New Zealand Backpacking Budget

new zealand backpacking budget

(Map of New Zealand from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in New Zealand on a Shoestring Budget

US$60 | 90 New Zealand Dollars

Prices in New Zealand are fairly similar to Australia but we have our New Zealand backpacking budget at slightly less than our budget for Australia. One reason for that is that NZ is considerably smaller with the main destinations more closely bunched together so journeys tend to be a lot shorter and therefore less expensive. On a day to day basis in a typical town there isn’t a great deal of difference between the two although there’s not quite as much nightlife in New Zealand so again less money tends to be spent on going out in the evening.

Like Australia, there is a lot accommodation and plenty of activities that are geared towards backpackers and budget travellers and you can typically get some good deals. That said New Zealand is still overall an expensive country and you will struggle to get by on much less than 90 NZ Dollars per day unless you really aren’t doing many daytime activities or specific excursions and just want to take in the scenery and experience life in the towns.

See where New Zealand ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

More Comfortable New Zealand Backpacker Budget

US$90 | 135 New Zealand Dollars

Many travellers in New Zealand are attracted to the adventure sports aspect of it and almost everywhere you go, there is something new to try and another experience to tick off your bucket list. These things aren’t cheap though and if you want to do a lot and only have a few weeks in the country then more like 130+ New Zealand Dollars per day might be a more realistic travel budget.

For more on travel in the country and the best places to visit, see our New Zealand backpacking route.

Sample Prices in New Zealand

Flight from Auckland to Christchurch (1 hour 20 mins) – from 45 NZD (plus 26 NZD for backpack with Jetstar)

Christchurch to Queenstown by bus (8 hours) – 55 NZD

Meal in an inexpensive restaurant – 20 NZD

Large local beer in a restaurant/bar – 8 NZD

Dorm bed in Auckland – from 22 NZD/night

Dorm bed in Queenstown – from 27 NZD/night

Cheap private double or twin room – 60 NZD/night

Bungy jump off Kawarau Bridge – 150 NZD


Currency – New Zealand Dollar

£1 = 2.18 NZD

€1 = 1.66 NZD

US$1 = 1.49 NZD

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

MFT Recommends

If you fancy the Kiwi experience  but don’t want to travel alone, check out Stray Travel’s New Zealand backpacker tours.

Street art in Christchurch, New Zealand

street art in Christchurch, New Zealand (via Jocelyn KinghornCC BY-SA 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to New Zealand recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016.