One of the first things I try to figure out before I go anywhere is how much it’s going to cost. Expensive places scare me a little, as someone who travels on a tightish budget, being aware of how much somewhere is going to cost before I land is really important to me. I thought it’d be helpful for those considering the move or just a holiday to New Zealand get the run down on a bunch of current prices. Here’s my rough guide to what New Zealand costs:

Please note, everything is listed in New Zealand dollars.

Accommodation costs:

Rent in an apartment or house for one room: generally between $100-200 per week. More in Auckland and more if you want an apartment in a great location, or something pretty spacious.

©Phillip Capper

©Phillip Capper

A 2-3 bedroom house or apartment will generally range upwards of $300, with main cities costing considerably more. In Christchurch, I have a three bedroom city-centre apartment for $360 per week.

A night’s accommodation in a hostel: $20-30 is standard
A night’s accommodation in a hotel: $150-200 is standard, if you want something nicer the sky is really the limit with the price.

Food costs:

Food is expensive in New Zealand… be warned!

2 litres of milk: usually around $4-5
A loaf of bread: anywhere between $3-7
Kg of chicken breast: $12-20


Electricity tends to run at around $100-300 a month depending on energy requirements
Internet and phone bills are $60-130 per month
Phone bills depend heavily on your plan, but a basic phone plan can cost from $19 per week

Cheap fast food takeaway meal: $8-15
Meal in a mid range restaurant: $20-30
Meal in an expensive restaurant: $30-50
Beer in bar: $9-12

©Tom Law

©Tom Law

Transport costs:

Petrol tends to hover around the $2.20 mark per litre

Buses around the city are around $3.00-5.50 depending on which city you are in.

Buses between cities vary considerably depending on time of year and how far in advance you book. Naked bus often offer $1 specials between destinations.

Domestic flights: Anywhere from $29 one way, right into the hundreds. It pays to book in advance if you can.

Flights to Australia: You can get to Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney for upwards of $139 for a basic fare. Other destinations are more expensive, especially Perth.

If you’re planning to work here, you should know that the median wage is $50,000 per year. Minimum wage is set at $13.75 per hour. That equates to around $550 a week if you work full time. If you come to New Zealand and work on a working holiday visa, make sure you’re earning at least that much – many foreigners get scammed out of the minimum wage which is a real shame.

If you have any questions about specific prices, feel free to ask! I’m more than happy to ask.

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