New Zealand

What can I expect from New Zealand?

New Zealand is an island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean renowned for it’s natural beauty and picturesque landscapes. The country has two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, both popular travel destinations for varying landscapes and different things to see and do. I have only visited the South Island so all of my recommendations are for the South Island only. The South Island is the perfect destination for people who love adventure and adrenaline!

New Zealand is a popular destination to visit year round, with each season offering something different.

  • Summer is from December – February and is the warmest and driest time to visit. It is also one of the busiest times to visit New Zealand.
  • Autumn is from March – May and is the perfect time to see the fall colours, with milder temperatures.
  • Winter is from June – August and this is the time to visit New Zealand’s South Island for snow sports. It is cold but the mountains are spectacular.
  • Springs commences in September through to November. The ski/snowboarding season can sometimes cross over into September and there is usually still snow on the mountains.

Things to See and Do in New Zealand

Visit Lake Tekapo
Hike the Hooker Valley Track at Mt Cook
Cruise/kayak through Milford Sound
Visit Queenstown
Do the Nevis Bungy jump
Soak in the Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown
Visit Wanaka
Climb the world's highest waterfall cable climb in Wanaka
Heli hike Franz Josef glacier
Visit Abel Tasman National Park

“Hooker Valley Track”

“Te Waikoropupu Springs”

Typical Costs When Travelling

Accommodation –  New Zealand is not a “cheap” destination, however, as always when travelling, there are a range of accommodation types to suit all budgets. Hostels and backpackers are popular for those travelling on a budget. Air BnB is also popular throughout New Zealand and has plenty of affordable rooms and apartments. There are a lot of top/high end luxury hotels throughout New Zealand in fantastic locations but they do come with a hefty price tag. I stayed in a mixture of Air BnB’s, lodges and boutique hotels. It is important to note that prices also fluctuate a lot throughout the year depending on the season.

Food – There is an abundance of plant based food throughout New Zealand which I absolutely loved. There are lots of little local and family run cafes in the smaller towns and areas which is great as I really like to support local where possible. Food is standard Western prices, similar to Australia and Singapore etc.

Transportation – If you plan on moving around and visiting multiple locations throughout New Zealand, then hands down the best way to get around is to hire a car or motor home. New Zealand is very rugged and many of the scenic stops are located in small towns and/or not connected to a public transport networks. A car or motor home gives you complete freedom to explore at your own leisure. There are trams, trains and buses is the larger cities.

Suggested daily budget – $250-$300 AUD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in Air BnB’s, lodges or boutique hotels, eating out for most meals, and hiring a car or motor home. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number)

Money Saving Tips

Cook in your accommodation Book accommodation that has a small kitchenette for you to prepare food at home, this will save a lot of money. If hiring a motor home, most will have a kitchen area to prepare food whilst you're on the road.
Pre-book MUST DO tours or activities If you've decided on some tours or activities that you absolutely must do while you're there, pre-book them and stop yourself from booking anything spontaneous. Tours and activities are very expensive and can set you back anywhere from $200-$1000 per activity.
Set a budget and stick to it Set yourself a daily budget for food, tours/activities and petrol if you're hiring a car. If you start to come close to reaching your budget, decide on a cheap/easy meal or choose a free activity rather than something that costs money.
Travel in low season Prices fluctuate a lot in New Zealand depending on the seasons. Save money on accommodation by travelling in Autumn (March - May) or Spring (September - November).

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