Is New Zealand expensive to visit?

Why don’t you ever ask a Kiwi for money? Because they’re always in the middle of paying off their “sheep” loans!

Now that we’ve got that corny Dad joke out of the way, let’s go over the question that brought you here: Is it true that New Zealand is expensive to visit? 

To answer that question, we’ve done the hard work for you and put together some estimates of how much it’ll cost to go to visit New Zealand. So let’s roll up our sleeves, dig into the numbers, and find out just how heavy or light a trip to New Zealand might be on your wallet! 

Is New Zealand expensive to visit? 

New Zealand can be expensive to visit depending on what you decide to do. To be exact, expect a short visit to New Zealand to cost at least 1,390 NZD. 

This price includes plane tickets, and daily rate of accomodation, food and activities. Let’s break down the costs a bit more so you can see how that works out. 


The cost of flights to New Zealand varies greatly depending on your location and the time of year. But we recommend having at least 500 NZD to 1000 NZD available to purchase your plane tickets.

If you’re flying from somewhere closer like Australia, you can expect to pay between 200 NZD to 400 NZD for a round-trip ticket. However, from the United States, round-trip flights currently range anywhere from 800 NZD to 1,500 NZD. 

From Europe, prices tend to be even higher, likely falling between 1,000 NZD and 2,000 NZD for a round-trip.

Remember, these are just estimates—actual flight times and prices can vary based on a variety of factors, including the airline, time of booking, and whether or not direct flights are available.


Accommodation in New Zealand can vary quite significantly in cost, depending on the location, time of year, and the type of lodging you choose. However, we suggest setting aside at least 150 NZD per night for hotels or 40 NZD for campsites. 

If you opt for budget accommodations like hostels or campgrounds, you can expect prices to range from 20 NZD to 40 NZD per night. Mid-range options, such as budget hotels or bed & breakfasts, typically range from 80 NZD to 120 NZD per night. 

For those looking for a touch of luxury, high-end hotels and resorts can cost anywhere from 200 NZD to 400 NZD per night, and sometimes even more. Keep in mind that these are just rough estimates and actual costs can fluctuate.


The cost of transportation in New Zealand depends on whether you’re renting a car or taking public transportation. For both options we recommend setting aside at minimum 40 NZD per day. 

The cost of renting a car typically falls between 30 NZD and 70 NZD per day, depending on the type and size of the vehicle. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include the cost of fuel, which averages around 2.20 NZD per litre. 

However, if you’re after a truly immersive experience, consider renting a campervan. Rates vary depending on the size and amenities included, but you can expect to pay anywhere from 50 NZD to 200 NZD per day.

Now, if you’re looking to save some money, public transportation is an economical alternative. The cost varies between cities, but generally, a one-way bus ticket costs about 3 NZD to 5 NZD. 

Long-distance bus services, such as InterCity or Skip Bus, offer travel between cities that typically cost around 20 NZD to 40 NZD. 

Train travel is also an option, with scenic routes being a major draw. Fares for these journeys, however, could range from 50 NZD to 200 NZD, depending on the distance and class of service.


The cost of food in New Zealand can vary significantly depending on your preference. We suggest setting aside at least 50 NZD per day—this includes meals and some snacks. 

If you’re on a budget, expect to spend around 10 NZD to 20 NZD for a meal at a casual dining spot, or you could opt for takeaway options which often cost less than 10 NZD. 

For a more upscale dining experience in a restaurant, the cost could range from 30 to 50 NZD per person, excluding wine or beer, which typically costs around 8 NZD per glass.

Groceries are relatively affordable if you prefer to cook yourself, with basic items such as bread costing around 1 NZD to 3 NZD, milk around 2 NZD to 3 NZD per litre, and a dozen eggs around 4 NZD.

Activity Expenses

When it comes to activities and attractions, the prices again vary widely. Depending on which activities you’re planning on doing, we suggest setting aside a minimum of 200 NZD for tourist activities. 

Some of the more popular tourist activities, like a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, cost at least 90 NZD per person, while a scenic helicopter ride might set you back around 250 NZD or more.

On the other hand, entry to most museums and art galleries is either free or charged at a nominal rate. Not to mention the numerous hiking trails, beaches, and national parks that you’ll be able to explore without spending a dime.