Cost of Living in New Zealand

Depending on where you come from in the world you may find the New Zealand cost of living high, comparable to, or lower than where you come from. Your cost of living will of course be related to the lifestyle you want to lead while you travel and if that involves eating and drinking out, renting your own apartment and driving your own car then of course you will find your weekly outgoings to be quite high. It also depends on the type of work you do and what part of the country that you live in. Larger cities like Auckland and Wellington will have a higher cost of accommodation than in most parts of the country.

Below are a few examples of how your weekly outgoings could look. This does not include money for experiences like tours, adventure activities, cost of running a vehicle or weekends away exploring the country.

Example 1. Living in Central Auckland, renting your own room in a shared living (flatting) situation

  • $180 – Accommodation (own one bedroom apartment approx. $400)
  • $170 – Food (supermarket) $170
  • $160 – Socialising (eating out/movies/drinks/coffees)
  • $50 – Clothes/haircuts/beauty therapy
  • $40 – Public transport
  • $25 – Mobile phone
  • $30 – Share of internet/power/phone in your flat

TOTAL $655

Note: Your food bill could be less depending on what you like to eat. If you are interested in the cost of groceries you can check out Countdown (one of New Zealand biggest supermarkets) online shopping website. Plug in what you would usually eat in one week and you will get an idea of what the cost of living is here.

Example 2. Working For Accommodation in a backpackers in Nelson

  • $0 – Accommodation
  • $170 – Food (supermarket)
  • $60 – Socialising (eating out/movies/drinks/coffees)
  • $50 – Public transport
  • $25 – Mobile phone
  • $20 – Internet usage
  • $30 – Clothes/haircuts/beauty therapy

TOTAL $255

Note: Some backpackers will let you have free use of laundry and internet. When working in a backpackers there may be the opportunity for extra hours of paid work or you might go and find part time paid work in a local café, restaurant or other shop or business.

Example 3. Living and working in Mt Maunganui.

  • $150 – Accommodation
  • $170 – Food (supermarket)
  • $60 – Socialising (eating out/movies/drinks/coffees)
  • $30 – Public transport
  • $25 – Mobile phone
  • $30 – Clothes/haircuts/beauty therapy

TOTAL $445

In Summary:

New Zealand is at the bottom of the world. We do not have a huge population. It costs money to get fuel and food shipped here so be prepared that the cost of living might be higher than you are used to. Do not get grumpy about it. Save before you come, budget wisely and be creative in how you can spend less on activities, meals and other expenses.