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How Much Money Do I Need for My New Zealand Holiday?

13th March 2018

Aussies are lucky to have such an enticing, tourist-friendly neighbour in New Zealand. With their luxury ski resorts, volcanic landscapes and pristine fjords, the Kiwis lay claim to some of the most stunning attractions in the Southern Hemisphere. If you’re planning a sojourn to the land of the long white cloud, we can make sure your finances don’t get beached as, bro.

Getting There

Since New Zealand is just a stone’s throw from Australia, jetting across the Tasman Sea won’t send you broke. A few hundred dollars should be all you’ll need to fly there and back… unless you’re a hot mess and wait until the last minute to book tickets. 

When purchased well in advance, flights to New Zealand are often cheaper than domestic flights within Australia. That’s a pretty choice deal, no?

Travel costs can vary depending on your preferred mode of transport. Whether you’re planning a budget New Zealand holiday or a 5-star experience, there are options to suit every visitor when it comes to getting around. 

For extended stays, consider hiring a rental car. Factoring in petrol costs can be a bit of a bummer, but you’ll have the freedom to see the sights at your own pace. The cheapest car rental rates hover around the $10-a-day mark – just don’t expect to get a Rolls Royce for that price.  
If you’d rather leave the driving up to someone else, New Zealand has two national coach networks (ManaBus and InterCity). With routes between most towns and reasonably priced tickets (travelling from one end of the country to the other only costs around $100), getting the bus is a cheap and easy alternative to driving. 
To marvel at New Zealand’s famously beautiful landscapes while you’re on the move, catching the train is by far the most scenic way to travel. Keep in mind that New Zealand’s rail network is quite small, with limited departures outside of major cities. 


Aussies and Kiwis have long upheld a (mostly) friendly rivalry – but when it comes to winter sports, Australia just can’t compete with New Zealand’s powder-soft ski fields. Peak snow season runs from mid-July to the end of August, although snow can start falling as early as April (cheap holidays to New Zealand are best planned outside of peak snow season). 

The cost of hiring ski equipment shouldn’t set you back more than $50 a day, especially if you’re willing to use second-hand gear. Day passes can vary in price – to ski at prime spots like Coronet Peak or The Remarkables, you’ll be looking at over $100 a day. If that’s a bit beyond your budget, less famous ski resorts charge as little as $60 a day. 
If winter sports aren’t your cup of tea, New Zealand has plenty of other activities for visitors to enjoy. Adrenalin junkies can go bungee jumping (most jumps cost a couple hundred dollars), or partake in high-speed jet boat ride (jet boating tickets start at around $50). 

Of course, you could just soak up the serenity by taking a stroll through the wilderness – many of New Zealand’s national parks offer free entry.



Sorry, but you can’t actually shack up in Bilbo Baggins’ house. Don’t worry though – there are plenty of other charming places to stay in New Zealand.

Asides from sheep, New Zealand is also brimming with cheap accommodation. Staying right on the edge of a ski field can be quite expensive (think upwards of several hundred dollars a day), but that’s not your only option. To save on accommodation costs, you could base yourself in the nearest town and catch a bus up to the slopes. Most towns have hostels, hotels and Airbnbs aplenty, with the cheapest rates starting at just $40 a night.

Holiday Budget Planner
Want to get into the details a little more? Use our fancy new budget calculator (below) now!


Now that you have a rough idea of how much money you’ll need to live it up in New Zealand, all that’s left to do is get your hands on the right kind of currency. Visit your nearest Travel Money Oz to trade in your Aussie dollars for some Kiwi cash today.


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