The Cost of Travel To New Zealand 2019
How much is enough for a trip to New Zealand? One of the best ways to explore New Zealand is on a self-drive, where you can stop anywhere and admire the rolling hills and deep blue skies around you.
To give you a better idea on how much you need to budget, here’s a breakdown of a 12-day self-drive trip in New Zealand’s South Island to guide you.
Psst! There are also some nifty tips from Cheaptickets.sg to show you how you can save on your travels.
Read also: 12 Days Selfdrive Itineraries>>
Fly direct from Singapore to Christchurch. Flights range from about S$900 to S$1,600 depending on the airline, season and availability. It takes about 10 hours, but it’s usually the cheapest flight into the South Island from Singapore.
#CTSGtip: Purchase the ticket at least 4 to 5 weeks in advance, and save heaps. If your flight dates are flexible, you should be able to get return tickets less than S$900! Book with Cheaptickets.sg and utilise the filter to select the airline and timing to suit your needs.
As you’ll be driving for 12 days, it’s probably best to get a car that is spacious enough for you to be comfortable, especially during those long drives in between stopovers. Usually, if you book early, you can probably secure a larger car at a steal! It’s very possible to rent a Toyota Camry—to fit your family of 4 or 5 comfortably—for 12 days at just S$418.
#CTSGtip: Utilise the car rental filter system on CheapTickets.sg to sort by price, rating and recommended cars at a click of a button. This makes it easier to monitor the prices and secure your preferred car at your ideal price before it gets snapped up.
There are many options for accommodations in the South Island including hotels, homestays, holiday parks, and hostels. To give you an idea of how much accommodations cost (budget, mid-range and higher end) in the South Island, here are some recommended accommodations in some of its major cities and towns. The prices vary based on seasonality.
• BUDGET Stay
Jailhouse Accommodation in Christchurch at S$69 per night: Book now
An award-winning backpacker hostel with a fascinating history! Formerly the Addington Prison from 1874 to 1999, this heritage site reopened in 2006 and has quickly become a must-stay in the budget traveller circuit. Despite it’s raw history, the space is clean, comfortable and warm.
Pinewood Lodge in Queenstown at S$89 per night: Book now
Pinewood Lodge is a village of houses, cabins, studio apartments, private and shared dormitories, just a few minute’s walk from Skyline Queenstown, the supermarket and Queenstown Bike Park. With the wide selection of rooms to choose from, you can pick something that suits your travel needs.
Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park at S$111 per night: Book now
Stay in a cosy little cabin surrounded by mountains, trees and gorgeous views of Lake Tekapo. Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park is a village of a range of accommodations, including standard and ensuite cabins, and larger family-friendly holiday homes. They also have cheaper backpacker options.
Lakestone Lodge at S$579 per night: Book now
Lakestone Lodge is a six-bedroom luxury lodge located right along the shores of Lake Pukaki. Officially opened in 2016, this stylishly furnished accommodation has bathtubs in every room for you to soak up the views while having a relaxing bath! Guests can also look forward to freshly cooked breakfast served every morning.
#CTSGtip: Leverage those Lunar New Year Deals! Save 20% or more in selected regions from 25 January until 18 February. You can find accommodations as low as S$45 per night when you book through Cheaptickets.sg.
Things to Do
New Zealand has a wide variety of activities that promises to be fun for the whole family. Here are some recommendations and their respective costs to give you a better idea of how much to budget for what you intend to take part in.
Queenstown Gondola & Luge : S$57 for gondola and one luge ride
Milford Sound Cruise: S$43
Wanaka Tandem Skydive 15,000ft: S$422
Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hiking : S$451
#CTSGtip: Thinking of throwing in some free activities in the mix? How about hiking Roy’s Peak Track, wandering around one of the gorgeous lakes (Lake Wakatipu, Lake Wanaka, Lake Tekapo...), or strolling along Queenstown’s Botanical Gardens? Visit an i-SITE in each town to have a friendly chat with the local tourist officer to get insider information on what’s free and fun!
There are loads of great places that serve delicious food in the South Island. Here are some recommendations.
1. Dripping Bowl S$7-S$14 (in Wanaka)
Dripping Bowl is a food truck next to Lake Wanaka serving nourishing meals that use 100% wholefoods, mostly organic as well as local produce when available. The menu is quite unique, focussing on gourmet soups, smoothies, kombucha and breakfast bowls.
Must-try: Sugar free bliss balls!
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed, Thu, 6.30AM-3PM; Fri, Sat, Sun, 6.30AM-8.30PM; Closed on Tue
2. Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen S$11-S$42
Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen is a restaurant with a great family-friendly atmosphere and amazing views of Lake Wanaka and the snow capped mountains. Using only fresh local ingredients, they offer a mean selection of premium meats on a Stonegrill.
Must-try: Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat, 6-10PM; Sun, 6-9PM; Closed on Mon
3. Balls & Bangles S$2.30-S$26 (in Queenstown)
This sweet joint is ideal for some quick bites that hit the spot. They dish up some yummy savoury bagel burgers, but if you’re looking to satisfy that sweet tooth, opt for their chocolate overloaded donuts. They also have over-the-top milkshakes if you needed something to top that all off. Now pick your poison!
Must-try: Oreo Crunch and “Freak Shakes”
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu, 8AM-9PM; Fri-Sat, 8AM-10PM
4. Vudu Cafe & Larder S$20 (in Queenstown)
Vudu Cafe & Larder is a popular waterfront cafe that is famous for delectable brunch food, coffee and cakes. The food is as good as it looks, and the menu changes with the seasons, allowing them to use the best local produce available.
Must-try: Carrot Cake
Opening Hours: Daily, 7.30AM-5PM
5. Red Rock Bar & Cafe S$10-S$30 (in Queenstown)
For just NZ$10, you can enjoy an all-day breakfast spread here at Red Rock Bar & Cafe. This pub has a warm and friendly atmosphere that’s ideal for chilling with friends after a day’s activity at Queenstown, or just winding down with a pint in hand.
Must-try: All-Day Breakfast and Brazier Fries
Opening Hours: Daily, 8AM-11PM
6. Astro-Cafe S$11-S$13 (in Lake Tekapo)
How about having a meal on top of the mountain? Take a 15-minute drive (NZ$8 per vehicle access fee) or a 45-minute scenic hike up to the summit of Mount John to reach Astro-Cafe. The panoramic views from the mountain peak is not only stunning, they have a great selection of sandwiches, homemade soups, cakes and beverages.
Must-try: Coffee and cakes
Opening Hours: Summer hours: 9AM-6PM (Road Closes 5.30PM). Winter hours: 9AM-5PM (Road Closes 4.30PM).
Have a cookout in your rented apartments, homestays and holiday park and even hotels to save some money. PAK’nSAVE is a supermarket which is easily found in New Zealand to get your ingredients. But don’t forget to visit the local farmer’s market to get the freshest produce!