What does backpacking and travel around with a motorhome in New Zealand cost?

New Zealand is the ideal destination to travel around with a motorhome or a car. With the tent or camper you can also camp in the most beautiful places in nature. We found the New Zealand with the motorhome also to pay well and we want to share that with you. 

To give you a nice overview of the cost of a trip through New Zealand, we have selected for the convenience what the costs are for 3 weeks New Zealand.

Daily costs in New Zealand

How much your daily costs are going to be in New Zealand depends, of course, on the number of miles you want to drive, whether your shopping is going to be done or eating out, whether you go Freedom campen or not and what activities you are going to do.

Read more about Freedom Campen in New Zealand.

You can of course make New Zealand as expensive or inexpensive as you want. To give you a good example, we have collected a number of examples for you from our own journey, so you can estimate what your trip will cost.

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Cost New Zealand per day

Assume that per day you spend on average €45 per person, on the basis of travel with his two.

Shopping in New Zealand

Is shopping expensive in New Zealand? We liked it very much. Buy big at the larger supermarkets: 

  • Pak’n Save is a huge supermarket in New Zealand. Here we bought as many things as possible. You can find the Pak’n Save in the larger cities, but on the South Island there are less. At the Pak’n Save you can also request a pass to receive a discount. Oh on the voucher you will also find a discount code for the Pak’n save at their own filling stations (which you find next to the Pak’n save. Always handy! We also often shop at the
  • New World also has fun actions; So we saved our own garden and we had lettuce in the camper (well, the lettuce never grew because my friend didn’t understand that you should do the seeds in the potting soil:P)
  • And the Countdown supermarket is also a good one!

On average, my friend and I €20 each with his two to eat, €10 per person. That is usually self-cooking, but also often enough a lunch at a food truck, cake at the bakery etc.

Side note:
We ate pretty often a cheese with crackers, a bag of dates (although the suit and Save are not so expensive) and bought a cappuccino with a nice coffee-shop or (special) beers. So it can be cheaper, but hey, you’re on vacation right? Cut yourself some slack;-)

Sleeping in New Zealand in a motorhome

One advantage of the camper is that you can sleep in the camper and so can camping pears, also called Freedom Campen. You put camper on free spots. The spots are there for both self-and non-self contained campervans. Learn more about that self-contained?

Read our tips for camping in New Zealand and there we explain eat the difference is between self-and not-self contained campers.

Costs for activities

Compared to the Netherlands there are a lot of activities in New Zealand and these are unfortunately not cheap. But on the other hand you can do the fattest things. A boat trip through the fjords, canoeing over huge lakes, bungee jumping of 134 meters altitude, mountain biking over oily tracks and skydiving above for example Lake Taupo. All these things msken the low-budget travel in New Zealand is sometimes very difficult. What does that cost? A number of hours of mountain biking in Rotorua costs $45, a boat trip across the fjords is from $45 and bungee jumping costs about $200 depending on where and if you want to have pictures.

Bungee jumping in Rotorua
Jumps in Rotorua

Refuelling with your motorhome

With the daily costs you are not yet because refuelling also costs a lot of money with a camperthe. The tank goes empty because you drive in a van and because there are many mountains. So also by car it will cost you some money. The price per litre is approximately $2.20 (June 2018). Where we sometimes found prices under £1.80 and sometimes had to pay a little more. It totally depends on where you are of course. Oja and refuelling on the North Island is a lot cheaper than on the South!

Pancake Rocks on the South Island
Adele Island
Abel Tasman View from the Abel Tasman Coast track

Some examples of average prices in New Zealand

  • Camping in New Zealand: free up to $50
  • Hostel: $20 per night
  • Lots of errands for a few days: $58
  • McDonalds: $5
  • Fuelling average: $2.2 per liter
  • Mountain Biking: $45
  • A cappuccino: $4
  • Helicopervlucht over Mount Cook and the glaciers (55 minutes): $400.
  • Entrance Hobbit Movie Set: $79


Three weeks with the RV by New Zealand travel is a beautiful experience. And if you’re on holiday, you’ll want to get the most out of your holiday as much as possible. Are you going to travel around New Zealand just like us a little longer (10 weeks or more)? Then you can still choose where the most beautiful place is to bungee jumping or where mountain biking is cheaper. Go assume that for 3 weeks you spend about €1050 per person, excluding flight ticket and ferry.

It is a side note: I collected the prices for the period beginning of September through mid-November. Prices converted to euros. The costs can be much more expensive if you travel in high season (December to February) and prices are subject to the exchange rate!

Have you been to New Zealand? How did the costs fall for you?

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