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10 ways to save when travelling around New Zealand

Updated on October 22, 2015

You have booked your holiday to New Zealand.

Congradulations, you have finally booked your holiday to New Zealand. You are excited. You have heard from friends that is was expensive travelling around New Zealand. Some local knowledge right now will eleviate your stress and worry in this situation and make sure you get a quality holiday experience travelling around New Zealand.

New Zealand is made up of two islands. There is alot of driving in between towns and cities. You can if need be travel the whole of New Zealand in days, however that leaves no time for the experiences you will miss. So you will need transport, a way to get around or from place to place. However what is best? Lets talk a bit more about this part.

There are many options for travelling. Depending on how much time you are going to be in New Zealand, many choose to buy a vehicle when they get here that has a good resale value. This means a couple of thousand outlay, however it means you can sell it at the end of the travelling and get that back. Lets just say for the purposes of explaining this well you are going to stay for one month. So you have 30 days of travelling. Getting a rough plan of what you want to do is a good idea. This lets you have time to book your accommodation and it also means you can book ahead which is why we are here, talking about saving money when here.

Lets first look at the country New Zealand. It is made up of coastal route, some places are missed on this route, including just a few places like Taupo and Hamilton and Whangarei. So first tip today is plan what parts you want to visit and stay in. Be open to new experiences and realise not everything will go perfectly so do not book too much in advance. If you want the cheapest time to travel, it is Winter. The most expensive time to travel in New Zealand is Dec-March Times, this means you are definately going to book if in summer as some prices are scarce, so that is why planning is crucial. So lets say you are going to travel before Christmas as you want to be home by then. It is going into summer months, small towns often have their local entertainments so lets just get a bit smarter to plan your most awesome trip. So let us Start with our Top 10 tips.

The New Zealand Flag


Top 10 Saving Tips for travelling to New Zealand.


Pack minimal so you are not charged for excessive weight. Extra weight on a flight can be very expensive.


Make sure you do not bring any plants, fruit or items that are perishable as the fines can be very high and definately blow out a budget for holiday.


Buy Smartyly, If you need to buy anything to get through for your holiday, find op shops for clothing and bedding. You can wash and sanitise anything like this and have for a mere 1/10th of the price in a store. For every day items, if a town has a $2.00 shop this is also a good way to have travelling usefuls for less. Kmart and The Warehouse are New Zealands value for less stores, they are a good way to buy bigger items you may need like a radio clock or shoes. They often cost less and can save buying this way. Do not buy groceries at kmart or The Warehouse, they often have toiletries higher prices. The best way to get basics is a Pack n Save. This is the absolute cheapest way to get food fresh and most towns and cities in New Zealand has a Pack n save. They are very well known for buying food cheaper and soap and personal items like that.

The Warehouse is a household name in New Zealand.


Continued top 10


Choose to hire or buy a vehicle. Some buy motorhomes so they have a cheap way to sleep too. If you buy, go to a dealer and ask for their trade ins, this is a great way to get a good deal if buying. Make sure you have a warrant and registration it is law in New Zealand. If you choose renting and have the budget go to an agency for letting cars, let them know how long you want it the car, you could get a really good deal if you book for a month. Most hire places do discount daily rates if you book more than 3 days minimum.

If you chooose to use buses, this can be really cost effective. It is less tiring doing lots of driving and some trips can give you the opportunity to see the country side. However if you want to stop and see something that captures you attention it is not possible. You book buses through isites throughout New Zealand and online.


Buy a temporary telephone when travelling, (prepay is best) you can get a temporary phone for travelling and it means you have a way for anyone in New Zealand to contact you. Do not give them a overseas mobile, they will not call it. Many places when you book will want a Credit card for security and a phone number, this creates less hassle. It can start for $9.00 NZD to $100 and super easy to set up.


Buy a carry size chilly bin. This will allow you to put things like cheese, yoghurt, butter, fruit and not have to throw out food every time you move to next town. This works very well with super market shopping saving plan.


What time of year do you love travelling?

What time of year do you love travelling?

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Top 10 con't


Finding a best per night price can be harder at different times of year. If you are definate about visiting some places and know when you have to be there, then book ahead. Booking ahead can save alot, as when their is demand the prices go up so being organised can be to your advantage.


Options in Budget accommodation are actually quite a lot. Firstly let me say B and B's often come with higher price tags as it has breakfast and more one on one service. Here are your options.

Tents - pay per person per night, you will have to get bedding and mattresses and can be hard if raining. However this has to be the most cost effective way to stay in New Zealand, and summer only as winter can get dirty.

Cabins - Depending on what type, whether they have a shower/toilet/kitchen or just beds the price can be quite reasonable. Often cheaper than a motel room but you do have to share showers and toilet areas and kitchens if no kitchen. However on a upside, great way to meet others.

Backpackers - Most back packers offer a bed and bedding you bring everything else and share bathroom with others staying there also.

Motels - You can be really selective and even at times get them cheaper than Cabins if you are smart. Motels in New Zealand normally give bedding, lockable areas, your own toilet and shower. If you have someone you want to travel with then this can be more cost effective than other choices, sometimes you can get them when sharing for less than a back packer bed. If you like your privacy with a bathroom then I would choose this option. Often if you do travel in groups it can be much more affordable. It is definately a choice not worth dismissing.


Find Cafes with wi-fi to keep in touch with relatives and friends. This is important if you really need to check on emails regularly or you are working online. Wifi can be offered in some Cities, some cafes. A regular way of getting wifi is a local MacDonalds. This is your back up if someone wants to charge you for wi-fi. Most places will give wi-fi free so if someone is going to charge for wi-fi unless it is a reasonable deal then save your pennies and use free wi-fi.


Last but not least is when you are booking anything ask "is that your best price" this is a known term for making sure if there is a discount that can be offered. It is sometimes met with a yes it is, but thats okay the amount of times I have had discounts on items by using this term can save plenty on items. When buying travel, bookings, buses, accommodation, you can use this term and it will help you save money in New Zealand. Asking for a discount saying you are travelling on a budget is simple yet it works. New Zealanders love to please guests and will often offer local suggestions to save.

Travelling to New Zealand

The Kiwi Roast

Many homes around New Zealand will have a roast meal, it is part of being a kiwi. Credit goes to kiwiana recipes.

Leg of Lamb with roasted vegetables

Source: Jo Seagar

1.5kg leg of lamb on the bone
10 cloves of garlic

Lemon Rosemary Topping

Finely grated rind of three lemons
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

(cut into thin slices)
Figs, Parsnip, baby Onions, Spring Onions, Pumpkin, Mushrooms, Radishes.

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Trim peel and generally prepare the vegetables – keep pieces of root vegetables uniform size, potatoes, kumara etc.
Remove skin from lamb, leaving a thin layer of fat.
Peel garlic cloves and slice in half. Cut slashes in lamb fat and push a garlic slice into each one. Sprinkle over the topping.
Place vegetables in bottom of roasting pan with 2 tablespoons oil just to prevent sticking, and place lamb on rack above.
Roast in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. The lamb is cooked when the juices that run out of the meat when pierced with a skewer are faintly pink.
Rest lamb out of oven at least 10 minutes before carving. Serve with redcurrant, mint or rosehip jelly.


Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 2 hours 4 min
Ready in: 3 hours 4 min
Yields: 6

New Zealand


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