New Zealand is fast becoming one of the top places to visit for travellers of all ages. Lush forests, beautiful beaches, vast mountainscapes… When you see what New Zealand has to offer, it’s growing popularity is unsurprising. However, the costs associated with reaching the destination, staying in accommodation and getting around the island can be a major turn off for a lot of travellers. Despite this, there are many ways you can explore the country while keeping it relatively cheap. Here are our 6 tips for travelling to New Zealand on a budget:
The best time to travel? The off-season!
Like all tourist destinations, there’s peak periods, where prices for most things rise to capitalise on the high tourist numbers and off–peak periods where prices are lower. Traveling in these off-peak periods is the easiest way to see New Zealand on a smaller budget. New Zealand has two high seasons, one which occurs during the summer (December to February) and one that occurs during winter (May to August) throughout the top skiing destinations. Travelling during the shoulder seasons (March to April and September to October) is a great way to avoid high prices and large crowds, whilst also enjoying good weather to experience the sites and activities.
Get a City Pass
New Zealand’s major cities, like Auckland and Wellington, have a range of great attractions which are sure to be on most tourists to do lists, however with the cost of travel and admission, visiting these attractions can get expensive. Investing in a city pass however, will mean you get admission to many top attractions for a fraction of the cost of paying individual admission. Skiing destinations such as Queenstown offer ski passes and packages during the winter which can save you hefty slope fees and help those travelling to New Zealand on a budget.
Rent a car or campervan
New Zealand showcases nature in astonishingly beautiful ways, from snow-capped mountain ranges and crystal clear lakes to lush forests and sandy beaches. To see these picturesque sights, one must leave the bustling cities and venture out into the remote locations in between. Without hiring expensive tour guides, the best way to see the natural wonders is to hire a car or even a campervan and explore the countryside yourself. New Zealand has a range of rental companies that offer cars and vans for as little as $22 NZD.
Camping is obviously going to be one of the cheapest accommodation options, and with New Zealand’s natural beauty, what better place to do so? If you have a well-equipped campervan, camping will be free, just ensure that the place you pull up to camp at is legal, as some areas it is prohibited and will incur a fine. If you are camping with a tent, New Zealand is dotted with campsites which range from totally self-sufficient sites, all the way to holiday parks fully fit-out with amenities like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry facilities. The cost for such an option is minimal, ranging from $1 to $40 NZD.
Take advantage of free activities
A big part of New Zealand’s lure are the adrenaline-packed adventures that are available at almost every turn. Many of these adventures can be expensive, such as the $195 NZD bungee jump at Queenstown. By all means, if it’s what you want, do the iconic jump, but for your next adventure, rather than taking a guided bus tour up a mountain, why not take a hike up instead. The entrances to most national parks are free and offer hikes through rich forests with amazing views, sure to satisfy those travelling to New Zealand on a budget.
Rent a local’s home
Instead of forking out large amounts of cash to stay in a city hotel, live like a local and rent a home on sites like Airbnb. Not only are these homes cheaper than hotel rooms, they are equipped with fully functioning kitchens, bathrooms and entertainment, meaning you can prepare meals at home rather than eating out at expensive restaurants daily.
Have you travelled or are travelling to New Zealand on a budget? Do you have any other tips? Let us know in the comments!
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