withdrawal fees they’ll charge in New Zealand, as some can be quite pricey and might recommend a specific type of travel card you can use at ATM’s to keep fees down.

There’s certainly a lot to think of when planning a holiday budget for New Zealand. You know what? You could make it 100% easier by doing one of MoaTrek’s small group tours. Our tours include  most of the necessities like transport, activities, accommodation and food all in the one price so you know pretty much exactly what the cost of your trip to New Zealand will be. You’ll just need to factor in some spending money for the little ‘extras’ you will come across. Remember a trip to New Zealand is something for the bucket list. As soon as you set foot in our little paradise, you’ll forget all about the money you spent getting here.