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How Expensive is New Zealand?

New Zealand prices in DETAILS.

Planning a trip to New Zealand or even looking to live and work here? Then working out the cost of living in New Zealand is essential for planning your budget and making your dream a reality. So how expensive is New Zealand?

To answer that question, we have put together a list of typical costs you’re likely to encounter in New Zealand. That way, you can compare the cost of life in New Zealand to that in your home country. (And don’t worry, we have added some quick exchange rates in this article too).

While this article concentrates on typical costs of life in New Zealand, this cost of backpacking article will give you an idea of the tourism activity prices and any extra costs you might encounter on a holiday in New Zealand.

New Zealand Dollar Exchange Rates

Whether New Zealand is expensive or not really depends on what country you are from. With that in mind, we’ve put together this quick list of exchange rates so that you can compare the typical New Zealand prices with your home currency. That way, you’ll be able to better judge whether New Zealand is expensive.

We know it’ pretty easy to just search exchange rates between the New Zealand dollar and your home currency. However, just to give a typical overview of the New Zealand Dollar exchange rates, we’ve put together this quick list. Exchange rates typically fluctuate throughout the year, but the average New Zealand Dollar exchange rates are as follows:

NZ$1 =
  • US Dollar: 0.74
  • Euro: 0.60
  • British Pound: 0.52
  • Indian Rupee: 48
  • Australian Dollar: 0.95
  • Canadian Dollar: 0.93
  • Singapore Dollar: 0.97
  • Swiss Franc: 0.71
  • Japanese Yen: 79.10
  • Argentine Peso: 14.87

For an up-to-date exchange rate between the New Zealand dollar and your chosen currency, check out the XE Money website.

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How Expensive is Food in New Zealand?

Let’s start with the most important thing you’ll need to purchase in order to survive in New Zealand… Food! Here are the typical prices of popular food items and meals in New Zealand.

Note: these are the typical prices for budget/value versions of these products in New Zealand supermarkets. Expect to pay more for big brands or organic foods.

Typical shopping list essentials
  • 1 litre of milk: NZ$1.20
  • A dozen eggs: NZ$3.50
  • 1kg of rice: NZ$2.40
  • 500g pasta: NZc90
  • A loaf of sliced bread: NZ$1
  • 1kg cheese: NZ$8.99
  • 100g dry freeze coffee: NZ$6.99
New Zealand Fruit & Vegetable Prices

Price of fruit and vegetables differ across the country and between seasons.

  • 1kg of apples: NZ$3.99
  • 1kg of bananas: NZ$2.99
  • 1kg of tomatoes: NZ$3.99
  • 1kg of onions: NZ$3.50
  • 1kg of potatoes: NZ$4
New Zealand meat prices
  • 1kg of chicken: NZ$8
  • 1kg of beef mince: NZ$10
  • 1kg of pork: NZ$9
  • 1kg of lamb: NZ$20
New Zealand Restaurant Prices
  • Main meal: NZ$30
  • Pint of beer: NZ$8
  • Small coffee: NZ$4.50
  • Fast food pizza: NZ$5
  • Big Mac: NZ$4.22

See here for more supermarket shopping tips.

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How expensive is Transport in New Zealand?

New Zealand has so much to discover so you’re definitely going to want to get around! Here are the typical transportation costs in New Zealand.

How expensive is running a car or campervan in New Zealand?
  • A secondhand budget car: NZ$1,000-$5,000
  • A self-contained secondhand budget 2-berth campervan: NZ$7,000-NZ$15,000
  • Budget car rental per day: NZ$19-$100
  • Budget campervan rental per day: NZ$50-$200
  • Petrol per litre: NZ$2.15
  • Diesel per litre: NZ$1.41
  • Road User Charge (diesel tax) per 1,000km: NZ$62
How Expensive is National Public Transport?
  • 4-hour journey on a national bus: NZ$25
  • Domestic flight between Auckland and Christchurch: NZ$70
  • Domestic flight between Auckland and Queenstown: NZ$100
  • Train Auckland to Wellington: NZ$140
How Expensive is Public Transport in Cities?
  • Bus travel per zone: NZ$3.50
  • Train travel per zone: NZ$3.50
  • Taxi fare start tariff: NZ$3
  • Taxi fare per km: NZ$3

See our Transport Category for more information on getting around New Zealand.

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How expensive is accommodation in New Zealand?

Another fundamental part of living or travelling in New Zealand is having somewhere to sleep. Here are the typical costs of accommodation in New Zealand.

How expensive is holiday accommodation?
  • Hostel dorm bed per night: NZ$27
  • Double room in a hostel, motel or holiday park per night: NZ$80
  • Campervan powered site for two people: NZ$40
  • Department of Conservation campsite per person per night: NZ$15
  • Motel self-contained unit for two per night: NZ$140
  • Hotel double room per night: NZ$160

See our What is a Hostel? A Beginner’s Guide to Backpacker Hostels and 10 Damn Good Alternatives to Hostels.

How expensive is long-term accommodation?
  • Room to rent in a shared house per week: NZ$125-$250
  • Work for accommodation options: 4 hours of work per day

Learn more about long-term accommodation in New Zealand here.

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How Expensive are the phone networks and WiFi in New Zealand?

Finally, an essential for pretty much anyone is staying connected. Here are the typical phone network costs, as well as typical WiFi costs.

New Zealand phone network costs in 2018
  • A plan of 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 1.25Gb/month – NZ$19
  • Voice call per minute between New Zealand numbers – NZc40
  • Voice call per minute to overseas – NZc90
  • Text message between New Zealand numbers – NZc20
  • Text message to overseas – NZc20
  • Data usage per Mb – NZc50

See our in-depth comparison of the New Zealand phone networks here.

New Zealand WiFi costs
  • Accommodation WiFi per hour: free to NZ$3.50
  • Cafe WiFi: free with purchase or NZ$3.50 per hour
  • Library WiFi: free
  • Home unlimited broadband per month: NZ$75

For more advice on finding WiFi in New Zealand, see How to get Internet and WiFi in New Zealand.

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