When you think about New Zealand, images of mountains, glaciers, forests, beautiful pastures, and tons and tons of sheep come to mind.
The nation is known as the world’s capital of adventure. All of these activities—hiking, skydiving, caving, bungee jumping, skiing—are intended to get you outdoors and do something amazing.
Numerous travelers are making their way to New Zealand as part of their round-the-world journey, making it one of the most well-liked pastimes in the globe (backpackers, grab those working holiday visas!).
New Zealand won’t let you down whether you’re a budget tourist, backpacker, or want to splash out a little more. Every interest and every budget can find something there.
All of my trips to New Zealand have been wonderful. The people are welcoming, the scenery is breathtaking (I can understand why Lord of the Rings was filmed here), the wine is inexpensive, and you’ll run across a lot of other tourists. One of the greatest nations in the whole globe. No one has ever told me they don’t like their time in the country.
You’ll want to return after leaving this place.
Fortunately, budget travel in New Zealand is simple to achieve if you know a few money-saving tips and methods as it is the backpacker capital of the world. Although it won’t be outrageously cheap, it also doesn’t have to be expensive.
Utilize our New Zealand travel guide to organize your vacation, save costs, and make the most of your time there!
Things to See and Do in New Zealand
- Travel to Fiordland
Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound are found in the southwest of the South Island of New Zealand, in the Fiordland National Park. You may follow the Chasm Stroll along the Cleddau River to get close to tremendous waterfalls or walk the woodland track beside the sandy Milford beach for the best views of Mitre Peak. Additionally, there are a number of multi-day walks in this area, such as the 4-5 day Milford Track, as well as several picturesque flights and cruises. Doubtful Sound wilderness cruises cost 199 New Zealand Dollars.
- Hike Franz Josef Glacier from above
This glacier is fantastic for heli-hiking. With a heli-hike, you fly over the glacier in a gorgeous helicopter and then land in off-the-beaten-path locations where you may go hiking. Despite the arduous, two to three-hour climb, many tour operators also include a free bath in the Hot Pools at the conclusion. A heli-hike will cost you around 485 New Zealand Dollars. Although it isn’t inexpensive, in my opinion the price was well justified. A simple scenic ride with Glacier Helicopters costs 360 New Zealand dollars.
- Take it easy at Bay of Islands
This region, which is north of Auckland, offers some of the greatest chances to go swimming, boating, fishing, lounging on the beach, and seeing dolphins and whales. A favorite summer and weekend vacation location for Aucklanders, the neighborhood is fairly low-key. Also nearby is the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of New Zealand’s most significant historical sites. It is the location of the signing of the agreement that is seen as creating modern New Zealand by the British and Maori. There are now two fascinating and interactive museums in this area, plus you may go see Maori traditional performances.
4. Check out the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.
Explore these amazing caverns in complete darkness, using nothing but the glowworms’ illumination as a light source. You may leap over waterfalls, float through rivers, and observe the “starry sky” in the cave during this thrilling adventure. Additionally, you may tube and abseil (rappel) into the caverns. For the standard 45-minute cave trip, budget roughly 55 NZD, and for five-hour excursions that include abseiling, budget 265 NZD. If you wish to take many excursions or visit several caverns, you may save money overall by buying combination tickets, or by traveling during the week when you can receive 20% off.
- Travel Tongariro Alpine Crossing on foot
This challenging journey near Taupo covers Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s oldest national park and one of the top one-day hikes in the country. Tongariro is also a World Heritage Site. A deep forest awaits you after a journey over volcanic landscape, including the location where Mordor from The Lord of the Rings was shot. The day-long, 19-kilometer (12-mile) hike is really fairly difficult. A shuttle to and from the path should cost around 40 NZD per person.
6. Remain in Wellington.
The capital of New Zealand, in my opinion, is the country’s most “artsy” metropolis. There is wonderful architecture, character, amazing nightlife, dining options, and cultural pursuits. Visit the Beehive (where Parliament meets), take a cable car ride for breathtaking views of the city, check out the acclaimed Wellington Museum and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, or take a class at Weta Workshop to learn how to create armor fit for a movie (the special effects studio behind Lord of the Rings, District 9, Avatar, and many others). You may also go beyond the city to the Martinborough wine district for a wine tour (149 NZD). Don’t speed through like other tourists – stay a few days instead since there are so many cultural things to engage in here!
7. View dolphins and whales
The nation is on many of these animals’ migratory routes, so no matter when you travel, you’re likely to see a lot of them, whether you go from the Bay of Islands, Auckland, or someplace on the South Island (though October-March is the best time). The area is home to humpback whales, orcas, and sperm whales. Boat cruises cost between 135 and 160 NZD per person and run around 4 hours.
8. Take to the slopes
The South Island, particularly the region surrounding Queenstown and Wanaka, boasts snow-covered mountains throughout the winter that provide some of the greatest skiing in the southern hemisphere. Expect to spend between 105 and 140 NZD for a lift pass, however costs vary depending on where you travel, how you get there, what equipment you hire, and how long you stay.
9. Recharge in Rotorua
On the North Island, Rotorua is well known for its Maori cultural performances and its sulfurous odor (which comes from the geothermal activity in the area). Sulfur mud pits may be found all across the city, giving it a distinctive stench. The good news is that you can unwind in a ton of thermal spas nearby! The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, which features a variety of traditional Maori arts and crafts, is another place you shouldn’t miss.
10. Explore Kaikoura’s outdoors
This beach community is located a few miles north of Christchurch. Due to its peninsula location, it is a fantastic area to take in the mountain views while looking for whales and dolphins. Watch whales The greatest group to go whale watching with in this area is Kaikoura. This Maori-owned tour operator offers a guarantee that you will see at least one whale during your trip; if not, they will reimburse you 80% of the price. While you’re here, you may also check out the Maori Leap limestone cave, an excellent museum, and a few historical sites.
11.Wander around the Wellington Botanic Gardens
This may be the most well-known of all the lovely gardens in the nation. A large native forest, an assortment of foreign plants, a rose garden, and a manicured area with a duck pond, sculptures, a playground, and a café are all present. The park, which is a whopping 25 hectares (60 acres) in size and was established in 1868, is a wonderful spot to wander or unwind while reading a book. Free entry is offered.
12. Take the gondola in Christchurch.
Take the Mount Vaendish gondola ride if you’re in Christchurch. The nicest views of the city are provided throughout the short (10 minute) trip. If you wish to eat something while taking in the view, there is a restaurant at the summit. Most people take the 45-minute trek back down (you may also walk up if you don’t mind the effort). Tickets cost NZD 35. (round trip). Gondolas are available for views of Wellington and Queenstown as well.