The Cost of Three Months in New Zealand 6


It seems like just yesterday Jeff and I were boarding the plane in Los Angeles to head to Honolulu to head to Auckland. Three fantastic months roaming around Middle Earth later and now we’re already half-way through Australia!

Like I do with every journey we take, I’ve rounded up all our expenses for the last 90ish days, tallied everything up by category, and figured out just how much our little adventure has cost us so far. And it’s not as much as we thought.

Note: Most of our purchases were on the credit card, but some (like our car) were made in cash. To get an accurate approximation of how much in USD we spent, I used the exchange rate that our cards gave us on the day on or nearest to the date that our cash purchase was made.

Kia Ora Aotearoa!

November: US$3,107.10/17 days ≈ US$182.77/day

Transportation: US$2,404.88 (Yes, this includes the cost of our tickets from LAX to Auckland! We used AAdvantage frequent flier miles for our tickets, so only paid taxes and fees.)

Accommodation: US$297.75

Food: US$266.54

Adventure/sightseeing: US$0

Miscellaneous: US$88.13

We bought a car in Auckland and insured it against theft and accidents for three months, which upped our total for this month by quite a bit. Luckily, we offset this a little bit by WWOOFing for most of our time in the Auckland area, which helped us save majorly on the cost of accommodation and food.

December: US$2,014.61/31 days ≈ US$64.99/day

Transportation: US$227.89

Accommodation: US$736.70

Food: US$379.90

Adventure/sightseeing: US$486.73

Miscellaneous: US$187.31

We splurged this month with a package called “Experience the Trilogy,” where we got to visit the Waitomo glow worm caves, experience a Maori cultural evening and dinner at Te Puia in Rotorua, and tour the set of Hobbiton in Matamata. It was expensive, but totally worth it! We’ve planned a splurge like this into every three months or so of our trip.

January: US$2,207.16/31 days ≈ US$71.20/day

Transportation: US$375.27

Accommodation: US$935.84

Food: US$665.45

Adventure/sightseeing: US$124.21

Miscellaneous: US$106.39

Transportation spiked this month thanks to the ferry charge from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South. A change of plans in accommodation also meant we spent more than we were planning to, plus we ate out more because we kept going to awesome local markets in Nelson, Christchurch, and Riccardon.

February: US$491.82/9 days ≈ US$54.65/day

Transportation: –US$394.56 (this is negative because it includes the money we received for selling our car)

Accommodation: US$775.72

Food: US$81.40

Adventure/sightseeing: US$20.05

Miscellaneous: US$9.21

We sold our car before leaving for Melbourne, which helped bring down our average this month by a bit. Unfortunately, we also had to spend a bit more on accommodation down in south New Zealand because we just couldn’t find any Couchsurfing or WWOOFing hosts. A note about accommodation this month: we spent the end of January and the beginning of February in an AirBNB rental in Dunedin, but rather than split it up, I took the lazy route and had it all count towards February.

Grand Total: US$7,820.69/88 days ≈ US$88.87/day

New Zealand is expensive, but this average is for both of us combined, which means we each spent just under US$45/day. Considering we only WWOOFed once and spent more on AirBNB rentals than I had originally hoped, and didn’t get much when we sold our car in February, this is pretty awesome. If we keep up this daily average for the rest of the year, our trip will end up costing us US$32,437.55, or US$16,218.78 per person. That’s less than our original budget of US$20,000 per person!


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