New Zealand

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Why should you visit New Zealand?

New Zealand is one of my favorite countries that I’ve ever visited! It 100% lives up to the hype and more. It has something for everyone. Seriously. There are beautiful beaches, sprawling snow-capped mountains, big cities, rolling green hills, unique wildlife, volcanoes and geothermal activity, and crystal clear lakes. There’s adventure and relaxation, history and cutting edge modernity, and everything in between.

Whether you visit the North Island or the South Island (or both), you’re bound to have the most amazing adventure!

Things to See and Do in New Zealand

Milford Sound
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
Franz Josef Glacier
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Learn about Maori culture
Mount Cook
Fiordland National Park
Tongariro Crossing
hobbit hole in the side of a lush green hill side with a tree on top, Bilbo Baggins House

Bilbo Baggins’ house at Hobbiton

colorful sediment near a green pool of steaming water at a geothermal park

Colors of Wai-O-Tapu Champage Pool

Typical Costs When Visiting New Zealand

Accommodation – For budget travelers, you can find accommodation (Airbnb’s and low-budget hotels) in the big cities for $40-60 a night for the entire place or ~ $15-35 for a private room in a shared space. Lodging for travelers is very affordable in New Zealand.

Food – In big cities, you can expect to pay $12 on average when dining out, but you’ll save if you eat out at lunch rather than dinner. Look for restaurants recommended by locals because they might be cheaper. Save money by cooking at your Airbnb.

Transportation – New Zealand has so many incredible sights that are typically accessed via car. You’ll most likely want to self-drive New Zealand so rent a car and mentally prepare for driving on the other side of the road.

Rental cars will cost you about $10-25 a day on average. Note, if you are not 25 years old, you’ll have to pay an “underage” fee as that is the minimum age to rent a car in the US. Don’t forget to add a GPS!


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New Zealand graphic with symbols of the country

Suggested daily budget – $65 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in low-budget accommodation, renting a car, eating out a little, and cooking most of your meals. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher! If you are splitting any costs with traveling companions, this number will be lower!)

Money Saving Tips

Try to visit in the off season (don't forget that seasons are opposites than in the Northern Hemisphere)
Stay in a private room for extremely cheap lodging (as low as $15 a night)
Be flexible in your day-to-day plans and lookout for local coupons
Watch out for gas can be higher than expected (more than $2 per liter or 1/4 gallon)

My Must Have Guides For Traveling to New Zealand


Recent PhD graduate and hyper-planner of Periodic Adventures, my goal is to share travel inspiration, budget tips, detailed guides, and fun travel stories!

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