Detailed Breakdown of My New Zealand Budget Trip – $2600 for 20 days!

lake pearson, new zealand

“New Zealand is too expensive to go!”

New Zealand is high on everyone’s bucket list, yet the cost of travelling to and around New Zealand puts many off. I visited New Zealand’s North and South island in May 2016 as part of our graduation trip, and was surprised at how little we spent in the 20 days we spent there!

Nobody could believe me when I said I spent less than NZD 15/day for food, lived on NZD 20/day in hostels or that I rented a campervan for NZD 50/day for 4 of us when we did our New Zealand budget trip!

Flying was also less than SGD 400 one way from Singapore to New Zealand. Unbelievable? It’s true, I booked with budget airline Jetstar!

This brought my entire 20-day New Zealand budget trip to SGD 2565/ NZD 2700. We still had a whale of time visiting the classic New Zealand spots such as Hobbiton, and surely we couldn’t miss some of New Zealand’s adventure attractions, like blackwater rafting or Fox Glacier hike? 😉

(SGD 1: NZD 0.95)

North

Total expenditure for 7 days: NZD 623 (NZD 89/day)

South

Total expenditure for 10 days (with campervan): NZD 535 (NZD 54/day)

Total expenditure for 6 days (without campervan): NZD 472 (NZD 79/day)

roys peak, new zealand

Here’s a breakdown of our trip by transport, food, accommodation, attractions and miscellaneous costs!


TRANSPORT in New Zealand

CategoryDetails Amt (SGD) Amt (NZD)
Transport-FlightSG – Auckland Jetstar +15kg $399.06
Transport-FlightWellington-Christchurch Jetstar +10kg $58.79
Transport-FlightChristchurch – Melbourne Jetstar +15kg $176.66 $182.00
Transport-FlightMelbourne – SG Jetstar +15kg $303.62 292 AUD

Total for return flights: SGD 938.13

North Island
Total for bus: NZD 150

South Island
Campervan rental: NZD 500 (NZD 12.50/day/pax)
Petrol: NZD 550 for 272L, 1623km

Road trip New Zealand map | Bel Around The World
Road trip New Zealand map

Car rental in Christchurch: NZD 395 (NZD 39.50/day/pax)
Petrol: NZD 62.39, 31.37L
Parking in Christchurch: NZD 2.50 all day

Read: Driving In New Zealand The First Time?

ACCOMMODATION in New Zealand

North

LocationCategoryDetails Amt (SGD) Amt (NZD)
RotoruaAccomRock Solids Backpackers  Rotorua $17.10 $18.00
Lake TaupoAccomHaka Lodge @ Lake Taupo $24.70 $26.00
HamiltonAccomBackpackers Central @ Hamilton $20.90 $22.00

Average per night: NZD 22

Check prices on Hostelworld, Agoda and Booking.com.

South

LocationCategoryDetails Amt (SGD) Amt (NZD)
Fox GlacierAccomIvory Lodge hostel $24.70 $26.00
HaastAccomNon powered site $11.40 $12.00
Te AnuAccomTe Anu Kiwi Holiday Park $19.95 $21.00
QueenstownAccomMotorhome powered campervan site $19.00 $20.00
Lake TekapoAccomHoliday Park Non powered site $17.10 $18.00
ChristchurchAccomAirbnb 3 + 2 nights $82.25 $86.60

Average per night (with campervan): NZD 19
While we slept in the campervan, we still had to pay a small fee for parking at camp sites.

Average per night (without campervan): NZD 17

Rent Campervan New Zealand Road trip

ATTRACTIONS in New Zealand

North

LocationCategoryDetails Amt (SGD) Amt (NZD)
 MatamataTourHobbiton $76.75
MatamataTourBaggage deposit @ iSite $4.75 $5.00
WaitomoTourBlackwater Rafting $-  * $-
RotoruaTourMaori Whakarewarewa tour $-  * $-
RotoruaTourZorb 350m @ Ogo $47.50 $50.00
RotoruaTourPolynesian Spa $25.65 $27.00
RotoruaTourLocker @ Polynesian Spa $1.19 $1.25
TaupoTourWai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland $30.88 $32.50

fox glacier, new zealand

South

Fox GlacierTourHelihike @ Fox Glacier Guiding Co $-  * $-
QueenstownTourMilford Sound $8.55 $9.00

*Disclaimer: Tours were provided complimentary in exchange for a review. Read more about my experiences:

castle hill, new zealand

Read: 20 Favourite New Zealand Instagram Shots To Swoon Over (& Where To Find Them!)

FOOD in New Zealand

North 

NZD 13 per day

South

NZD 14.50 per day

This includes the occasional splurge on Fergburger, but most of our food were home-cooked since we were living in the campervan.

fergburger, queenstown, new zealand

Restaurants in NZ: ~ NZD 11

The cheapest food you can find would probably in fast food restaurants.

  • McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffin: NZD 4.90
  • Subway’s Meatball Sub: NZD 4.50

You can keep your food costs down by shopping in supermarkets such as Pak’n’Save, which would bring cost to ~ NZD 5 per meal.


MISCELLANEOUS

Laundry: NZD 4

Insurance MSIG TravellerShield: SGD 78.50


church of the good shepherd, new zealand

Fresh out of university, this was our graduation trip. We set out being on a budget while cruising around New Zealand. That being said, we wanted to maximise our experiences, which called for splurging more on attractions. We compromised on Wi-Fi on-the-go, expensive food and comfortable lodging, for eye-opening experiences like learning about the Maori culture and hiking on ice at Fox Glacier.

Part of the reason why flights and car rental was cheaper was also because we travelled during the off periods in May.

If you’re still hesitant about visiting New Zealand, DON’T. The scenery is to kill for. Driving in New Zealand has never been easier. The adventure activities? You’ve got to try them once in your life!

Still have questions on how to plan a New Zealand budget trip? Ask in the comments below! 🙂

10 May 2016, Tuesday – 29 May 2016, Sunday

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8 Comment

  1. […] at the crossroads, there were so many possibilities calling to me. I could do a working holiday in New Zealand, volunteer abroad, do a long-term backpacking trip, start freelancing full-time while focusing on […]

  2. […] New Zealand on Budget Guide […]

  3. Hi! May I know what type/brand of camera did you used? Your photos are awesome!!

    1. Thanks a lot, that means a lot! I’m using a regular dslr. Not the most fancy one. I needed a light one for travelling around. It’s a Canon 100D 🙂

  4. Lian Xin says: Reply

    Hi there! Awesome posts, really helps a great deal in my planning for my upcoming 19-day trip in May! Do you think it’s possible to stay in a campervan throughout to save on accommodation fees? Is it worth it for two people to rent a campervan?

    1. Hi Lian Xin, how did you come across this article? I’m happy you found it useful!

      Yes you can stay in a campervan throughout, and it will be more spacious for 2 as compared to squeezing with 4 (although it’s suitable for 4 people for this size). The only time you need to check in at accommodations is probably when you need to borrow their facilities to cook and shower, which doesn’t cost you more than a few dollars.

      1. Lian Xin says: Reply

        Hi Isabel, many thanks for the swift response. I came across your blog via Google and I’m hooked! I’m a fellow Singaporean and it’s always nice to read reviews coming from another fellow Singaporean’s POV! One more thing, does the campervan consume more fuel as compared to a normal car? If we are doing a round trip around South Island, how much would you estimate our fuel costs to be?

        1. Hi Lian Xin,

          That’s just me being excited for your own road trip! Thank you for your kind words – it really makes my day even sweeter. (Happy V’day to you!)

          The campervan runs on Diesel, so fuel is not as efficient as a regular car. Also, don’t forget the campervan’s weight relative to a regular one. I did a road trip on the South Island as well, and mentioned in my post that it costed us NZD 550 for 272L, 1623km. You can roughly work out the cost per km and calculate your total distance and multiply accordingly. I also have a post on driving in NZ. Hope that helps!

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