How to Travel New Zealand on a Budget – Tips and Ideas

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

New Zealand offers a tantalizing bouquet of activities for holiday makers such as caving, skiing, skydiving among others. You just don’t really want to miss out these incredible activities. Beautiful sceneries like sweeping mountains vistas; pristine beaches, vibrant cities and the hospitable locals will just wow you! It’s an amazing destination for holiday makers and every traveler wants to have it as his or her first destination on the bucket list. Here are a few tips and ideas on how to travel New Zealand on a budget…

1. Use City Passes

In New Zealand it’s always advisable you secure a city pass for you to enjoy the trips in various cities. This is important especially if you are planning to spend a good amount of time in the vibrant cities such as Auckland and Wellington. For instance in Auckland, the city pass will give you access to five of the city’s top attractions like a trip to Rangitoto island.

2. Travel during Off-Season

For budget holidaymakers, you will be charmed by the New Zealand’s off seasons, which gives you a range of budget offers for your holiday. High season in this country occurs in summer (December to February) in the southern hemisphere. If you want to travel when flights are at their cheapest and when you might be able to snap up a great holiday deal, consider the shoulder (off peak) season (April – May or October – November). The weather is pretty cool and there is no competition for getting accommodation or rental cars.

3. Budget for Camping

The Department of Conservation’s campsite is one of the most recommended sites for camping by the locals. The site is convenient for families and it’s fitted with basic amenities just for your comfort. You will definitely love the package fee (which is nominal, usually $1 to $20). Holiday parks and campsites also offer relatively lower prices compared to hotels.

4. Secure Accommodation from a Local

Consider renting a home from one of the locals, It’s really cheap. Many holidaymakers prefer this since the locals are hospitable and always willing to let their homes to travelers.

5. Don’t Tip

Tipping in New Zealand is not customary and not required, generally locals won’t tip unless the service is ‘exceptional’. The general mentality of the locals is that you have paid for your meal, you shouldn’t then expect to pay extra to help pay for the staff. On statutory holidays its becoming common for restaurants, bars and cafes to charge an additional service charge (typically 10% to 15%) – this does not get passed onto the staff however, it is implemented by the owners as on these days they are legally required to pay their staff more on these days.

6. Travel by Campervan

Rental companies in New Zealand give travelers the best deals to suit their budgets. If you want to tour New Zealand at your own leisure, hiring a campervan in Christchurch might not be a bad idea. Don’t forget to rent a car for as low as $1 NZD/day to sail cities like Auckland and Christchurch or Christchurch and Queens town.

7. Consider using a Bus

If driving is not your thing, take a bus. Bus rides are comfortable and affordable as compared to taking a flight from one city to another.

If you have already been to New Zealand and know more ideas about how to travel New Zealand on a budget, share your experience in comments or send us e-mail, we will be happy to publish your story. Thank you. 

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