Stripping the New Zealand Travel Cost

There are three main factors that play the biggest part of your travelling journey:

  1.  Strong self motivation to travel
  2. Time and chances
  3. Your  ‘Pocket’

The first one play the biggest role of all. If it serves best purposes, your strong desire will beat everything down. No matter what (whether it’s in the long-term or short-term it doesn’t matter).

Whether you’re a highschool student dream about travelling to places you want to be, a single mother with ten children on your laps, a heartbroken,  super-busy worker, or even retiree, you’ll see that strong desire will play part on whether you’re going to have a great vacation (what i meant by vacation is a time away from your routine to focus on yourself and especially life by enjoying scenery around you with your beloved one, or yourself). It will beat your problems with your busy schedule and your pocket. You will find a way to make it through. It may take a year, 5 years, 10 years, or a lifetime, but you’ll get there.

Opportunity or chance and time is another compelling factors. It has a strong connection with your priority, and things that you think matter the most. For a busy housewife, of course your children are matter the most, no doubt of it, and you will compromise your wish to travel with your money and your chances. For a student, you may compromise your travel with study fee and basic life cost – though you probably have much time.

In some ways, it also may relate with what we call destiny. One may believe it, one may not believe it. One believes that if we are destined to go to the certain place, that time will come (you win a lottery to Disneyland, etc ). It does happen, as well as unfortunate case happening in the last-minute before you leave. That being said, if you really want it AND chance allows, money may not be the reason you cannot have a vacation.

Money also plays part like “it’s all about the money, it’s all about the da da da da da dum”. So find your compelling desire, take it slowly, and plan forward. If chances allow, you will get the best vacation in your life.

As many of you have requested, here’s my break down cost in Travelling to New Zealand. Several notes to be taken: [1] this spending detail is specifically for this trip with this itinerary [2] travel period is 2 weeks (24 March – 6 April 2012) during autumn [3] assumption 1 NZD = IDR 7,200 [4] self arrangement with bus trips mostly, from Paihia (North Island) to Queenstown (South Island), backpackers and motel accommodation.

1. Tour and activities

It includes local tour in city, wildlife reserve, outdoor activities by boat, bus or walk. And here’s the top-five activities by price.

As New Zealand main attraction is its remarkable landscape or scenery, basically on every spot in the country as far as your eyes can see is scenery for free. On the bus ride you will see these, or if you are to travel by camper van, it also serve best deal on when to stop in every lookout point and how long are you going to stay in one place, it’s more flexible on arrangement.

But some of the locations are remote or a reserve park. Thus only by taking a specific tour only can you enjoy all of these. It is Because it’s protected, sanctuary of many wildlife and not even civilian housing are allowed to be built without permission. I believe those one allowed to run has been qualified by the government of all applied regulation.

This expense category really also depends on whether you like outdoor adrenalin-pumping activities. Activities such bungy jumping, agrojet, parasailing, and paragliding are tempting to be tried but they are also come with quite high price.

2.  Flight Ticket

It depends on where you are from, of course. So those of you from Indonesia, as of now there are no direct flight from Jakarta to any cities in New Zealand. Most airlines offers transit in Melbourne or Sydney (Australia).

The closest that we can get is to fly to Singapore, and take direct flight from Singapore to Auckland (10 hours flight).  Or from Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch. It depends on your itinerary as well. Any indirect flight takes around 15 hours.

If you plan your trip in advance (say 6 month – 1 year ahead), you will have a chance to observe all airlines promotional offers from time to time and get quite reasonable price. I’m not doing comparison between airline to another since it varies on the season,

Flight cost from Singapore/Kuala Lumpur to Auckland/Christchurch is around NZD 250 – NZD 750. Once around 9 months before our departure, we had this best price of NZD 238 for our flight back, but we didn’t take that chance and slightly unsure. We finally bought the flight back ticket around 2 months before departure date and caused us almost triple from the price we saw earlier. Lucky really plays part on this, i guess.

But i can guarantee, you can push this price category up to just slightly above the third category, or event make it lower – under advance arrangement. On the normal arrangement, it really is very hard to lower. All you can do is to minimize your local tour or outdoor activities.

3.  Land & Sea Transportation

Of all means of transportation (Exclude air transportation), Train plays a biggest expense under this category.

We spent almost NZD 350 for 2 train trip (Picton – Christchurch, and Christchurch – Greymouth). But it was worth the price i must say, it passed beautiful spots that you can enjoy from the viewing cart.

The second one is the bus ticket, which is around NZD 290. We travelled by bus from town to town, 10 movements, thus you can say each bus trip costs NZD 29 in average.

If you choose to travel by camper van, you may want to check this link:

great reference of what camper van trip feels like.

4. Meal

It includes all heavy meal, light meal, mineral water, chunky bar, etc during the trip. in average, around NZD 13 /meal. But that’s not quite reflect the heavy meal price. Fine restaurant will charge from NZD 15 – 40 per meal, beverages not included.

If you want to estimate the budget, just save NZD 30 per meal time. The rest will be allocated for snacks and drink.

5. Hotel

New Zealand accommodation from backpackers to luxury hotel are available. We vary our choice from backpackers to mid class motel. And i can say that total NZD 540 for 2 weeks is not that pricey.  It’s also happen we travel in group (3 person), and accommodation cost was equally divided.

6. Souvenire

At first i was committed to limit myself in buying souvenirs. But being in the store and saw many things smell New Zealand made me couldn’t help my self back there. Some of this for mum, this for auntie, this for him, this for her, and by the end of the trip there was no space available in my suitcase. I even had to pay 3 more kilos in Kuala Lumpur airport for excess baggage. What a shame…

Some of unique expensive thing that can raise this category to number #3 is possum merino knitwear, and all those wear made from possum which in average more than NZD 150. But for you who wants something unique from New Zealand, that can be an option. Manuka honey can also be an option. But it also can easily raise your suitcase weight- consideration should be taken if you are to bring it in your hand luggage, honey also categorized as fluid, carrying it on hand luggage may cause it confiscated in the airport.

Most of souvenirs such t-shirt, hat, cap, and key ring are made in China. For the t-shirt, you can get it from NZD 10 up to NZD 40. Some of NZD 10 t-shirt is already made from 100% cotton and other good fabric. Hat has a range from NZD 10 – NZD 20. As for the key ring, you can get as cheap as NZD 15 for 10 pieces for the humblest model with NZ logos, kiwi, etc up to the one that has luxurious design for car key as much as NZD 12.

Jewellery is also a favourite, from brooch, pendant, necklace, earing with fern style or kiwi style.

My advice, write down whom you’d like to give souvenir. At least go to 2 kinds of different souvenir store and see what kind of goods you’d like to give them. Say you pick t-shirt for 7 people, don’t spend your money on that store, just buy say few pcs, just in case other store offers cheaper price.

For more information, you can check out souvenir from New Zealand in the website.

7. Visa

As i’ve mentioned in my previous post , seek carefully your visa requirement, you don’t want to get stranded on other country without having legal permission.

In indonesia, it is cost IDR 1,100,000 for New Zealand Visa fee. And it won’t fly back to you if your visa application unsuccessful. So please, please be carefull in making your application. We used tour agent to submit our visa, since we’re in Riau. And we did success.

Generally speaking, for 2 weeks with self arrangement tour from Indonesia, it takes from NZD 3500 to NZD 6000. So, are you ready for a life-changing-full-inspiring-moment Trip? Start feeding your piggybank.

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