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How Expensive is New Zealand?

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The New Zealand Prices in Detail

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 living in New Zealand, this cost of travelling in New Zealand 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’s 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: 0.72
  • Euro: 0.59
  • British Pound: 0.50
  • Indian Rupee: 52
  • Australian Dollar: 0.93
  • Canadian Dollar: 0.87
  • Singapore Dollar: 0.95
  • Swiss Franc: 0.64
  • Japanese Yen: 78
  • Argentine Peso: 68

For an up-to-date exchange rate between the New Zealand dollar and your chosen currency, check out the Wise or 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 (35fl oz) of milk: NZ$2.40
  • A dozen eggs: NZ$5.40
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of rice: NZ$2
  • 500g (1.1lbs) pasta: NZ$1.20
  • A loaf of sliced bread: NZ$1.20
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) cheese: NZ$11
  • 100g (3.5oz) dry freeze coffee: NZ$7

New Zealand Fruit and Vegetable Prices

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

  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of apples: NZ$5
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of bananas: NZ$3
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of tomatoes: NZ$10
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of onions: NZ$2
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of potatoes: NZ$3

New Zealand Meat Prices

  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of chicken: NZ$13
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of beef mince: NZ$13
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of pork: NZ$12
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of lamb: NZ$19

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$5.20

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 (15+ years old): NZ$2,000-$5,000
  • A self-contained secondhand budget 2-berth campervan (15+ years old): NZ$3,500-$15,000
  • Car rental per day: NZ$30-$150
  • Campervan (2-berth) rental per day: NZ$60-$260
  • Petrol per litre (0.3 gallons): NZ$1.90-$2.20
  • Diesel per litre (0.3 gallons): NZ$1.40
  • Road User Charge (diesel tax) per 1,000km (621 miles): NZ$62

How Expensive is National Public Transport?

  • National bus/ 4-hour journey: NZ$30-$80
  • Domestic flights/ one way: NZ$50-$240
  • National train/ one way: NZ$100-$260

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 (0.6 miles): 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-$35
  • Double room in a hostel, motel or holiday park per night: NZ$80-$120
  • Campervan powered site for two people: NZ$22-$40
  • Department of Conservation campsite per adult 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.

How Expensive is New Zealand?©

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

  • A plan of 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 250Mb/month NZ$9-$19
  • Voice call per minute between New Zealand numbers – NZc20-c49
  • Voice call per minute to overseas – NZc90
  • Text message between New Zealand numbers – NZc8-c20
  • Text message to overseas – NZc20
  • Data usage per Mb – NZc20-c59

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.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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